The Anamoose-Drake School was full of people on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday when hundreds of volunteers showed up to pack meals for a Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) project. Volunteers came from as far as Powers Lake and Fargo: the equivalent of 568 volunteers with some working several 2 hour shifts.
Four 2 hour shifts of 120 people each shift filled bags with food at stations set up throughout the gym. Two people alternated putting the bags under large funnel. The first ingredient was 1 tbsp. of a golden fine powder that was a combination of 20 vitamins. Next was my job: putting in 1 tbsp dehydrated potatoes and carrots. This was followed with 1 cup soy and 1 cup rice The bags were then weighed and more or less rice added as needed. The bags were sealed and placed into boxes of 36 bags each. Each bag supplies 6 meals for starving children. The boxes of food are shipped to over 70 countries.
The idea of doing the project started with Kailey Lemer, a senior at Drake-Anamoose High School. Kailey became interested in the FMSC project when she heard that her aunt helped with the project at her church in Beulah Kailey belongs to the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) who were interested in doing a large project. Kailey and Joan Birdsell, Computer and Business teacher, organized the project and the FBLA students helped on Friday and Saturday.
Over $25,000 was also raised to pay for the ingredients which cost 22 cents per bag. To raise money, letters were sent to churches and organizations; a Christmas concert and a spaghetti supper were held; and presentations were given at 10 churches to let people know about the project. The goal of 100,000 meals was exceeded to a whopping 108,864.
FMSC is a nonprofit organization that is based in Minneapolis, MN. A semi truck brought 3 workers, and all the supplies and equipment. One of the workers presented a video and some information about the food project. We learned from the video that nutrition is a huge factor in academic success; medical problems drop significantly when children are fed and 90% of the donations go to paying for the food, with 5% overhead and 5% fundraising.
At noon the Nu Alpha Homemakers from Anamoose served sloppy joys, salads, chips and desserts to the FBLA students.
I thought this was an excellent way to get young people-and old people like me-involved in volunteer work. The project was very well-organized thanks to Kailey and Joan.