Column: FMSC inspires mountain bikers
My introduction to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) occurred a few years back on the job.
I was writing a story on the organization, which had set up a satellite meal-packaging center in the Fergus Falls mall. I was new to the area and impressed with the global outlook of those living within a semi-small Midwest community.
Since that time, I have witnessed with astonishment time and time again the impact it has had on volunteers and, undoubtedly, those on the receiving end.
I'm now proud to represent such an organization in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, as I'll be riding with the FMSC Mountain Bike Team this summer.
The series consists of mountain bike races throughout Minnesota, with individuals and teams at a number of different levels competing throughout the spring, summer and fall. Our team is able to represent FMSC, thanks to many generous sponsors and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Most people in the Perham area are familiar with the organization and its purpose (last year, the area packaged 600,000 meals within a few day period). But for those of you who aren't, here's a little background information.
Based in Minneapolis, the organization was inspired through a mission to feed God's children throughout the world.
After consulting scientists from large food-based corporations, such as Cargill and General Mills, a dried food formula - rich with nutrients crucial to battling malnutrition - was created. That formula of dried vegetables, rice and soy protein is packaged at satellite and mobile locations throughout the country. Once mixed and ready to go, the meal packages are sent to one of 70 countries the organization works with around the world.
Each bag, which consists of roughly six meals, comes at a cost of around $1.44.
FMSC took an interesting approach when it comes to distribution. Dozens of partnerships around the world allow FMSC to transport food packages to the countries it serves. Organizations located within those countries are responsible for distributing the food, which helps ensure its purpose is met. It also helps keep costs down. According to the website, 93 percent of all donations go directly toward the food program.
Now that's a cause to feel good about.
While I was already looking forward to this mountain biking season, riding for FMSC makes me anticipate this spring, summer and fall all the more. When I'm biking up a ski hill in 90 degree temperatures - or working my way down through rocky terrain - I'll at least know I'm part of something bigger than myself, and that I'm not entirely insane for taking on the course.
So, with that in mind, I say, "Bring on the mud." The season kicks off May 20 at Afton Alps in Hastings, Minn.
For more information, visit www.fmsc.org.