From The Field

Bracelets Made From MannaPack Boxes

Artisans in Haiti are handcrafting beautiful bracelets out of used MannaPack Rice™ boxes.

Feed My Starving Children has been sending food to an organization in Haiti called Chances for Children that serves MannaPack meals to children in medical clinics, orphanages and schools up to twice a day, five days a week.

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Chances for Children also operates a Women’s Empowerment Program called “Ila Joi,” which means Island Rejoicing.

The empowerment program supports 40 women and is based in Kenscoff, Haiti. After FMSC boxes have been emptied and the meals served to those in need, the women of IIa Joi come together to handcraft these beautiful bracelets out of the FMSC boxes.

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When you volunteer at Feed My Starving Children, you have a direct connection to the individuals you are feeding through the box of meals you prepared for them. Now those same boxes are being recycled and sent back to our volunteers and customers in the form of this one-of-a-kind bracelet!

Each FMSC MannaPack box contains 216 nutritious meals ready to feed the body of a child in need. These bracelets are an amazing example of a full-circle connection.

Your purchase of this bracelet will provide funding to create 27 FMSC meals — which will be packaged and boxed to serve even more children in need around the world…and the circle continues!

Visit the FMSC online MarketPlace.

Purchase a MannaPack Box Bracelet HERE.

The Haitian Initiative: More than Soccer

Marie Love Jean’s face lights up when you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up. The 15-year-old from Haiti wants to be an accountant. A smile spreads across her face when she talks about how much she loves math.

She wants to stay involved with the Haitian Initiative, the program that runs her soccer team, currently in Minnesota competing in the Schwan’s USA Cup.

They packed meals at the Feed My Starving Children headquarters during their two-week stay.

The visit was made possible through The Sanneh Foundation and a grant from the U.S. State Department.



The 15 girls and 15 soccer coaches in the packing session are all from Cite Soleil, a dangerous and impoverished part of Haiti full of makeshift homes with no running water. The city is plagued by gangs and malnutrition.

“Of course. Yes, I’m afraid. My house is not so strong,” Marie said about her daily life.

She has four brothers and one sister. Before the program, she did not eat every day.

But four years ago she joined the Haitian Initiative, which works with FMSC partner Healing Haiti, where she plays soccer and eats a MannaPack meal daily.

The program feeds and coaches 400 kids just like Marie, six days a week.

“It keeps them healthy and their bodies alive,” said program manager Makenzy Francois. “If we didn’t have this food, we couldn’t have 400 kids.”


In the four years he’s run the program, he says he’s seen the children grow.

MannaPack Rice is one of the most popular foods in Haiti, he said. “It saves many children and even adults.”

Soccer and school — and the meals that fuel them — give Marie opportunities, she said.

And now packing them?

“It’s very special,” she said. “I never knew that’s where they make them.”

The group was part of 112 total volunteers who packed 159 boxes of food. That means 34,344 meals were made and 94 kids fed for a year!

More Stories from Haiti

In Haiti: Spiritual and Physical Hunger

Beauty from Chaos

In Haiti: Daily School Meals Improve Grades

Angel: Saved Just in Time

One-year old Angel lives deep in the mountains of the Philippines in a very isolated community. Her mother died when she was only a few days old. Her father couldn’t care for her. It was a very tough situation.

Angel’s Uncle Berto and Aunt Mena brought her into their small home. They had no way to give Angel the nutrients she needed, and they quickly became concerned about their niece’s health.

Ribs protruded from Angel’s chest. Loose skin sagged from her arms. She was drastically underweight at only nine pounds and terribly frail.

They had no electricity or running water. Their nearest water source was a half mile trek down the mountain. They were grateful when the rains came so they could collect the rainwater.

“Berto and Mena feared that Angel would not recover.
They felt helpless, because they had very little resources to purchase nutritious food.”

– International Care Ministries (ICM), FMSC food partner

When ICM’s nutrition team came to their small, dusty village and met Angel, she was extremely malnourished, pale and lifeless. They put her in their feeding program. She started eating FMSC MannaPack™ meals every day.

After just eight weeks, Angel grew taller and gained almost five pounds! The nutritious meals restored her energy. This sickly toddler was renewed. She is now a healthy, smiling little girl.

Before and After

Angel before MannaPack mealsAngel after MannaPack meals

Angel’s aunt was extremely relieved. “I am thankful to FMSC for helping Angel regain her health,” she said. “The MannaPacks helped Angel gain weight and recover.”

Today, seven months later, she weighs 32 pounds!

Angel after MannaPack mealsAngel after MannaPack meals

Without FMSC meals, Angel might not have survived. Because you stepped in, Angel’s life was saved just in time.

“I thought her condition was hopeless. I am so thankful for you.”

– Aunt Mena

You are the difference between death and life.

Angel after MannaPack meals

“…do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you…” – Isaiah 41:10

In Haiti: Spiritual and Physical Hunger

Curtis Stout is the founder and executive director of Project 117 in Haiti. Here he shares a unique story of impact that is different than what we usually receive.

While on a recent trip to assist our Haitian staff as they finished our third year of school and ministry, I stumbled upon the following story one morning.

Nicole is our lead cook, the President of her adult Sunday school at church, a talented seamstress and a great mother. In short, she is an influential follower of Jesus and she is wrapping up her first year working on our school staff team.

About halfway through our trip, I walked into the school kitchen and found Nicole reading her Bible out loud to Gertha (Jet-tah), our assistant cook, who is unable to read or write and in her late 50s.

Gertha was our lead cook during our first two years of school, but was placed under Nicole’s leadership as the kitchen work load increased.

Nicole reading her Bible to Gertha is obviously awesome in and of itself, BUT, upon reflecting deeper, I thought, “This story is part of the fruit of our partnership with FMSC.”

Without our partnership with FMSC, Project 117 would have a hard time financially sustaining our lunch feeding program. Without the lunch program, Nicole and Gertha would not be working together at our school.

Without work, Nicole would not be receiving daily ministry opportunities with Gertha.

Moments to read the bible, pray together and simply develop a friendship that could have an eternal impact on Gertha.

I believe God’s primary way of drawing people to Himself is through relationships with His followers who are empowered by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Without your partnership, Nicole and Gertha most likely would not have a friendship.

Your impact, as you know, is both spiritual and physical. Thanks for allowing Project 117 to be a part of your work this year in Haiti as you fill hungry bellies and hand out opportunities for people like Gertha to receive the bread of life.

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” –John 6:35

Medtronic: From Minnesota to the D.R.

Medtronic’s partnership with Feed My Starving Children goes back several years, but this summer they’re connecting employees and communities in a whole new way.

Employees in the Twin Cities filled multiple packing sessions to pack thousands of meals this summer. So far, they have packed enough meals to feed 378 kids in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Uganda every day for an entire year!

Meanwhile, Medtronic employees based in the Dominican Republic distributed FMSC meals in Batey [buh-TAY] 106, a small community of people who work in the fields.

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Between the local corporate end and the D.R. end, Medtronic also gave $10,000 to FMSC! That doesn’t even take into account donations from individual employees — whose donations Medtronic matches.

The sixth tenet of the Medtronic Mission is to maintain good citizenship as a company, said Noi Keothammakhoun of the Medtronic Foundation, the main channel for the company’s giving.

“It’s all about making the global connection and showing collective impact,” Noi said.

Demonstrating the sixth tenet of this mission, employees unite efforts to make positive impact in their communities around the world.

Each June, the company launches Project 6, an employee engagement program of the Medtronic Foundation that celebrates the impact of philanthropy and kicks off each new fiscal year of employee volunteerism at the company.


‘It Tugged at My Heart Strings’

And those connections aren’t just talk. One Medtronic employee named Grace Silverio-Jones drove seven hours from Kansas City to pack meals.

She had not heard of FMSC before, but while perusing her company’s site for a volunteer opportunity this summer, saw the relationship between FMSC, Medtronic and the Dominican Republic.

Grace’s dad was from the Dominican Republic and she still has family there. She instantly knew that this was the volunteer opportunity for her.

“It tugged at my heart strings a little bit,” she said of learning about the Dominican Republic connection.


She packed up her three teenage daughters and they drove to Coon Rapids, Minn. and stayed for back-to-back packing sessions.

The family had more fun than they expected and were struck by the numbers at the end of the session.

The first session they were in packed enough meals to feed 92 kids for an entire year!

The impact…that was huge,” she said. “I’m already proud to work for Medtronic, but this makes me more proud.”

What Exactly is Batey 106?

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Bateys are small communities of mostly Haitian immigrants working in the sugarcane fields of the Dominican Republic.

Batey 106 is a small community of about 500 residents in the eastern region of the country. It’s one of 400 plus Batey communities.

Historically, people living in Bateys face critical challenges related to health, education, social issues and employment, partly because of their immigration status in the country.

Beck family

In December 2015, a Project Based Food Assistance program was launched in Batey 106 where FMSC food and other livelihood initiatives serve as platforms to empower the people in this community.

The project uses FMSC food as a platform to get the people from A to B, Junior Obrand, regional program coordinator for the Caribbean, told the Medtronic crowd.

“When we say, ‘Food is hope’ that’s not just a slogan,” he said. “We’re using the food to get the people to rise up.”


Medtronic’s commitment to the Dominican Republic is providing HOPE for the people of Batey 106.

“It’s God connecting the dots and it’s a very cool thing,” Junior said.

Editor’s note: Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. The Medtronic Foundation focuses on supporting health and health access initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.

Thank you Medtronic!

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