Every two seconds a child is orphaned, and every 90 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition and hunger, according to the president of Food for Orphans.
Food for Orphans, an organization that packs and sends meals to orphans worldwide, teamed up Saturday with the SIUC Newman Center to hold a food-packing event. Hundreds of volunteers collaborated to pack 92,000 immune system-boosting meals in an effort to curb orphan starvation.
President and founder Gary VanDyke said he started Food for Orphans in 2007 after eight years of volunteer work with other organizations and helping orphans around the world.
“After visiting impoverished countries, I noticed that orphans were suffering the most,” VanDyke said. “They were starving to death.”
A total of 400,000 orphans die from starvation each year and 60 million go to bed hungry every night, he said.
Since each 14-ounce meal costs only 25 cents, a donor can feed 214 orphans for $54.
Regional representative Tim Lewis said the first Carbondale food packing event was a success and hopes to hold a second event in the fall because of the large response from campus and area groups.
Fraternities, sororities, Saluki athletic teams and numerous area churches volunteered Saturday to reach the
Misty Conway, of Steeleville, heard about the event from her church and traveled to volunteer.
“I hope the food goes to anyone in need,” Conway said.
Food for Orphans holds about 20 packing events and ships five to six freight containers each year.
The Colorado-based organization will vote whether the container, which was filled on Saturday, will be shipped to Haiti or West Africa.