BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Despite the inclement weather, the Maumee community was able to pack approximately 93,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children.
After school was canceled on January 19, Maumee City Schools called on community members to fill in the shifts that would have been completed by Maumee students, and the community showed up, helping surpass the original goal of 85,000 meals.
According to Maumee Intermediate School principal Nick Neiderhouse, over the course of three days, city officials, students, residents and members of local organizations took part in the mobile pack, held at MIS.
“The purpose of an event like this is first and foremost to feed kids across the world,” said volunteer program supervisor Michelle Marks. “A secondary purpose is to bring a community together and work together for a common greater good.”
The event, which is hosted every other year at Maumee Intermediate School, was brought forward by First Pres Maumee a decade ago and has continued to bring in hundreds of volunteers each time to pack thousands of meals.
“We have continued to do this for several years, just all of us working together to make it happen,” said First Pres Maumee assistant pastor Jason Armstrong.
Volunteers go through a quick informative presentation before starting their shifts.
Once they arrive at their assigned stations, the volunteers label, weigh and package the food items.
“We have four ingredients that go into each box: vitamins, veggies, soy and rice,” Marks explained. “Soy is the primary protein source for the meals and rice is a universal grain.”
According to FMSC, one box can feed a child for up to seven months.
The boxes are then loaded up and sent off to children in need across the globe.
“This is something we’ve done for the last few years, and it integrates nicely into our mission and the school curriculum, too, which we love,” said Rotary Club of Maumee president Melissa Tansey.
Working together as a community and also helping others, locally or internationally, is a common mission for many of the volunteers.
“Our mission is to be gap-fillers, wherever we see a need, across the world or locally. We like to partner with organizations who fill in those gaps. We also like to be hands-on and work alongside each other,” Armstrong said.
Watching community members build relationships and work together toward a common goal is also one of Marks’ favorite parts, she said.
“It is the weirdest phenomenon. We are truly putting people to work, but at the end of it, everyone says they had a fun time,” Marks said.
Hundreds of children across the globe will benefit from the work done by Maumee residents, and those same residents will also have learned more about how to help prevent child hunger.
“We feel like this is a good way to teach kids about giving back, meeting people’s needs and hunger and food scarcity,” Tansey said. “The schools incorporate this into their lessons leading up to this, too.”
According to Neider-house, the students are typically a big help with the event, when school isn’t closed for inclement weather, but even on their off day, many still showed up to help pack supplies.
More information on Feed My Starving Children and how to get involved in a mobile pack can be found at fmsc.org.