NAPPANEE — For the fourth year in a row, a mobile food packing facility, manned by thousands of excited volunteers of all ages, has been set up at Nappanee Missionary Church.
Church officials partnered with Feed My Starving Children, an organization that lead pastor Dave Engbrecht said he fully scrutinized “with major due diligence” before choosing to partner with them.
“We think in the world of non-profits they’re tops as far as getting the food to the people with the least cost,” Engbrecht said.
Andy Carr of Feed My Starving Children said 92 percent of the donations go directly to the food.
“We count on our partners like Nappanee Missionary Church,” said Carr.
Mobile food sites raise the funds for the meals, which cost 22 cents a meal, provide the facility and recruit the volunteers—8400 volunteers will work two hour shifts over the three day event.
Those volunteers come from schools, churches, organizations and businesses in more than seven counties including Elkhart, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Marshall, Fulton, St. Joseph,
Marion, also Grant and Allen County and a church group from Kalamazoo, Mich.
“It blows my mind to watch this thing explode,” Pastor Engbrecht said.
Schools including Triton Elementary, Lakeland Christian Academy, Warsaw Community Schools, Jimtown, Bremen, Wa-Nee, Cornerstone Christian Montessori School and even smaller groups from Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne and athletic groups from Bethany High School, Grace College soccer and girl’s basketball, Middlebury swim team, wrestlers, volleyball players are all involved in this cause.
Jimtown brought the biggest group with 740 students involved.
A company in Bremen sent 275 volunteers Tuesday night and Turtle Top in New Paris sent 225, and that’s just a sampling of the five page list of volunteers involved.
“Some people take a week’s vacation to be here,” Pastor Dave said.
He said because Nappanee Missionary is a regional church the word gets around to different areas and organizations and as more people participate they spread the word. The goal this year is to package 2.2 million meals and several semi-trucks were already filled by mid-morning Wednesday.