by Tim Patterson, Mission Committee Vice-Chair
My first experience with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) was in 2013. I was a member of the WHPC Mission Team, and we were approached about having FMSC be our Christmas Eve offering. Specifically, we were asked to fund a Mobile Packing Event, with two packing sessions to produce over 100,000 meals. We said yes, and our church ended up funding the entire event.
I wanted my family involved in the packing session, so we signed up. My wife and I and our 10-year-old daughter loved the idea of being part of an event that would provide food to children in need and feed them for an entire year.
Being part of the Mission Team, I got to see all the behind-the-scenes activities. It was amazing to watch how organized and efficient the FMSC team is that brings in the raw ingredients, packing stations, and materials to package the food. We helped them set everything up on Friday night, preparing for the two packing sessions on Saturday. Even as I helped stage everything we would need, I still had no idea of how this would work and how we could pack 50,000 meals in just two hours.
My family and I arrived Saturday morning. Our shift started in the Dining Hall with a brief orientation about FMSC and how the packing process works. We learned about the different roles and that many hands would make the work light!
When it was time to pack, we entered the Gym, joined our team, and settled into our station. Taking a small plastic pouch, someone would add a scoop of rice, then a scoop of soy, followed by scoops of dehydrated vegetables, vitamins and minerals. Another volunteer would weigh it and pass it along to be sealed and placed in the shipping box. Meanwhile, volunteers were swirling around you, replenishing raw materials and hauling off completed boxes. The best part of finishing a box was joining your team in a table cheer, letting everyone know you packed an entire box of meals.
When the last box was closed, we went back to the Dining Hall to be given a final count. We were reminded of Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 25:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.” We prayed over one of the boxes packed that day, blessing the food to the nourishment of whomever it might reach.
I have participated every year since then, and I can tell you: you and your family will never forget this experience. It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to contribute to feeding people in dire need, whether due to natural disaster, social unrest, persecution, or extreme poverty. If you haven’t signed up yet, I highly encourage you to do so.
If you’d like to help pack, set up or clean up, sign up here. Volunteers are especially needed for the 4:00-6:00 p.m. shift and clean up.
Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”