It's how residents in the Lincoln Way area are showing their "spirit of giving."
At the community's request, the Christian non-profit "feed my starving children" set up a mobile packing center here at the Lincoln Way West High School in New Lenox where about 1400 volunteers work in shifts to assemble meals.
"We all need to do our part, no matter what our age, what our race, what our financial status is. You know its two hours of our time," said Christine Diorio, a volunteer.
Feed my starving children provides nutrient-rich meals to impoverished children in 70 different countries including Haiti, Kenya and Nicaragua.
These meals have vitamins, veggies, soy and rice in them. Those are our four ingredients that are really designed to not just fill a belly, but actually bring a malnourished child back to health," said Sarah Hauser of Feed my Starving Children.
Gianna Diorio, 9, began raising money even before the big day. She sold tubes of M&M's and then encouraged customers to return the tubes filled with quarters. Her efforts provided 66 extra meals.
"The kids are really hungry and really need help. So, I just want to help them and make them feel better," said Diorio.
This is the second time Barb Stellwagen has helped spearhead the effort. She convinced several churches and community groups to provide volunteer opportunities. Just one day of work will provide enough meals to feed 745 children for an entire year.
" We heard there were 6200 kids that daily around the world because of starvation, and starvation alone, said Barb Stellwagen of Lincoln-Way area Mobile Pack. "We started this because we feel like there's something we can do about it," she said.
Feed my Starving Children has three permanent facilities in the Chicago area. If you'd like to organize a volunteer packing session with your neighbors, congregation or other community group, please go to:www.fmsc.org