Campus News

Bethel students help ‘Feed My Starving Children’

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Bethel students took some time out of their schedules recently to make a worldwide impact. From 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 until 2 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, students and faculty packed boxes for “Feed My Starving Children” – an organization that seeks to fight worldwide hunger. But the story doesn’t begin there. Every year, Nappannee Missionary Church (NMC) takes one week to pack boxes for “Feed My Starving Children.” So when representatives from the church approached Janelle Crotser, director of service learning at Bethel College, she was ecstatic. So ecstatic in fact that she pledged 125 Bethel students to come and help pack boxes. In the days leading up to the event, signups still had not been filled. But in the end, the students came through. “On the buses we had 110 (people) and we had a number meet us there,” Crotser said. “All of the 125 slots that we had promised NMC were filled online so I would say we had right around that number.” When students arrived at the church, there were put into groups and given hair nets. Then everyone gathered in the auditorium to hear from “Feed My Starving Children” representatives about their mission and to hear the ground rules of the operation. Then it was off to the gym where the meals would be packed. “Feed My Starving Children” boxes are not just filled with random food items from your local grocery store. The packs are filled with rice, soy nuggets for protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as dehydrated vegetables and flavoring. The meals are called “MannaPack Rice” and they have been designed specifically to meet the nourishment needs of a starving child. When the students arrived in the gym, they were shown how to pack the meals. The students would create an assembly line where the different ingredients were first poured into the bag. Bags were then weighed to make sure they had enough food, and then sealed to make sure they would be safe for transport. Finally they were packed into boxes and taken to the “warehouse crew” where the boxes were weighed and prepared for transport. Before the group began working, they were told that they needed to pack 100,000 meals. The group (also made up of NMC students and youth leaders) worked tirelessly and actually went above and beyond the expectations. When the time came to stop packing, the group had packed over 125,000 meals. “I think that’s great that we were able to do more than they were expecting,” sophomore Luke Hoffman said. By the time the week was over, NMC had packed 2.1 million meals, and Bethel students played a major role in the effort to change lives around the world.
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