By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
There were so many volunteers at the fourth annual Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) MobilePack™ event in Imperial last weekend that more meals for hungry children could have been packaged if supplies had been available.
Coordinator Dick Banks said 830 volunteers packed 272,160 meals for hungry children worldwide during the three-day event July 24-26 at Crossroads Wesleyan Church.
The cost of the meals was just short of $59,875, Banks said, with donations at present close to that amount.
A $10,000 matching grant was also filled, Banks noted.
One box of meals packed, costing $47.52, provides 216 meals to hungry children.
The meals were packed by volunteers in shifts of anywhere from 44 to 112, Banks said. A group from Estes Park, Colo., which has participated before, comes from the farthest away, according to Banks. Groups from McCook, Sidney, Wallace and Goodland, Kan., also traveled to Imperial for the event.
“That’s the thing that’s really unique,” Banks noted. “Anywhere from 50 to 65 percent of the people come from out of town. That’s how we’re reaching out to other communities.
“Most of our volunteers have been here every year. We’re becoming a very large family,” he said.
Banks also noted that the volunteers range from the very young packing the meals to the older people putting on labels or supplying cookies.
The 272,000 meal goal for the 2014 event was downsized from the 500,000 meal goal the last two years, Banks said. He made the decision to downsize to a three-day event because of “the downturn of the farm economy, I lost some committee members and I’ve seen some fatigue from a five-day event.”
Banks believes this year’s goal “fits our community size real good.”
It was a “phenomenal event,” Banks enthused. He thanks the community for its support, both in packaging food and for generous donations.
Any donations still to be made may be sent by going to www.fmsc.org. Any extra money will be used at next summer’s event, Banks said.
FMSC is sponsored by Southwest Nebraska Meals for God’s Children.