Keeping hunger in spotlight
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News June 20, 2012 2:00PM
Bobby Lark and Katie Stellwagen (back) and Ben Cosgrove (front) scoop the ingredients into a funnel to make the Mannapack Rice packs. Each bag of dried ingredients will make six meals for hungry children. | submitted photo
How to help
What: L.A.M.P. Benefit Day at McDonalds
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: McDonalds, 600 W. Maple Road, New Lenox
What: McDonalds will donate 10 percent of sales that day to L.A.M.P.
Contact: Barb Stellwagen at LAMPfmsc@comcast.net
Updated: July 23, 2012 6:35AM
NEW LENOX — Betty Maue and her family were clearing some trees from their land when a man stopped and asked if he could buy some firewood. Maue agreed, but only if he would write a check for Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization that packs and ships meals to hungry children all over the world.
On Aug. 10 and 11, a FMSC “MobilePack” will be at Lincoln-Way West High School. Between now and then, organizers are hoping to raise $24,000 to pack 110,000, 22-cent meals.
However, Maue and her family didn’t stop fundraising efforts there. They chopped and sold more wood, weeded gardens and will host a garage sale July 13 and 14 in Homer Glen. So far, the Maues have raised $2,000.
“My husband, who’s retired, does some carpet stretching on the side,” Maue said. “He’s suggested to people that, instead of paying him, they write a check to Feed My Starving Children.”
The FMSC concept is simple. After consulting with scientists from such companies as Cargill and General Mills, FMSC developed its signature MannaPackRice. This consists of rice, soy nuggets, dehydrated vegetables, vegetable flavoring and vitamins and minerals appropriate for children, all packaged in small pouches.
Just one bag provides a meal apiece for six children and costs only $1.32 to produce; 93 percent of donations to FMSC are allocated to the food program. In addition to FMSC’s permanent packing locations, various groups host MobilePack events all over the country. In 2010, more than 150,000 volunteers packed more than 32 million meals.
To host such an event, the group must commit to packing at least 100,000 meals. And that’s just the opportunity Barb Stellwagen of New Lenox, a volunteer at the FMSC permanent packing site in Aurora, wanted to offer the community. So she initiated the Lincolnway Area MobilePack (www.lampevent.org).
“People won’t believe the impact they can have on children in just a short, two-hour packing session,” Stellwagen said. “After watching a short, informational video, everyone gets a specific job and it runs very smoothly. Everyone likes to pack. It’s a fun atmosphere.”
About 500 volunteers will be needed during the four packing sessions over two days. Volunteers will be solicited from among the individuals and organizations financially partnering with the event.
“We would love for community organizations and individuals to come together to raise the funds to cover the cost of the ingredients and to pack the food,” Stellwagen said. “Volunteers must be registered to pack at the event.”
Additional upcoming events to raise the remainder of the $24,000 include a concert on July 13 at Lincolnway Christian Church in New Lenox, a benefit table at the French Market in New Lenox on June 30 and a golf outing on Aug. 4 at Woodbine Golf Course in Homer Glen.
“People are really excited about the project and are getting behind it,” Stellwagen said. “Eighteen thousand children die every day of starvation and we just want to do our small part to help feed desperately hungry children.”
For more information on fundraising, volunteering and upcoming events, email Stellwagen at LAMPfmsc@comcast.net. To donate or support the July 13 and 14 garage sale, contact Maue at 815-600-4865. Concert information: Sue Olson 708-764-7681. Golf outing information: Larry DeSando 815-351-8378.