The Role of MannaPacks in Addressing Global Hunger

 If you've ever volunteered with Feed My Starving Children, you're familiar with the warm feeling of accomplishment you experience when you find out the approximate number of meals you helped pack in one short night. If you've volunteered more than once, it's probably that very feeling that made you want to dedicate more of your time to FMSC.

For those who haven't had the opportunity to spend a few hours assembling the packages this organization sends out to foreign regions in need, you might ask: What's so special about shoveling rice and veggies into a bag? What is a MannaPack, anyway — and, more importantly, what's in it that helps so many families obtain an adequately nourished meal with just a pot of boiling water?

MannaPack Rice is a formula created to meet the nutritional needs of children around the world who are severely malnourished. The vitamins, minerals and other nutrients contained within a blend of rice, deyhdrated vegetables and soy nuggets have helped those who have few other means of adequate nutrition to get back onto an adequate dietary track.

Without an adequate way to consume routine nutrient-filled meals, receiving a box of MannaPacks could save a child's life. What are the components – and what happens if an individual can't get them from the food available to them?

Macronutrients

Consuming the final product of a MannaPack's contents provides all the essential nutrients the body needs in order to function properly. Those who suffer from deficiencies in protein, carbohydrates and fat can count on the nutrients in each MannaPack to avoid symptoms of hypoglycemia, weakness and Kwashiorkor or Marasmus — both forms of severe malnutrition — in the case of protein deficiency.

Vitamins

Manna Pack Rice(TM) is loaded with B vitamins and vitamins A, C and D to ensure severely malnourished individuals receive the nutrition they need to combat fatigue, tooth decay, increased risk of infection and even death.

Minerals

Deficiencies in minerals such as calcium can result in stunted growth in children and bone loss in adults, and inadequate stores of iron can lead to weakness, increased susceptibility to infections and anemia. MannaPack Rice provides its recipients with these and many other minerals important to ensure good and long-lasting health.

The next time you gather together with your team, church or organization to assemble MannaPack Rice(TM) pouches — or when you embark on the adventure for the first time — be confident that the volunteer hours you are dedicating to the cause not only leave you satisfied but also satisfy the hunger of millions of individuals around the world.

Find out more on the FMSC website, and check out other organizations that fight hunger.

Meg Dowell on Twitter
Meg Dowell
Meg Dowell is one biochemistry course away from a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She recently graduated with a B.A. in English, blogs for Kitchology.com and is the health/fitness/nutrition editor for College Lifestyles magazine. She hopes to begin her master's program at Benedictine University this January, pursuing an MS in nutrition and wellness with a concentration in nutrition entrepreneurship. Follow her on Twitter @MegDowell.