The College aims to pack 100k meals for hungry kids, hundreds of volunteers and donations needed
Feed My Starving Children MobilePack, a quiet Villa Maria College tradition with roots in the Haitian earthquake, seeks help from Western New Yorkers for two things: donations to cover the $22,000 cost of packing 100,000 meals, and volunteers to put on hairnets and funnel vitamins, rice, soy flakes and dehydrated vegetables into meal bags headed for Haiti, Honduras, the Philippines and beyond.
Kim Kotz, organizer of the Feed My Starving Children event at Villa and a Physical Therapist Assistant professor, was inspired to act after hearing the grim news that 6,200 children die every day from lack of food.
“What is the longest you’ve ever gone without eating?” said Kotz, “Think of how uncomfortable that is. Then imagine dying like that. But we can change that by getting the word out. A single “Manna” meal costs 22 cents, a $50 donation covers 200 meals, which can be put together by one person in two hours.
Villa Maria College is looking for individuals to contribute, volunteer, or both. Volunteers may sign up for one of four shifts: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 25, or 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 26. Help is needed for cleanup and set up, too. Anyone interested in volunteering can e-mail Kim Kotz at email@example.com for more information. To donate, visit https://give.fmsc.org/buffalo/events/1703-106mi-buffalo-ny-giving-we-receive-mp/e101651.
Feed My Starving Children is a Minnesota-based nonprofit founded in response to hunger in Honduras in 1987. Last year, the organization sent out 272 million of its nutritionist-formulated meals. Community packing events, like the one next month at Villa, make up for almost a quarter of meals shipped to orphanages, schools and malnutrition clinics.
“It really provides an opportunity for people to come together and use their hands. If you can’t donate, you can still pack,” said Kirstie Sherman, FMSC MobilePack development advisor. “It’s an opportunity that a whole family can do together. It’s a mission trip in your own back yard.” To explain, Sherman tells the story of a Haitian child she met near the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic: when she asked him if he ate the Manna meals, he held up his bicep, made a muscle and smiled.
“They know they are strong and healthy because of Manna Pack,” said Sherman. “You really know that it’s helping these kids lead more normal lives. It’s really cool.”
For more information, visit fmsc.org
*Publicity of this event is being coordinated, in part, as a project in the Villa Maria public relations class. We appreciate your feedback and support.