Volunteers Pack More Than 100,000 Meals to Help Children in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 9, 2016)  – Nearly 300 starving children in Haiti will receive food every day for a year from Food For The Poor, thanks to volunteers who packed 101,088 lifesaving meals during the charity's first Join The Pack event Saturday at Advent Lutheran Church in Boca Raton.

More than 500 volunteers from businesses, churches and community organizations participated in the event, which was held in partnership with Feed My Starving Children, a Christian nonprofit organization that sends prepackaged meals to more than 70 countries.

Enough money was raised by generous donors to provide an additional 1.9 million meals that will go to needy families in countries served by Food For The Poor in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"God has given us enough. We just need to find ways to share it," said Andy Hagen, Pastor of Advent Lutheran Church. "We're looking forward to sending off the food that people need, to empower and encourage them so that they will be able to experience the abundant life Jesus Christ came to give us."

Join The Pack was presented by Payments For Change, a division of Persolvent, a leading provider of payment solutions and award-winning technology. The Minnesota-based company donates half of its profits to charity.

The top two fundraising teams were Team Daffy from Christ Church United Methodist in Fort Lauderdale and the Sunsational Division of DaVita Healthcare Partners, a large healthcare organization that provides dialysis to kidney patients throughout the country.

Wearing hairnets and circled around tables that functioned as assembly lines, volunteers watched a film about the children they would be helping. Music playing over loud speakers kept the volunteers moving as they filled plastic bags with cups of white rice and soy pellets, scoops of freeze-dried vegetables and chicken flavoring that provide critical nutrition a malnourished child needs. Cheers erupted after every box was filled.

"It was a great experience," said Donna Cleveland, who co-headed Team Daffy with Fawn Mikel. "Everyone was excited to be able to make a difference."

Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor's Executive Director, thanked volunteers and sponsors for the loving service provided to the destitute in Haiti through the charity and Feed My Starving Children. "Participants in Join The Pack are not just transforming lives, they're saving lives. Every meal is going to go to someone who is starving, to someone who may not have eaten for three days," Aloma said.

Food For The Poor and Feed My Starving Children teamed up for the first time in 2009. Seven years later, that partnership has resulted in almost 50 million meals a year for starving children and families.

Andy Carr, Feed My Starving Children's Vice President of Marketing and Development, said the food packaged is specially formulated to help malnourished children get back to health.

Once prepared with boiling water, each MannaPack provides six generous servings of nutritious food. The easy-to-make, easy-to-transport meals are an answer to countless prayers. For children in danger of starvation, these meals are like manna from heaven.

Follow this link to watch how the meals like those volunteers packed on June 4 helped a malnourished, underweight child from Guatemala come to normal weight, www.FoodForThePoor.com/jointhepack2016.

Other Join The Pack sponsors include Hormel Foods, Vitas Healthcare, Florida Community Bank, Tijuana Flats, All County Pavement Management Solutions, Sonitrol Verified Electronic Security, Goya Foods, Sparkle of Life, Florida Aquastore, Kohl's, Duffy's Sports Grill and Chick-Fil-A.

Companies and organizations who created teams included American Express, Wells Fargo Bank, QuestingHound Technology Partners, Rosarian Academy, Advent Lutheran Church, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church and Calvary Chapel of The Palm Beaches.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054