Feed My Starving Children

One of the great things I like about my job is that the management believes in giving back. There are lots of ways during the year to contribute to various programs but one of my favorites is Feed My Starving Children.

FMSC packs food and sends it around the world to places where children are at risk due to malnutrition. But the best part is that this isn’t just an organization to give money to; volunteers actually do the packing of the food.  Vitamin mix, veggies, soy and rice make up the “manna pack” that gets reconstituted in places like Haiti, Mali, Pakistan, Cambodia, Guatamala and many more.

Normally we go as a group every other month to one of the Twin Cities’ FMSC locations but today, they came to us. They had all the packing stations set up, surrounded by palates of bales of rice and soy.  After all the instructions, we split up among the stations to get going.  Today I did the “get the bag onto the funnel” job.  After I do that, then other team members put in the ingredients.  Then I weigh each filled bag and pass it along to the folks who seal the bag and the packer, who gets the packs into boxes.  6 meals per bag, 36 bags per box, 32 boxes for my station in 90 minutes.  If I’m doing the math correctly, that’s 6,912 meals from just my group’s station.

Tonight I’m sore from bending over and my feet are a little achy from standing in the same spot for the whole session, but having done the work is like a salve – I feel like I’ve done a little bit of good in a world that seriously needs it right now.

What’s your favorite rice dish?

41 thoughts on “Feed My Starving Children”

  1. We love East Indian pilafs. They are somewhat labor intensive. My usual rice to go with Indian food is simple, with cumin and black pepper. We also have arborio rice for Italian rice dishes like risotto, and Scandanavian rice pudding.

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    1. The rice pudding I make is authentically Scandinavian in that it’s the recipe my grandmother used to make rice pudding for my Swedish-born grandfather. It’s distinctly custardy and makes no pretense to elegance but it sure is delicious.

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  2. The rice pudding recipe calls for 6 cups of milk, one cup of rice, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 T of sugar, 1/4 cup chopped almonds and a little salt , all cooked rogwthwr over low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

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  3. Sherrilee, that looks like such a cool thing to do. The fact that they are able to bring the whole shebang to your workplace is a testament to the agency’s organization, planning and infrastructure — and willingness to go where the volunteers are. Kudos to you and your team!

    I don’t eat much rice, but I used to make this Oriental style ground beef, veggies and rice dish when the boys were growing up. It was a favorite and managed to feed the bunch of them well.

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  4. Good work, vs, and good for your employer for being committed to giving back.

    How can you go wrong with rice? I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone that I can’t just choose one rice dish as a favorite, although if I had to, paella would probably be my choice.

    Another favorite is a wild rice dish called Wild Rice Barron. OK, I know, wild rice isn’t really a rice, but still, it’s a wonderful and easy dish. Might have to make that sometime this weekend.

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  5. Rice and Shine Baboons,

    Good for you VS. FMSC is such a good and efficient organization. The basic nutrient recipe they have employed, in combination with volunteers, is brilliant. The similarities to Habitat for Humanity are remarkable–just practical survival strategies to which volunteers contribute in a concrete way. The last time I volunteered for them, though, I injured my right foot on the cement, so I cannot stand on cement anymore to do the work. I now have FMSC Memorial right foot arthritis due to the injury. So I think of the organization daily when I step on the foot.

    My favorite rice recipe, risotto, has been mentioned. YUM. Another favorite I cannot post here because it is in a book in MN: Andoiulle Sausage Jambalaya with shrimp. Meanwhile, the topic of rice is synchronistic. I have experienced adventures in rice this week.

    Our dogs have had health challenges in AZ over our time here. The older, smaller one reacted to a food change with Massive Digestive Issues–yes, the doggie trots. Poor thing. She was so sick and scared. We had to put her on a rice diet which will stay in place while we travel. She is back to normal digestion, but we will not mess with that food again!

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    1. I love Jambalaya and I have a recipe I use that I got online that uses sausage and ham and shrimp and, as usual I have made my own modifications. But your mention of andouille brings up a project I’ve been working on this winter. I’ve been trying to perfect a recipe for red beans and rice and it all hinges on finding the right andouille or some approximation thereof. After trying some grocery store approximation of andouille and finding it wanting, I went over to Kramarczuk’s and got what they call “ Heritage Andouille”. As it turns out, it’s too spicy for Robin and, frankly, kind of borderline for me. I’d like something coarser, smokier, and a little less hot. My next stab at the recipe will probably be with a milder sausage of some kind and I’ll add the heat independently but I’m still on the lookout for the perfect andouille. Any ideas?

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      1. My favorite has been a smoked chorizo from a store that went out of business. If you know where to purchase a Spanish chorizo let me know!

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  6. I was surprised to see different grades and varieties of arborio rice in the Italian grocery stores we frequented in Winnipeg. I could never tell the differences between them.

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  7. James McNair puts out a number of compact cookbooks, all of which are highly appealing. In his rice cookbook are a couple of recipes that have become regulars for us. Naturally, we have tinkered with them to suit our taste and the ingredients available. His pilaf incorporates several different rices and sliced almonds and currents or raisins. He has a recipe for Chinese fried rice I like to make with brown rice and a whole lot more vegetables than he calls for– peapods and bean sprouts and julienned carrots, etc.

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