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April 24, 2014

Volunteers sought to pack food in Ripon

Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit program to send meal packs to orphanages and other sites where hungry children live. A Ripon church is taking on the effort and needs a few more volunteers to pack the food next weekend.

Heartland Community Church in Ripon is a small congregation with a big heart. It took on the task of sponsoring a program called Feed My Starving Children, which sends packets of nutritious dry food around the world to orphanages, health clinics, schools and relief centers.

The program has two parts for participating churches. First, church members reach out to businesses and individuals to raise money to pay for the food. Then, when the pallets of dried food are trucked to the church, hundreds of individuals, families and groups come together to put the food into meal packets, with each meal – similar to a stew, when cooked – serving six people.

The church raised enough money for 17,000 packets, which will feed 100,000 children. It could use a few more volunteers to work two-hour shifts next weekend to assemble those packets. Specifically, volunteers are needed for the 6 to 8 p.m. shift May 2 and the 9 to 11 a.m. shift May 3.

“The response has been awesome,” said Megan Riddle, who is overseeing the sign-ups for 500 volunteers. A third shift May 3 has been filled “for some time,” she said.

“We’re a very small congregation. God has really put it together,” said Cindy Perdichizzi, one of two people who formed the fundraising committee. “We were amazed at how it’s all worked out. It’s been good for our community to come together for this.”

Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis that provides the ingredients for the packets, then ships them to 70 poor countries. When reconstituted, the meals of soy, vegetables, rice and a chicken-flavored broth with vitamins and minerals turn into a nutritionally sound dinner.

The “Mobile Pack” event will be held at the Ripon Community Center, 334 W. Fourth St. Anyone ages 8 and up, or 5 to 7 with an adult, can volunteer. To sign up, go to and click on the “Volunteer Registration” button at the top left. Click the “Mobile Pack” icon, then scroll to the California section and click on Ripon. Click the “Volunteer” button at the left and then click on “Become a Volunteer” and fill out the information.

For questions, call the church at (209) 599-4233 or email

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