Hunger in Somalia
Somalia, a country in eastern Africa, is on the brink of catastrophic famine. More than half of the population of Somalia needs some sort of help regarding food. Camps providing aid are set up around the country, but even there the situation of hunger in Somalia is dire.

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a nonprofit organization based in Minnesota, decided to find a way to help. This organization operates on a volunteer basis to provide assistance in the battle against world hunger. Volunteers sign up for a shift to come in and pack food into bags for however long they choose. Each bag packs six meals made up of a formula researched to provide the most nutritional value for a starving person. They are all vegetarian and halal certified.

FMSC sends the food they package to at least 60 countries worldwide, constantly working to solve the problem of world hunger. But besides their normal volunteer work, the organization creates mass packing events in various locations. From June 2 through June 5, FMSC hosted its largest packing event in the history of the organization in St. Paul, Minnesota. Partnering with Love Somalia, there were over 15,000 volunteers working in 2.5-hour shifts. The volunteers packed and sent an amazing 4.9 million meals to Somalia in order to assist during the famine. It’s a start to addressing the overwhelming hunger in Somalia that equates to more than six million people who need aid.

Other major packing events have gone towards relief in Haiti, the organization’s largest recipient. In 2015, FMSC sent 78 million meals to Haiti and sends even more after hurricanes.

The United Nations writes that a “massive increase in humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to avert a famine,” especially one that resembles the famine Somalia experienced in 2011, where more than 250,000 people died of starvation. While there is still a long way to go, Feed My Starving Children has begun taking steps to help.

Ellen Ray

Photo: Flickr

Feed My Starving Children is a Christian nonprofit organization that aims to feed the hungry. The organization uses volunteers to hand-pack cost effective and easily shippable meals to malnourished children. These packages are then sent to 70 countries around the world.

Feed My Starving Children was first established in 1987 after businessman Richard Proudfit went on a mission trip to Honduras. There he was challenged by the hunger he saw and felt compelled to aid the starving. From then on, Proudfit and many others would work to create the perfect meal plan for the hungry.

By 1993, Cargill food scientist Dr. Richard Fulmer partnered with other scientists from Pillsbury and General Mills to develop “Fortified Rice Soy Casserole” for starving children. For the Feed My Starving Children organization, this nutritious mixture would be known as MannaPack, named after the miraculous food in the Bible. Next in the process would be the hunt for the ideal packaging. In 1994, 1 million plastic bags were donated by Green Giant. Soon, the first shipments of meals were sent off to Rwanda, Haiti, Belarus, and Paraguay.

The finalized product is made up of four primary parts: rice, extruded soy nuggets for protein, vitamins and minerals and vegetarian flavoring, and dehydrated vegetables. The bag of food is simple to prepare and provides a many life-saving calories and nutrition to starving children.

Since its early days, Feed My Starving Children has also developed other packaged meals such as its MannaPack Potato-W formula for weaning children and MannaPack Potato-D, the first and only food developed to help people recover from diarrhea. Furthermore, in 2012 alone, the organization has sent out 153,000,000 meals to countries around the world. One bag of food, which contains meals for 6 children, costs only $1.32 to produce.

Today Feed My Starving Children is one of the nation’s most trustworthy charities. It has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for eight straight years.

– Grace Zhao

Sources: Feed My Starving Children, Charity Navigator
Photo: Pitch Engine