Feed My Starving Children to host meal packing event

By Olivia Willoughby

Motivated by the 18,000 children who die of starvation each year, Feed My Starving Children [FMSC] will host a meal packing event Thursday through through Nov. 20.

FMSC is a not-for-profit Christian organization whose volunteers pack meals to send out to 70 countries.

Thursday, the meal packing will take place at Cornerstone Christian Academy, 355 N. Cross St. in Sycamore. Friday through Nov. 20, The Suter Company, 258 May St. in Sycamore, will host the Make A Difference 2K11 Mobile Pack event.

Several goals for the event include raising $172,800 and packing 720,000 meals for the Mobile Pack event. Greg Howells, host of the event, said packing each meal costs 24 cents. Therefore, in order to pack 720,000 meals, Howells had to get locals to raise $172,000.

“We met that financial goal [Wednesday],” Howells said. “Even though we have the financial support, we will keep packing. As long as there are children starving in the world, fundraising never ends. Make A Difference will continue to raise funds for Feed My Starving Children.”

Last year, more than 124 million packages were sent out by 515,000 volunteers across the U.S., Howells said. As of Wednesday, 3,306 volunteers from the DeKalb and Sycamore area signed up to help FMSC. Howells also said by the time the event comes, at least 3,400 volunteers will be available to contribute to the effort.

Local businesses in DeKalb and Sycamore will also help FMSC. The Lincoln Inn Family Restaurant, 240 E. Lincoln Highway, allows customers to donate their rewards points to the organization for the entire month of November.

“We have a rewards program where if the customer spends $1, they get a point,” said Lincoln Inn owner Bill McMahon. “If they decide to donate the points, Feed My Starving Children gets 10 percent of what [the customer] spends. The Lincoln Inn will match whatever they spend.”

McMahon also said he hopes each table can collect enough money to pay for one starving child.

“We’ve got 25 tables in our restaurant, so our goal is to get $88 from each table or $2,200 total,” McMahon said. “We’re on pace and I’m confident we’ll meet that goal.”

Also, customers have the option of donating all of their points for the whole month or donating money either by cash or check.

The Suter Company will also contribute to the event by donating its facility, said Heidi Wright, vice president of sales and marketing at The Suter Company.

“We really feel grateful for the good fortune we’ve had,” Wright said. “We don’t have to worry about if we are hungry and don’t have money because there are feeding programs [at places] like churches. But in many parts of the world, that’s not the case. Eighteen thousand children die every day from starvation and we felt like we wanted to do something to try to help. We’re involved because we feel that with our good fortune, we have an obligation to give back.”

Wright said 800 people from the DeKalb and Sycamore school districts, including students, faculty and staff, will volunteer at the packaging event. Along with them, several people from different businesses, clubs, organizations, churches, youth groups and even people from NIU will come to participate in the packaging event, Howells said.

“It’s the young people of our community working to feed the young people in other parts of the world,” Wright said. “If we don’t pack, children will starve to death. So we’re literally saving lives.”

People not only have the option of volunteering or donating points at The Lincoln Inn, but they can also donate directly to FMSC’s website, at www.fmsc.org. The Lincoln Inn also has a box for donating money or checks.