An early plea to address world hunger outlines actions area people can take to actually get nutritious food into the hands of suffering people worldwide. Sue Hamilton and the Rev. Gerald Roise invited the Minot Kiwanis Club to participate again in a "Feed My Starving Children Mobilepack," a repeat of a successful effort in 2010.
The Minneapolis-based Christian non-profit group helped more than 1,600 North Dakota volunteers prepare more than 300,000 meals which were delivered to over 60 countries around the globe.
At this year's event, set for Nov. 23, the sponsors hope to package 500,000 meals. Nearly 70 countries will benefit.
Pat Hamilton, left, and the Rev. Gerald Roise showed one of the packages of dehydrated meals to be packaged in Minot for distribution to people starving in more than 70 countries.
With repeat chairman Roise and assistant chairpersons Jim and Verla Rostad at the helm, Hamilton anticipates an even more successful operation.
"Minot's last effort was one of the most smoothly run efforts they have seen," Hamilton, a committee member, said. The handful of volunteers the national group sent from Minneapolis to bring food and equipment to Minot for the 2010 packing day were impressed with the organization and enthusiasm, as more than 30 area congregations sent adult and very young helpers.
"With the increased number of packages we hope to make, we have moved to the State Fair Center for a larger space and easier parking for volunteers," Hamilton said.
She explained that teams of eight people will work two-hour shifts to bag rice, vegetables, soy products and vitamins in a scientifically formulated mixture designed for malnourished children. The dried meals, six to a package, are distributed through missionaries, clinics and others who are embedded in the regions to be served, which ensures food is not wasted or misused.
Hamilton urged churches, schools, businesses and individuals to seek information on Feed My Starving Children and form teams to schedule volunteers and collect funds to pay for food. She noted FMSC is highly commended for good use of both collected funds and volunteer time. The national group, formed more than 30 years ago, has three full-time packing facilities in Minneapolis and Chicago.
"This mobilepack idea has grown in popularity as FMSC recognizes that many people want to help but are unable to travel to the cities to do so," Roise said.
He said some families made a team by bringing in relatives who live at a distance to make up a team. Team T-shirts and names can add to the fun, Hamilton said, but just getting to Minot to feed starving children around the world is the major goal.
Teams are asked to raise about $400 each to pay costs, he said, but, since some people are able to help with costs but unable to work, no one should be discouraged from joining the effort.
"We had many volunteers from the Stanley-Tioga area in 2010," Hamilton said. "This year we want to extend that area, especially into the communities around Bottineau." She said FMSC is non-denominational and a church connection is not required.
In addition to people who package food, FMSC needs people for warehouse work, directing volunteers and other jobs.
Other committee leaders include Andy Bertsch, Ada and Bob Lower, Heather Ellis, Priscilla May, Vince Grilley, Lynn and Marlene Grabow, Brandi Joiner, Jennifer Hubrig and Connie Olson.
More information is available on the Minot effort online at