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East Otter Tail assault on hunger

Rev. Phil Holtan, left, and Rev. Dirk Currier, members of the Perham Ministerium, display one of the food packets which will be packaged in Perham for the local "Feed My Starving Children" campaign.1 / 3
Miss Perham Karlie Miller is focusing on "Feed My Starving Children" as her platform during her reign. Her efforts include a uniquely packaged candy bar.2 / 3
All proceeds from sales of the candy will go toward the hunger-fighting campaign.3 / 3

Perham, with its many food-related industries, appreciates the importance of providing basic nutritional needs to our world.

Unfortunately, sometimes these needs are not met, especially for children. Each day, 18,000 children die from starvation.

Knowing that these children need help, Karlie Miller, Miss Perham, has made feeding them the platform for her reign. She has enlisted the help of the Perham Ministerium; together, they have organized to make this happen.

"I am thrilled that our community is getting the opportunity to share in this life-changing, gratifying event this spring," says Karlie. "I believe Perham has the chance to become a stronger, closer and a more well- rounded community. I can't wait to share with you this once-in-a-lifetime experience!"

Local churches help coordinate large-scale effort

The Ministerium, representing local churches from all denominations, has invited Feed My Starving Children, whose mission is to "give hope to the hungry," to bring a food packaging center here.

Several Perham teens have worked a day at the FMSC packing center in the Twin Cities. Using her position as Miss Perham, Karlie will lead the community in an ambitious food-packing effort March 15-17.

"This is a big undertaking for us," says Pastor Phil Holtan. "We will need 2,500-3,000 volunteers to make this work. But it will give Perham a stronger sense of community and purpose."

Mobile packaging center will roll into Perham

Feed My Starving Children will bring their mobile packaging center to the Perham Area Community Center. Friday will be an "All School Day." Every student, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, will participate in producing packets of food. The schools are enthusiastically supportive of the program. The packaging effort provides practical educational outcomes in geography, mathematics, health, science, and many other classes. Saturday, packing stations will be filled by community groups.

The Ministerium is recruiting 15-member teams from churches, community service organizations, businesses and families. Each group will work a two-hour shift that day.

Food packet ingredients developed by Minnesota scientists

The food being packed is a unique mixture which was designed specifically for severely malnourished children by Minnesota food scientists.

The package consists of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables, 20 vitamins and minerals and a vegetarian chicken flavoring. This provides six meals with all the nutrients that a child needs. The cost is modest: 17 cents a meal or about one dollar for each six-meal packet. With FMSC a dollar goes a long way: 95 cents of every dollar goes for food and transportations-only five cents covers administrative costs.

"Several of us have seen how effectively these food packets work," comments Dee Anderson. "We worked through Mission Jamaica as volunteers one week each year. One of the places we worked was an orphanage for abandoned children. The first year, the children were getting only a single meal a day. They were constantly hungry and often took food from the weaker ones. When we returned the second year, Feed My Starving Children was providing food- three meals a day. The change was amazing; the children were healthier, more active, more involved in learning. It works!"

Perham goal is to package 400,000 meals for starving kids

As with most good things, the project comes with a cost. Karlie and the Ministerium have an ambitious goal.

Each 100,000 meals packaged that weekend costs $17,000. Their dream is to package as many as 400,000 meals that weekend. The fundraising effort is only beginning, but the response has been enthusiastic. Individuals and service clubs have already contributed more than $15,000. Many people have agreed to help organize and work at the event.

"We had hoped for a good response throughout the Perham community and have been overwhelmed by the positive response. Of the dozens of people we have asked, only one said 'no' so far. Every school and club is on board; no one wants to be left out," says Pastor Phil Holtan.

Music fest with area churches to raise funds for project

Musical groups from all of Perham's churches will perform at a Community Songfest on Sunday evening, Jan. 25 at Calvary Lutheran Church. The free-will offering generated by the concert is dedicated to the Feed My Starving Children project. Local churches are also making a special financial appeal to support the March event.

This is a huge undertaking, involving most of Perham's people. Those organizing the event are optimistic. Pastor Phil is convinced that our community can do this.

"We think we can accomplish much this way for starving children, can make our own children- and adults- feel very good about what they can do for hunger," said Holtan, "and also make Perham even more united and confident of their ability to work for the common good...together."


Food packets provide nutrition boost to starving--just by adding boiling water


• Financial contributions allow FMSC to purchase ingredients

• 95% of total donations to FMSC goes directly to the feeding program

• Each meal costs only 17 cents to produce, so donations of all amounts go a long way in the fight against world hunger

Unique aspects of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)

• Food mixture was formulated by Minnesota food scientists to address the needs of children suffering from malnourishment

• Volunteers package 100% of the food

• Christian and humanitarian relief organizations partner with FMSC to deliver the food to children around the world


• Ingredients: just one cup of FMSC food per day provides the nutrients a child needs to survive and thrive

Rice: the most widely accepted grain around the world

Extruded soy nuggets: maximum protein at a low cost

20 vitamins and minerals (with vegetarian chicken flavor) - nutrition & flavor

Dehydrated vegetables, nutrition & flavor


• Just add boiling water


• Each meal costs only 17 cents to produce


• Volunteers hand-pack these life-saving meals

• More than half of FMSC volunteers are under age 18

• Volunteer process--packing bags of food in an assembly line: measuring ingredients, pouring ingredients into bags, weighing bags, sealing bags, boxing food to be shipped

Feeding partners

• Children in more than 50 countries receive FMSC food

• Worldwide Christian and humanitarian relief organizations partner with FMSC and distribute FMSC food to children in various community settings: schools, clinics, orphanages, refugee camps, feeding programs


• Permanent sites: Brooklyn Park, MN; Chanhassen, MN; Eagan, MN; Aurora, IL

• Mobile packing: nation-wide