Each dried, fortified meal costs just 22 cents and takes less than a minute to package. But this small act of charity times 50,000 could make a big impact, Tasha Erding and Sarah Peck realized.

So the pair of Centennial High School seniors organized 250 classmates and staff members who packed 54,432 meals for the global hunger charity, Feed My Starving Children. Students worked in shifts during the school day on Sept. 17.

“It’s a fun experience, and we like the mission to feed hungry kids,” Erding said.

The two friends had packed meals for the Coon Rapids-based charity before but never on this scale. When they approached the charity last winter with their idea of hosting a large school event, the girls realized they needed to raise $11,000 to pay for food supplies. An anonymous donor through Eagle Brook Church covered the costs.

Then the girls started recruiting classmates to help.

“It wasn’t hard to get volunteers at all. We had more people sign up than we actually needed,” Peck said. “We knew it was a ton of fun to do, and it’s a great cause. They tell you the story of the children getting food, too. It’s great to see the effect the food has on the children when you watch the video.”

Centennial High Assistant Principal Bryan Carlson complimented the girl’s follow-through.

“The part that was so cool about this is it was all driven by these two and other students,” Carlson said.

Both girls live in Lino Lakes, have part-time jobs and are active in school activities, including National Honor Society and peer mentoring. After graduation, Erding would like to attend the University of Minnesota to study business. Peck is interested in becoming a doctor.


To learn about the charity Feed My Starving Children, go to www.fmsc.org/