Feed My Starving Children is touted as a efficient and worldly charity that has another thing going for its volunteers — it’s fun, too.

It’s an organization that has roots dug into the Midwest but the branches of influence spread across the world, specifically to impoverished countries that struggle with getting residents enough nutrition. That is where Feed My Starving Children comes in.

Volunteers, like the seventh-grade Altadeña students who visited the Tempe location, 7965 S. Priest Drive, on Friday, come in, throw on a hair net and get to work. It’s like an assembly line of efficiency and nutrition. Ingredients — rice, soy nuggets, dehydrated vegetables, and a packet of vitamins and minerals — are combined into bags, then put into boxes, and shipped to countries like Haiti, North Korea and the Philippines.

On May 4 dozens of seventh-graders from Altadeña Middle School, after raising $11,500, packed 119 boxes over the course of two, two-hour packing session. Those boxes add up to 25,704 individual meals.

“The best part about (FMSC) is it’s kids feeding and helping other kids,” said Janine Skinner, site director of the Tempe location. “This is a great way for families to have fun together, you’re indoors during the summer, and you get to legitimately help people who need it most.”

This is the fourth year that Altadeña students have raised money and turned it into a packing session. They raise the money through volunteering at concession stands for events like Concert in the Park, and they went around to neighbors and family friends asking for donations.

“It’s great knowing we can feed some children,” student Kathryn Shirley said.

Skinner said that because the summer months are coming, that means less school input. But it also opens the opportunity for community members to volunteer. During the school year, they were booked months in advance for any packing session, a tribute to how much fun it can be, she said.

A donation of about $50 translates to one box of food, which is the equivalent of 216 meals. While donations are not required to sign up for a packing session, Skinner said it is definitely encouraged.

To find out more on how to sign up, call (480) 626-1970 or visit www.fmsc.org and click on “Tempe” under the “Locations” tab.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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