COVID-19 Updates

Packing Status

All packing sites will be closed March 16 through July 31.

All MobilePack™ events scheduled for March 16 through July 31 have been postponed.

Volunteers cannot pack meals right now, but you can help fund alternative packing solutions.

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"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." — Isaiah 41:10

The health and safety of our communities and staff is of utmost importance to us. We are closely monitoring federal, state and local health guidelines and will provide updates here as information changes.

Here's what you need to know at this time:

  • We are praying for you, your family and friends for health and protection in this storm. We will get through this difficult period together. We know God is leading the way.
  • Kids still need to be fed. We are exploring a number of alternative solutions and methods to pack meals.
  • Our partners have asked us for more food. Your financial support allows us to continue to feed God’s kids. Give now
  • The recently passed CARES Act created new tax benefits for 2020 charitable donations. Learn more

Update: May 7, 2020: FMSC Expands Alternative Packing Solutions

On March 16, for the safety of our volunteers and staff, and in accordance with government guidelines, we made the difficult decision to pause volunteer packing at all FMSC sites and MobilePack™ events.

In the weeks since, we have worked diligently to implement alternative packing solutions to allow some meals to continue to be shipped to partners in urgent need.

Bulk machine packing

Only nine days after pausing volunteer packing, we launched our first alternative packing solution – a partnership with our vitamin supplier, Karlsburger Foods, Inc., to machine pack meals in bulk. Read more about this partnership

To date, Karlsburger Foods has produced about 6 million meals. Shipments are on their way to Haiti, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso and El Salvador.

Only 51 days after stopping volunteer packing, meals have been packed, shipped, cleared customs and arrived at FMSC food partner Love A Child’s warehouse in Haiti. This is a MIRACLE!

Meals arriving at FMSC Food Partner Love A Child in Haiti

Hand packing

On April 23, we completed our first day of packing meals at the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Faribault. In the first day and a half, 34,128 meals were packed. Moving forward, offenders housed at the facility will take part in 9 shifts each week, using a special linear packing setup that allows for social distancing.

Incarcerated individuals packing FMSC meals at a correctional facility

For several years, FMSC has been partnering with correctional facilities to feed God’s kids and feed the spirits of incarcerated individuals. Read more

New machine packing

We’ve reached agreements with two companies, one in Minnesota and one in Utah, to machine pack one-kilogram (2.2 pounds) bags. Each of these bags holds about fifteen meals, compared to six meals for each of our standard hand-packed bags. These meals will go into production in the coming weeks.

We celebrate progress, but challenges remain.

We have committed to using these alternative methods to pack about 15 million meals per month for the next three months. This is about half of what our volunteers pack each month. And each of these meals costs about five cents more per meal than volunteer packed meals. This will cost an additional $2.2 million more than volunteer packed meals over the next three months.

At the same time, the World Food Programme estimates that COVID-19’s global impact will double the number of people experiencing severe hunger to 265 million in 2020.

We have seen God’s faithfulness through this difficult season and we are humbled by the generosity of FMSC’s community of supporters. We continue to ask for your partnership.

Update: May 5, 2020

CARES Act Creates Tax Benefit in Response to COVID-19

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law March 27, 2020, creates a special tax benefit for charitable donors.

The new law creates a 2020 tax deduction of up to $300 in annual charitable contributions made by an eligible taxpayer. This is available only to people who take the standard deduction, and it is an “above the line” deduction, meaning it reduces a donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI), and therefore reduces taxable income.

For those who itemize, deduction caps have been lifted to 100% of AGI for individuals and joint filers and 25% for corporations. (These changes do not apply to Donor Advised Funds.)

Note: A previous version of this material stated the deduction was $300 per individual and $600 per couple filing jointly. The law does not say whether the cap will be doubled for couples filing jointly.

Disclaimer: This material is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult with your tax professional before acting on the information here.

Update: April 8, 2020 10:00 a.m. CDT

An Update From Our CEO

Dear Friends,

As we have stepped out in faith to find new ways to pack meals, we also must make additional decisions for the safety of our staff, volunteers and donors. And as faithful financial stewards, ensure each generous gift you bless us with goes to feed as many kids as possible.

For the safety of our employees and volunteers, Feed My Starving Children paused all volunteer packing at our permanent sites and MobilePack™ events on March 15. We have made the decision to suspend volunteer packing through July 31. Our sites will be closed to the public during this time.

FMSC committed to fully paying our staff from the day we closed through April 12 to sustain our staff family through the initial weeks of COVID-19 related uncertainty. As the negative impacts stretched longer, we made some difficult decisions to protect our mission of feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit.

We will be furloughing many of our staff. Most of these positions are on the manufacturing team that supported our volunteer operations. Additional positions will be reduced in hours and pay accordingly, with the executive staff taking a 20% pay cut. During this time FMSC will continue to provide health and other benefits to those impacted. We pray for those furloughed that we can welcome them back as soon as possible.

Friends, this is the most difficult year many of us have faced in our lifetime. It is one of the most difficult years I have faced as a leader. We are in constant prayer looking to the great Healer for guidance and wisdom as we navigate through this violent storm.

As we are assured by God, please be assured we will not rest. He calls us to continue to seek alternative ways to produce meals. We have already begun a bulk meal packing solution with an outside vendor. We are pursuing additional machine packing options as a short term solution. We ask for your prayers and donations to support these alternative methods of providing meals.

Together, we will continue to feed His kids and care for our staff, family and friends during this challenging time. We are not alone.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

In prayer,

Mark Crea
Executive Director/CEO

Update: March 30, 2020 4:00 p.m. CDT

An Interim Packing Solution

Even though our packing rooms are closed, we're committed to making sure kids around the world get the nutrition they need. We have weathered hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and more. This crisis will not stop us from getting food to our partners.

Working with Karlsburger Foods Inc., a long-term food supplier who produces the vitamin powder in our MannaPack meals, we developed an interim solution to continue bulk packing using machines. Meals are on their way to kids. We rejoice in the Lord.

While machine production is more expensive, it allows us to answer God's call to feed His kids. We continue to explore many more meal packing options to fill the urgent need for food.

As always, we ask for your prayers and support. FMSC is praying for you and your loved ones.

Hear more about this approach from our CEO and our VP of marketing and development.

Update: March 27, 2020: A Reminder of Hope

In the midst of challenging times, it is easy to lose sight of hope. But hope perseveres.

Though volunteers aren’t able to pack meals right now, kids are being fed. As of March 25, there were 92 million meals in transit to our partners!

One partner, Church of Bible Understanding in Haiti, received a container this week. They told us, “As soon as we got the container out, we distributed food to nine orphanages that needed food right away.”

A container of FMSC meals being unloaded

Even through the storms, God is good.

 

Update: March 19, 2020 1:00 p.m. CDT

An update on our 2020 Illinois Gala

For the safety of guests, sponsors, donors and staff, our Illinois Gala scheduled for May 2, 2020 gala has been canceled. Please watch for information as we determine how to best offer an alternate experience. Our desire is to honor our supporters and raise funds that are still desperately needed to provide an uninterrupted source of nutrition to our partners and the precious children they serve.

An update from our CEO and VP of Marketing and Development

Mark Crea, Executive Director and CEO and Andy Carr, VP of Marketing and Development, share an update on the situation and what you can do to help.

As always, if you have questions, please email us at info@fmsc.org.

Update: March 16, 2020 5:00 p.m. CDT

Feed My Starving Children continues to closely monitor the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and respond in step with the recommendations of federal and state authorities. As we announced previously, we have taken the unprecedented step of pausing our normal meal packing activities at our permanent sites.

As of today, March 16, we are closing all packing sites through Sunday, April 12. This extends the previously announced 3-day closure. All MobilePack™ events scheduled for March 16 through April 12 remain postponed. This will give us additional time to evaluate our options and to monitor and adapt to the ever-evolving situation.

We recognize gravity of this situation for those who rely on FMSC meals and we lift up those children and their families in prayer. We ask for God's help and wisdom in this global health crisis.

What can you do to help?

Pray. We ask you to join us in prayer for the health of FMSC's volunteers, supporters, staff, partners and most importantly those who rely on FMSC meals.

Give. Please consider donating. We cannot pack meals right now, but you can help fund them so they can be packed at a later date. Give now

Shop MarketPlace online. You can shop FMSC MarketPlace™ from wherever you are, and you’ll support artisans while funding meals for kids at the same time. Shop now

If you find yourself doing a lot of online shopping on Amazon in this season, did you know you can have Amazon donate a portion of the sales to FMSC? Simply go to smile.amazon.com and choose Feed My Starving Children as your selected nonprofit, then shop as usual.

As always, if you have questions, please email us at info@fmsc.org.

March 13, 2020: A Note from Our CEO Regarding COVID-19

Dear Friends of Feed My Starving Children,

In response to the COVID-19 recommendations from federal and state authorities, Feed My Starving Children has made the unprecedented decision to pause our normal meal packing activities at our permanent sites.

All packing sites will be closed Monday-Wednesday, March 16-18. All MobilePack™  events scheduled for March 16 through April 12 will be postponed. We will use this time to gather information, explore alternative packing solutions and find ways to safely produce FMSC meals for people in need around the world.

All packing sessions and MobilePack events scheduled through Sunday, March 15 will go on as planned.

Recognizing that this situation is fluid, we will post the latest information on this page.

I am grateful for each of you and together we will navigate the challenges we face. Our staff prays together every morning a verse chosen by our councils. I ask you pray this verse with us as we look to our Lord for guidance and wisdom.

Our God, we earnestly SEEK You. We THIRST for You.
We have seen You and behold Your power and glory.
Our lips will GLORIFY You. We PRAISE You!
We CLING to You as Your right hand upholds FMSC.
We REJOICE.

Prayer based on Psalm 63

If you have questions, please email us at info@fmsc.org. 

May God bless you,

Mark Crea
Executive Director/CEO