By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Planning is already underway for the fourth annual Feed My Starving Children packing event in Imperial.
Southwest Nebraska Meals for God’s Children sponsors the event that will be held again at the Crossroads Wesleyan Church July 24-26.
Dick Banks, coordinator of the annual event, said the committee has set a goal of packing more than 272,000 meals during the three-day event.
That represents one full shipping container that can be shipped overseas.
Packing that many meals means they’ll need more than 1,300 volunteers. In addition, the committee must raise just shy of $60,000 to pay for meals, which cost 22 cents to produce.
Thus far, more than $20,000 has been raised towards that cost. In addition, Banks said they have a donor who will match $10,000 when the next $10,000 is raised.
Banks said contributions can be made either online or by mail.
Online, people can go to www.fmsc.org to donate, notating the event # 1407-77 when they make the donation.
He said checks can be mailed to FMSC, PO Box 1232, Imperial, NE 69033. Checks should be made out to FMSC Event # 1407-77.
He reminded people FMSC is a charitable organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and all gifts are tax-deductible.
1.5 million meals
This year’s number of meals, combined with meals packed during the first three years, will bring the total number of meals packed in Imperial to 1.5 million.
Banks said the support for the program has been overwhelming, much of which comes from the tri-state area of Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.
He said they decided this year’s packing goal wouldn’t be as aggressive as the last two years. In 2012 and 2013, more than 520,000 meals were packed at each event.
Banks said it just felt like the timing was right to re-adjust the annual goal that will provide a breather of sorts for the effort.
Regardless of what the goal is, Banks said, “We’re feeding kids that have nothing. We can make a difference.”
Banks said two of his committee members will be moving from Imperial soon. As a result, he’s looking for others interested in helping him perpetuate the annual event.
One of the biggest gaps in committee efforts centers on scheduling and communicating with volunteers.
Banks said people can volunteer for time slots online but the committee handles lots of calls from people and organizations wanting to volunteer.
He’s especially looking for someone willing to assist with those communications and help set up scheduling.
People wanting more information about FMSC or wanting to assist on the committee can contact Banks at 308-883-0397 or leave a message at 308-883-0104.