Volunteers sought for ‘Feed My Starving Children’ event
A total of 900 volunteers are needed to help Cape Coral MobilePack reach its goal of packing 200,000 meals for the Feed My Starving Children program.
This year the Feed My Starving Children Cape Coral MobilePack is being held on Monday, Feb. 17, and Tuesday, Feb. 18, at St. Katherine Drexel Parish, 1922 SW 20th Ave., Cape Coral. The two-hour time slots start as early as 9 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m.
“Sign-ups are going great. We need to raise about $43,000. We are over three-quarters of a way there,” Cape Coral MobilePack Co-Leader Barth Wolfe said.
With a 22 cent cost per meal, there is no donation too small.
Those interested in volunteering, or making a donation can do so through give.fmsc.org/capecoral.
Volunteers are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the Cape Coral Caring Center. Wolfe said they not only want to feed those overseas, but help people locally as well. He said those in the community who are not able to volunteer, but want to make a donation can do so by bringing a nonperishable food item to the Parish Hall.
There are three churches participating in the fifth annual Cape Coral Feed My Starving Children MobilePack – St. Katharine Drexel, Christ Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran.
Wolfe said when he retired seven, or eight years ago, he and his wife were looking for things to do. Right before the couple came to Florida they saw an event in the Green Bay area at a church. He said they went and packed food with family, one of which was his 6-year-old niece.
“They are still actively participating. When we came to Florida we started looking for one of these Feed My Starving Children (and could not find one.) My wife and I said we should try to start one,” he said.
So, the couple talked to Feed My Starving Children, and to their pastor at church and received his blessing. When they started five years ago they were able to do 100,000 meals. Now they have doubled, almost quadrupled the amount due to the Sanibel Community Church branching out this year with its own MobilePack event.
There is also a high school group from Naples that is traveling to Cape Coral to learn more about the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack.
“It’s continuing to grow in Southwest Florida,” Wolfe said.
Feed My Starving Children was founded in 1987 as a Christian nonprofit organization “committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirt.” The food that is packed is sent to partners around the world in 70 different countries and used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs to break the cycle of poverty.
Last year Cape Coral Feed My Starving Children MobilePack had 930 volunteers who packed 209,000 meals, which went to Haiti and West Africa.
The volunteers pack ManaPack Rice, which is a mixture of rice, soy (protein source), dehydrated vegetables and a mixture of vitamins and minerals. This formula was created by a team of food scientists at Cargill with help from colleagues at General Mills and Pillsbury.
“They created a meal that would be universally accepted around the world. They wanted something that would provide a full day’s nutrition, nutritional needs for the entire day,” Wolfe said. “Feed My Starving Children relies on people like us to volunteer and raise money.”
Staff of Feed My Hungry Children will arrive on site Feb. 17, as will a semi truck with all of the ingredients. The staff will help set everything up for the volunteers.
“The key job is getting the food packed,” Wolfe said.
There are many different tasks the volunteers can take part in, such as scooping food into funnels, weighing the bags, sealing and then boxing the food to be placed on a pallet with shrink wrap. Wolfe said the rice comes in one-pound bags, which is then separated into a five-gallon container.
There are also volunteering opportunities for those who cannot stand for any length of time, such as making boxes and labeling bags.
“It’s amazing to watch,” he said of how fast everything comes together.
Once the food is put on the pallet it is not touched again until the partner agency receives it and it is dispersed to those in need. Wolfe said the meals are then given to the people on the ground in other countries who know how to get it to the area of need.