By TRICIA HILL
Did you know that 6.9 million children under the age of 5 are dying every year in developing countries? One-third of these deaths are caused by malnutrition and hunger-related diseases. The number of children who die each day from hunger worldwide is still at 6,200, but has dropped from the 18,000 it was at in 1990.
The reduction in numbers of deaths has been partly due to the number of volunteers who help out ever year at nationwide MobilePack events through the Feed My Starving Children organization. Last week, Boscobel hosted their third MobilePack since they started in 2011. Last year, Boscobel packed 116,000 meals and there was a total of 190 million packed in the year 2013 nationwide.
The MobilePack in Boscobel started on Thursday, April 3 at the fire station and lasted until Saturday, April 5. Prior to the beginning of packing, the goal was to pack a total of 100,000 meals within the three days. However, during six sessions, volunteers packed 116,640 meals.
“This means we provided 319 children with one meal a day for an entire year,” organizer Sandra Schwab said. “We had 80 volunteers for every pack session working and it was a terrific response.”
Each meal that was packed cost 22 cents to produce. Now, Schwab would like to challenge Boscobel to raise $25,660 to help pay for the meals.
Helping at last week’s MobilePack held were Feed My Starving Children representatives Nikki Larson, Casey Randall and Peter Pak from the Chicago area.
Larson has been working with Feed My Starving Children for almost two years and has been able to bring thousands of people together to help make a difference.
“I enjoy the opportunity to engage locally and globally with new people,” Larson said.
The volunteers were packing MannaPacks, at the MobilePack that will be delivered all over the world to help starving children.
The original MannaPack is an all-vegetarian rice meal and is used to quickly reverse and prevent malnutrition. The meal is packed with 20 vitamins and minerals, dried rice, vegetables and soy protein. The mixture of these items is designed to help provide nutrition for a child to grow and thrive.
“We now have amount the starving children going down and the number of hungry children going up,” Larson said. “The focus now is to get the hungry kids where they can be thriving and fed.”
Recently, there have been two new MannaPack’s introduced, including Potato-D and Potato-W. Potato-D is used to help manage diarrhea, while Potato-W is for toddlers at high risk at the age of 7-12 months.
Boscobel’s sixth grade students participated in the MobilePack on Friday as part of their two community service projects they take part in every year.
“The students really seem to enjoy it, as many are already planning on helping out next year,” Schwab said. “I think this helps put students in the mindset of volunteering.”
Schwab said she would encourage other area communitiess to host a MobilePack, but she does not see Boscobel’s team giving up their post anytime in the near future. Plans are already being made for the 2015 MobilePack.
Between the total of five years that the MobilePack has been hosted both in Fennimore (2) and Boscobel (3) about half a million meals have been packed.
For more information, contact Schwab at 375-5546.