Everyday there are children suffering from starvation throughout the world and to help make a difference, airmen from the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base participated Saturday in an event with Feed My Starving Children in Tempe.
“FMSC helps the fight against child starvation around the world,” said Capt. Patrick Kennedy, 309th FS chief of weapons. “FMSC targets children who are in the most severe circumstances, those suffering from severe malnutrition and threatened with death from starvation.”
Kennedy said that unfortunately a staggering 18,000 children die from starvation every day.
The Airmen from the 309th FS wanted to lower that number by helping to raise money for the cause.
“To raise funds we had a container on a desk where people could leave a donation,” Kennedy said. “There was also a voluntary donation system where anytime someone made a weapon employment error in the air they would donate.”
The 309th FS also received a few other donations from others on base.
“Sixty-nine dollars came from an airborne warning and control system crew from Tinker AFB, Okla., and our B-course donated more than $309 to the cause,” he said. “The great thing about FMSC is that 92 percent of all the donations go directly to the food program.”
After the Airmen collected the funds, they packed the meals for shipment.
“We had 17 people show up to help pack the meals which are called MannaPack,” he said. “A MannaPack is a small pouch made up of rice, dried soy protein, vitamin-packed flavoring and dehydrated vegetables.”
Five to six people can make a meal in about 30.9 seconds, Kennedy said. A single bag of food, which can feed six children, costs about $1.32 to produce.
Their efforts combined, the Airmen went above and beyond the goal.
“We made 20,736 meals in two hours along with other volunteers,” he said. “That’s enough meals to feed 56 children for a year.”
To one Airman, feeding the world’s hungry is great, but the fact that every penny really does go a long way is even greater.
“This organization is amazing in that your small works and donations make such a huge impact, since one meal costs 22 cents per child,” said Staff Sgt. Olivia Luque, 309th FS aviation resource manager.