The Feed

Stories of Feeding God's Children Hungry in Body & Spirit

FargoPack 2024: Subzero temps and an all-time record

FargoPack 2024: Subzero temps and an all-time record

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16

On Sunday, January 14, 2024, MobilePack™ staff members stood in the center of the FARGODOME, counting down the seconds until the clock hit 3:16 — a very intentional time chosen to end a record-breaking MobilePack event.

“It’s like we need a New Year’s countdown!” said Nora Beswick, Mobile Manufacturing Manager. As the clock hit 3:16, the music cut off, cups and spoons were set down, and staff members jumped, hugged and wept as they marked the end of a truly monumental event.

The Fargo MobilePack has been an important event on the FMSC calendar for years now, but this year’s event was different. The FargoPack team had a crazy idea to mark their 10th MobilePack event: a 10-million-meal goal — by far the largest event goal in MobilePack history.

For the past year, FMSC MobilePack staff and the FargoPack event host team worked tirelessly to make this event a reality. From figuring out where to house the 1.5 million pounds of ingredients needed to pack all 10 million meals, to figuring out how to properly staff a 10-day event — the details were seemingly endless.

A year’s worth of hard work came to fruition when the event kicked off January 5. Through subzero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, the people of Fargo-Moorhead showed up, determined to see FargoPack hit its lofty goal. Over the course of the 10-day event, the FARGODOME saw over 27,000 volunteers come through its doors to pack meals for kids all around the world.

aerial photo of thousands of FMSC volunteers in the FargoDome in Fargo ND

Honoring God’s number

But as the last session neared, it became clear that FargoPack would likely fall shy of its 10-million-meal target.

The day before the event was set to end, MobilePack leaders met with the event host team to make a tough call — to let go of the 10-million-meal goal and instead strive for God’s number, whatever that may be.

“Knowing there was some milestone we’d be chasing, the temptation is there to push past volunteer experience to reach a goal,” said Justin Quintana, FMSC’s Director of Mobile Manufacturing. But Justin also shared MobilePack leaders and the event hosts had “an aching in their hearts” to end the event well.

So what did that look like?

The decision was made that the event would end the next day at 3:16 p.m. — a nod to John 3:16 — no matter how close to the goal they were.

So, after 10 days, at 3:16 p.m., the tenth annual FargoPack came to a close with the largest packing session in FMSC history — a record 2,225 volunteers in a single session. And with a final meal count of 9,712,224.

Volunteers packing FMSC meals at the FargoDome in Fargo ND

Only God

You won’t find anyone saying “only 9.7 million meals were packed.”

Dave Gunnlaugsson, FMSC MobilePack Development Advisor, said, “The only ‘only’ we’re going to say is ‘only God.’”

Even though the man-made 10-million-meal goal wasn’t hit, God’s number of 9.7 million meals means a whole lot — it means 26,608 children will receive a daily meal for an entire year, all because of what took place over the course of 10 days in Fargo, North Dakota. Only God.

jumbotron displaying 9,712,224 meals packed and 26,609 children fed for a year

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