Here is some information about the Feed My Starving Children organization and where I’ll be going.
Feed My Starving Children:
Feed My Starving Children was founded as a Christian nonprofit in 1987 through the efforts of a Minnesota businessman who felt called by God to help feed the starving children of the world during a humanitarian visit to Honduras. He returned to the Twin Cities to develop a method of large-scale relief.
His efforts, energy and resources resulted in the development of a food mixture that would be easy and safe to transport, simple to make with only boiling water, and culturally acceptable worldwide. This basic formula of rice, high protein soy nuggets, vegetables, vitamins and flavoring is still used by FMSC today.
In addition to this formula, FMSC needed to develop a cost-effective means of producing the completed meals in quantities that would make a real difference in alleviating world hunger. Initially, FMSC tested the possibility of using packaging machines, but this solution proved to be expensive and cumbersome. In 1993, a church group stopped by the FMSC facility to see if there might be an opportunity to volunteer with FMSC. That providential meeting gave birth to FMSC’s volunteer packing approach.
To distribute the packed meals, the FMSC team began establishing partnerships with major global distribution nonprofits such as Operation Blessing, Salesian Missions and UMCOR. These partnerships allow FMSC to reach desperately needy children in remote parts of the world by leveraging the in-country expertise of these organizations. Through these vital partnerships, orphanages and facilities for handicapped children can provide hot, nutritious meals—and a ray of hope for the future.
Since its inception, FMSC’s model of culturally acceptable, nutritious food, combined with volunteer production and distribution through on-the-ground partners has grown exponentially. In 1994, 2,400 volunteers packed 400,000 meals from FMSC’s original Brooklyn Park location. In 2005, nearly 75,000 volunteers packed more than 15 million meals at sites in Brooklyn Park, Eagan, and a third mobile packing site that travels to youth conventions and churches. In March 2006, a third permanent site opened in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and in 2007, the three sites produced a total of 40 million meals with 170,000 volunteers. Feed My Starving Children recently opened a site in Aurora, IL, and hopes to produce 100 million meals per year by 2010.
Information about Hati:
Haiti is located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola next to the Dominican Republic. The country includes many smaller islands off its coast, one having dual ownership with both Haiti and the United States. The capital is Port-au-Prince. As a French speaking nation, Haiti gained its independence from France on January 1, 1804 and became the first independent black republic. The country is the third largest in the Caribbean and was once a beautiful paradise. In 1925, 60% of the land and mountain regions were covered in forest. Since then, all but 2% of the forest has been cut down and the population has largely been responsible for the country’s lack of economic progress. Because of frequent hurricanes and deforestation, fertile farmland has been destroyed and desertification has taken over. About 80% of the population lives in poverty.