A 40-foot-long container packed with rice, cooking oil and baby formula will leave the Twin Cities this week, bound for the Horn of Africa to help feed famine victims.

The shipment was made possible through the efforts of several Minnesota charities and with the help of donations from local Somali-Americans.

A special send-off ceremony will take place Friday at Karmel Square -- a Somali mall in south Minneapolis. Members of SomCare and Hope for the City, two of the local charities involved in the food drive, said they will continue to fill more containers in the coming weeks and months.

"We left Somalia but we still think about it and talk about it," said Abdiaziz Maahaay, founder of SomCare, a Rochester-based non-profit that helps transport medical supplies and other items from Minnesota to Somalia. "Human beings are connected, no matter what, no matter where they are."

Also Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the State Department will team up with the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee's Neighbors for Nations campaign. The initiative aims to raise awareness and funds for relief efforts in the Horn of Africa.