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My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

-I John 3:18

Many of us long to make a positive and lasting impact on those around us, desiring to do something practical and meaningful to serve our fellow human beings in need.

Feed My Starving Children is a 25-year-old Christian charity, determined to stamp out hunger by feeding one child at a time with life-changing, nutritious food.  Partnering with charities like Kids Feeding Kids and neighborhood volunteers, over the last two and a half decades they have saved lives and human potential in almost 70 countries worldwide helping the needy without regard to background, race, or religion.

When Zeynep Kariparduc of Pacifica Utah’s Talk In Action learned this remarkable charity was coming to Utah for a food packing rally, she coordinated with Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable mustering volunteers to help.  Over five dozen of us answered the call to help and most of us worked the fourth and final shift of the two day of the event in Jordan, Utah.

When we arrived Saturday afternoon we learned that every day 6,200 children around the world die of starvation – a heartrending tragedy of regular occurrence.  Our Talk In Action volunteers – Christians and Muslims, men and women, college and high school students, grandmas and young children – came to work on two different shifts, 50 of whom were with us.  Our youngest team member was a remarkable girl of five, and the event coordinators were able to find jobs for each and every volunteer.

We split into crews to work at several packaging stations, taking turns scooping ingredients into food bags (called “Manna Packs”) engineered to be easy to prepare and provide all the nutrition necessary for the healthy development of children, six meals at a time.  The Manna Packs were assembled with a scoop of vitamin powder, a scoop each of dehydrated soy protein and freeze-dried vegetables, and a big scoop of rice.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

– Buddha

Measuring ingredients into bags, checking each one for optimum weight, packing them into boxes for shipping, and following all FDA guidelines each step of the way sounds like a dry and boring challenge – but all of us enjoyed ourselves as we chatted with each other, cheering as each box was filled with 216 meals while fun music played over the sound system.

The goal was to pack and ship 150,000 meals over two days – our Talk In Action crew made up a third of the last shift, and we helped pack over 34,000 meals – pushing the total to over 171,000 meals for the event!  Then we watched as the boxes were mounted onto pallets, placed into trucks, and we then joined in prayer for the welfare of all those receiving this life-saving cargo.

At the cost of less than a quarter per meal, children’s lives are being dramatically changed for the better all over the world.  In less than six months, a child on the verge of dying by malnutrition or starvation can be healed through the miraculous nutritional science of these carefully engineered Manna Packs.  All of us with Talk In Action felt a surge of gratitude for our own blessings and the truly wonderful opportunity to help so many, many children all around the world – it was exciting to be a part of such a diverse and marvelous group of dedicated volunteers.

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