Frequently Asked Questions

Some answers to our most common questions are answered right here. Not finding what you want? Reach out directly through our Contact Us page.

How did Feed The Need!™ Illinois begin?

In 2012, four Naperville, Illinois congregations worked together to plan and successfully hold a Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) MobilePack event. By pooling the resources of all four congregations, 1,144 volunteers packed a total of 178,848 meals to feed 500 children every day for a year. After this positive experience, the planning team invited other congregations to become co-sponsors for the following year. In 2013, 2,073 volunteers from ten partner congregations packed 453,600 meals, enough to feed 1,242 children for an entire year. Feed The Need!™ Illinois envisions building this growing multi-congregation MobilePack into an annual community-wide event involving Illinois-area congregations from every faith tradition.

Is Feed The Need!™ Illinois affiliated with a religious organization?

Feed The Need!™ is not affiliated with any one religious organization, but it is a faith-based organization. Feed The Need!™ works to bring diverse communities – such as businesses, organizations, schools, churches, individuals, and families – together in an effort to provide food to the hungry around the world. FMSC food is distributed to starving children regardless of faith affiliation or non-affiliation.

Is Feed The Need!™ Illinois a 501(c)3 non-profit organization?

Currently, Feed The Need!™ is an informal collaboration of local congregations, without nonprofit tax status. Feed The Need!™ partners with Feed My Starving Children, a respected 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Feed The Need!™ Illinois’s collaborating partner congregations are non-profit religious organizations. Contributions made to Feed My Starving Children and to these partner congregations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

What is in the Feed The Need!™ Illinois food package? How can it feed 6 people?

The food packages contain rice, soy protein, dried vegetables, and vegetarian flavoring with a vitamin and mineral blend. The meals were formulated by a nutritionist to be accepted by most cultures around the world and to be restorative for those who are malnourished. When cooked in boiling water, the rice expands, the soy adds protein, and the dried vegetables and vitamin powder provide additional important micronutrients. Each meal package cooks up into 6 servings.

Who determines where the food packaged at Feed The Need!™ Illinois events goes?

Feed My Starving Children provides life-saving meals to people who need them the most in nearly 70 countries. As a nonprofit organization, FMSC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that approves the distribution of food based upon committee recommendations and partnerships with its distribution partners – orphanages, schools, clinics, refugee camps, and malnourishment centers. Factors considered in making this decision include the number of meals available, the need/request received, and the ability of partner organizations to assure that food can be safely transported and distributed to people in need as intended.

How much of my donation towards a Feed The Need!™ Illinois FMSC MobilePack goes to the cause of feeding hungry people vs. administrative expenses?

Feed The Need!™ collaborating congregations pass on 100% of MobilePack donations to FMSC. More than 90% of all donations to FMSC go directly toward the food program. FMSC is largely a volunteer organization that works to feed starving people around the world as efficiently as possible. Its volunteer support and partners of in-kind services help limit overhead expenses.

What other in-kind donations would Feed The Need!™ Illinois consider or be interested in from my business?

Feed The Need!™ seeks and accepts in-kind support through marketing, promotion, printing, catering, gift certificates, items for raffle, use of fork lifts, and more. For more information, please contact us.

How do I learn more about Feed The Need!™ Illinois?

To learn more about Feed The Need!™ Illinois, 1) read more within this site, 2) request to have a speaker come to your business, congregation, or organization, 3) Visit us on Facebook, or 4) contact us with any questions you may have.

How do I donate to support a Feed The Need!™ Illinois FMSC MobilePack?

Donating to a Feed The Need!™ Illinois MobilePack is easy! You may visit our donate page for more information or send a check to one of the participating congregations with the MobilePack number (1702-239AU) written in the memo line.

What is the minimum age for volunteering?

The minimum age for volunteering is 5 years old. Children under 5 are not allowed in packing areas. If your group includes youth, you must follow FMSC’s Age Requirements:

  • Kindergarten-2 grade: 1 student to 1 adult
  • 3-6 grade: 3 students to 1 adult
  • 7-9 grade: 4 students to 1 adult
  • 10-12 grade: 5 students to 1 adult

May we bring more volunteers than the number of spots we reserved?

We encourage walk-ins. Often, people who registered to pack do not attend. When this occurs, we rely on walk-ins to fill their places. If you have a friend who would like to come with you, we encourage you to bring them along.

How do we cancel a reservation?

Contact the congregation through which you signed up and let its MobilePack organizer know that you wish to cancel your reservation.

Are we supposed to wear any particular clothing?

  • All volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes. Otherwise, please come in clean, comfortable clothes.
  • Do not wear or bring any jewelry. This is due to FDA compliance for food manufacturing plants. Please review our Jewelry Policy and share with fellow volunteers.

Are there sit-down jobs for volunteers?

Yes! We reserve one of our most important tasks for sit-down volunteers. Volunteers can sit while labeling bags, which is a vital step to the packing process. This task entails putting our FMSC label on each bag before it is filled with food.

Are there tasks for volunteers who are blind?

Yes! Volunteers who are blind are welcome to label bags, which is a vital step to the packing process. This task entails putting our FMSC label on each bag before it is filled with food.

Can you accommodate special needs groups?

We ask that special needs/transition groups contact Feed The Need!™ Illinois to coordinate arrangements with the FMSC MobilePack supervisor. Please do not register your group without contacting Feed The Need!™ first, in order to ensure that it can be a great experience for all volunteers.

May we purchase merchandise before our packing session begins?

The FMSC MarketPlace is open at Feed The Need!™ Illinois MobilePack sites during packing hours. The ideal time for MarketPlace purchases is before or after volunteer shifts. Each MarketPlace purchase supports artisans around the world and the FMSC food program. There is also a donation table to accept further donations to help cover the cost of the food packed.

If we have already been through volunteer orientation, do we need to go through it again?

Yes. We want to offer the full volunteer experience to all volunteers, both returning and new, and we need to ensure that proper packing procedures are followed. Volunteers must attend both the FMSC orientation and the packing orientation each time they visit.

Are there other ways we can help?

Feed The Need!™ Illinois always welcomes donations towards its MobilePacks. By making a donation through this special page on FMSC’s website, your donation will go straight to FMSC and be used specifically to support Feed The Need!™ Illinois’s MobilePacks. Each volunteer packs about one box of food, which costs about $50. FMSC does not receive meal ingredients for free. We count on the generosity of our volunteers and donors to help us feed starving children. Make a financial donation.