Churches set to pack 1 millionth meal

The 2013 Feed the Need brought together more than 10 churches packing more than 450,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children.  |  Photos submitted by Les May
The 2013 Feed the Need brought together more than 10 churches packing more than 450,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children. | Photos submitted by Les May
At a Glance Volunteers will gather for the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event Feb. 14-16 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1310 Shepherd Drive in Naperville. Volunteer opportunities may still be available on a limited basis. To learn more, visit www.FeedTheNeedNaperville.org. Feed My Starving Children also will bring their Marketplace, which sells goods made by people living in the countries they serve.

The ultimate goal is “one weekend, 1 million meals,” and each year, the dream gets closer to becoming a reality. This year just might be the one.

From Feb. 14 through 16, about 2,500 residents will pack more than 520,000 meals during the third annual Feed My Starving Children Feed The Need event.

FMSC’s MobilePack will come to the church. The meals are then shipped to hungry children throughout the world.

“Our mission is to feed the forgotten and turn hunger into hope,” said Robert Huebner, a lay minister of St. Timothy Lutheran Church.

Huebner, along with Les May of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, are the founders and primary coordinators of the Feed the Need event.

The original event in 2011 included volunteers from four Naperville Lutheran churches packing 179,000 meals. The next year, the event drew volunteers from 10 churches packing 454,000 meals. This year, the volunteers will represent more than 13 churches in addition to several high schools and civic organizations.

At the conclusion of this Feed the Need, “we will have exceeded more than 1.1 million meals,” said Huebner.

“This equates to feeding more than 3,090 children for a full year, a meal scientifically formulated for people who are malnourished and in salvation mode.”

To bring the MobilePack on site, FMSC requires a minimum fee of $100,000 to pay for the meals packed.

“A lot of churches can’t afford this on their own,” May said.

Inviting the community and pooling many church resources makes it possible, he said.

“We always looked at this as a grassroots effort led and organized by churches, but with the idea of opening it up to the community as much as possible,” May said.

“With Naperville and its surrounding communities’ population and with our continued outreach to other churches and organizations, together we can make this a 1 million meals, one weekend event.”

Participating churches include Alleluia Lutheran Church, Community United Methodist Church, First Church Christ Scientist, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Grace Pointe Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Ismaili Jamatkhana, Knox Presbyterian Church, Naperville Bahai Congregation, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, Trinity Church of the Nazarene and Unity Church of Naperville. There also will be students from Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools.

Local groups and businesses providing financial support include Bank of America, Naperville Noon’s Lions Club, Naperville Rotary, Cantera Financial Associates and Edward Jones, among others.

At a Glance Volunteers will gather for the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event Feb. 14-16 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1310 Shepherd Drive in Naperville. Volunteer opportunities may still be available on a limited basis. To learn more, visit www.FeedTheNeedNaperville.org. Feed My Starving Children also will bring their Marketplace, which sells goods made by people living in the countries they serve.

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