More than 200,000 meals packed during mobilepack event
More than 500 children will receive food for an entire year thanks to more than 900 volunteers coming together during a recent Feed My Starving Children MobilePack.
The Feed My Starving Children Cape Coral MobilePack was held Feb. 18, and Feb. 19, at Challenger Middle School.
“It was fabulous. The event went so great at Challenger Middle School,” Cape Coral MobilePack Co-Leader Barth Wolfe said.
The school was a new site this year.
“It worked great and the staff was phenomenal,” he added.
The location was a good one because it was centrally located in Cape Coral, as well as between the three churches St. Katharine Drexel, the founding member of the Cape Coral MobilePack, Christ Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran.
The two-day event attracted 933 volunteers from Cape Coral and surrounding areas, who helped pack 209,952 meals, which will be shipped to one of the 70 countries that Feed My Starving Children provides food to. The meals will provide enough food to feed 575 children a complete meal for an entire year.
This year they packed one additional pallet, 27, from the previous year.
Cape Coral MobilePack raised $42,878, which was needed for the ingredients ManaPack Rice, a mixture of rice, soy (protein source), dehydrated vegetables and a mixture of vitamins and minerals.
When the volunteers attended the mobilepack, they went through an orientation, as well as learned more about Feed My Starving Children.
Feed My Starving Children was founded in 1987 as a Christian nonprofit organization “committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” The food that is packed is sent to partners around the world and used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs to break the cycle of poverty.
“We talk to them about hunger and how food makes a difference,” Wolf said.
The volunteers are then trained and given a certain job. There are tables where volunteers pack food, scoop ingredients into a funnel while another volunteer holds a bag. Other volunteers weigh the food because it all has to be within certain pounds to make sure every bag has the same amount of food.
The next step, a heat sealer is used before the next set of volunteers box the bagged food.
“They weigh it again for quality control and put it on a pallet,” Wolf said.
Once the pallet is full, shipping labels are placed on it by volunteers.
He said there are also jobs for volunteers who cannot stand, such as labeling the food with “best by date,” building boxes, as well as others making sure ingredients remain refilled.
“We have people that keep filling up these containers,” Wolf said. “It is a beehive of activity for an hour and a half. Thirty thousand meals are prepared in a shift.”
One point that stood out during this year’s event occurred when Reciprocal Ministries International contacted them after reading an article about the mobilepack.
Wolf said RMI is a ministry in Lehigh Acres that operates 38 schools in Haiti.
“They messaged us on Facebook . . . we are a huge partner that receives the food,” he said of RMI receiving the food they pack for Feed My Starving Children. “They came out for three or four shifts.”
Wolf said it was a neat experience to hear from the people who are on the receiving end of the food packs.
In 2016, Cape Coral MobilePack provided 108,864 meals for children in Trinidad using 534 volunteers, 132,192 meals were packed by 633 volunteers and sent to Nicaragua in 2017 and last year 201,744 meals were packed by 1,031 volunteers to be sent to Haiti.