Thursday, January 27, 2011

Traveling Bag for a Cause

Elaina & me in our FMSC t-shirts.

I briefly mentioned last week that I had spent an evening volunteering at the distribution center for Feed My Starving Children.  This marked my 3rd time there (1st, 2nd).  Every time I go, I'm amazed at what is accomplished in a single session. They operate 3 volunteer packaging sessions per day, 6 days per week, in 6 US facilities.  Here's how it works:

From its beginnings, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) has worked to develop a food mixture that would be easy and safe to transport, simple to make with only boiling water, and culturally acceptable worldwide.

With the input of scientists from major food companies in the Twin Cities area—including Cargill and General Mills—FMSC developed MannaPackTM-Rice, a formula consisting of:

1. Rice, the most widely accepted grain around the world.
2. Extruded soy nuggets, providing maximum protein at lowest cost.
3. Vitamins, minerals and a vegetarian chicken flavoring to give growing children the critical nutritional elements they need.
4. Dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition.

Packaged in small pouches—each of which provides six highly nutritious meals—this easy-to-prepare food blend has won rave reviews all over the world. While the formula was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation. A team of food scientists continues to monitor the FMSC formula to ensure that it meets nutritional needs for the world’s hungry children.

A single bag of food—which provides meals for six children—costs around $1.15 to produce, and 94 percent of all donations to FMSC goes directly toward the food program.  (source)

That last line is what makes FMSC stand apart from other organizations:  94% goes directly toward the food program.  Most of the staff are volunteers and they don't spend any money on advertising.  They squeeze every penny (literally! they will take your pennies!), just so one more child can be fed a nutritious meal and survive another day.

At the end of the packaging session on Wednesday, we had packed 39 boxes, enough to feed 23 children for 1 year.   They asked us to be their advertising - spread the word!  And for a split second, I actually pondered how I might do that.  And then the light bulb went on:

Jill, you have blog.  Duh.

But this goes beyond me.  This involves you, my fellow bloggers.  Remember in this post when I said I wanted to do a traveling item, but with a charity in mind?  This is it.

I purchased this tote bag for $35 from the FMSC Marketplace.  It represents approximately 35 life-saving meals for a starving child.  And I want to share it.

Made by Lindiwe Shabaugu in rural Swaziland.

So, let's see how YOU style this bag.  Here are the rules:

1.  Email me [spoilsofwear(at)gmail(dot)com] before noon tomorrow (1/28/11, central time).  Please include your name, blog url, and mailing address in your email.  You do NOT have to be a "fashion" blogger, just be willing to:
2.  Post a head-to-toe outfit picture of yourself with the bag.
3.  Link in your post.
4.  Mail the bag to the next recipient.

I'll post my bag/outfit post next week and have it in the mail to the next recipient ASAP.  Please be patient.  It may be a few days before I can respond to your email.  Thank you for helping me to be the advertising for this incredible organization.


Laney said...

I'm so glad you're doing this. It's such a great charity.

Melissa said...

What an ingenious idea. This is so creative and I can't wait to see all of the entries!

Kimberly said...

Amazing organization and awesome idea! Email sent - I am in!

Rebecca said...

That is a great idea. Good for you for doing this.

silvergirl said...

super idea
just emailed you my info

KT said...

Jill - Great idea and I love that you are using your blog and the blogger community to promote such a great cause. Too bad I missed the deadline to get my name in the mix. - Katy

viaam said...

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

Traveling bags