Christian hunger relief organization Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) opened the Libertyville meal-packing site Nov. 14 with an inaugural packing session staffed by volunteers from area churches and schools, local families and city officials. The official grand opening will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, when members of the community will pack meals in two-hour sessions from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
At the 18,000-square-foot site at 742 E. Park Ave. (Route 176) in Libertyville, volunteers age five and older come to hand-pack dehydrated meals for hungry children worldwide. Initially open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the facility is expected to be open six days a week starting in 2013.
“I am happy to have Feed My Starving Children locate its new facility in Libertyville. Feed My Starving Children is a great organization working to end hunger throughout the world,” says Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler. “I have packed meals for FMSC on several occasions and their process of involving the community in this vital work is tremendous. We look forward to having FMSC volunteers visit us in Libertyville and work for this worthy organization.”
"Opening this site in Libertyville is part of our strategic plan to double our production capacity over the next two years," said Mark Crea, Executive Director/CEO of Feed My Starving Children. "We donate our food to more than 70 missions and non-governmental organizations working in community development worldwide, but we have dozens more on a waiting list because we don't have the inventory of meals to give them. Together, these waiting applications represent thousands of children who hold the potential to grow up and change their nations for the better. "
The annual production is expected to reach 71 million meals in Chicagoland, while making room for a total of 300,000 area volunteers every year.
Those interested in signing up to volunteer for a two-hour packing session in Libertyville or at the other two Chicago area packing sites in Schaumburg and Aurora, can register online at fmsc.org/volunteer. Volunteer sign-ups are now open for 2013.
Feed My Starving Children produces nutritious meals designed to restore malnourished children to full health. Volunteers hand-pack the meals, and they’re shipped to missions and humanitarian agencies working in 70 countries around the world. In addition to the Chicago-area packing sites, FMSC maintains three packing sites in Minnesota and one in Tempe, Ariz. Since the 2008 opening of a full-time packing site in Aurora, Ill. and the 2010 opening of a part-time site in Schaumburg, Chicagoland volunteers have packed more
than 80 million meals distributed to hungry families in Haiti, Kenya, Nicaragua, Swaziland and many other developing nations.
Nationally, FMSC expects to nearly double its meal production from 133 million meals in 2011-2012 to 235 million by 2014-2015.
Each meal costs 22 cents to produce and 92% of all donations directly support the food program. All meals are packed by volunteers, who, along with donors, pay for 100% of FMSC meals. FMSC receives no government aid.
—Feed My Starving Children provided this information.