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Feed My Starving Children event provides meals

By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald editor
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Thousands are expected to turn out next week to help provide meals for malnourished children around the world.

The third annual Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event will take place Nov. 15-17 at William Jessup University, a new location to accommodate the ever-growing event. In 2010, volunteers packed 280,000 meals, according to steering committee member Bill Halldin, and in 2011 the crew packed 405,000 meals. This year, Halldin estimated, 2,500 volunteers will pack 500,000 meals.
 
While the event is completely booked for volunteers, Halldin said, donations are needed and greatly appreciated.
 
“Each meal costs 22 cents,” he said, “so it’s on us locally to cover the cost of the meals we pack – 500,000 meals adds up to $110,000.”
 
The meals are provided in bags packed by the volunteers. The ingredients are scientifically designed to pack a nutritional punch for malnourished children, who are provided the meals via organizations that operate orphanages, schools, clinics and community feeding programs in nearly 70 countries. According to a press release from Feed My Starving Children, last year the Christian nonprofit’s 565,000 volunteers provided more than 133 million meals.
 
“William Jessup University is committed to leadership, transformation and innovation,” said university President John Jackson. “Many of our staff and students participated as volunteers last year and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of making a global impact.”
 
Families, individuals, service groups, students and churches of all denominations turn out for the event, Halldin said.
 
MobilePack sites are set up as an assembly line of sorts, with people assigned duties such as weighing and pouring ingredients, sealing bags and prepping boxes. Volunteers will load up Feed My Starving Children’s 18-wheelers that will tote the meals to Oakland, where they’ll be shipped overseas right away. Halldin said Haiti is the No. 1 recipient of the meals.
 
Rocklin High School senior Bryce McKernan participated in last year’s MobilePack with his family, and will return this year to help out.
 
“I’ve never had a problem with food or anything, or worrying about where I’m going to get my next meal,” he said.
 
When a cut Achilles tendon put the hockey player on the sidelines this year, McKernan decided to use his down time in a productive way by reaching out to friends and family online. He’s well on his way to a $4,000 fundraising goal, and pointed out that 22 cents a meal isn’t that much to ask for to help such a good cause.
 
The event also benefits from its sponsors, including Wells Fargo, the Sacramento Kings, Mercy Health Care and AT&T. And Rocklinites, Halldin added, have proven themselves more than willing to help out children in need.
 
“For us, 22 cents is such a small amount,” he said. “It’s a quarter on the ground that maybe some people wouldn’t even pick up.”
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How to help
To make a contribution to the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event at William Jessup University, visit www.sacfmscmobilepack.org.