Elburn child uses birthday party to help feed the starving

By on February 13, 2011

Photo: Celebrating a good cause while in good company, Blythe Lundgren and her friends gather during her birthday party at Feed My Starving Children on Jan. 28. Courtesy Photo

by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—Blythe Lundberg celebrated her eighth birthday by having a party and asking her friends to bring supplies for the Animal House Shelter in Huntley, Ill.

For her ninth birthday, in January, Blythe took the goodwill even further by inviting 15 of her friends and their families to pack food at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) in Aurora.

Blythe and her party attendees helped pack more than 80 boxes of food, which translates to 17,000 meals that will be shipped to over 70 third-world countries worldwide.

Not bad for a 9-year-old’s birthday party.

“My daughter has really been on a spree of wanting to do good,” said Blythe’s mother, Melissa. “This year, she wanted to do a service project, and she invited her friends to come pack meals. Some parents and some siblings of her friends came, too, so she had almost 20 kids there.”

Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit Christian organization with two locations in Illinois (Aurora and Schaumburg), three locations in Minnesota and a temporary site in Tempe, Ariz. The organization’s website states that a single packed meal costs only 24 cents to produce.

The packed meal is essentially a soy rice dish that includes a chicken protein and dried vegetables.

“The whole process lasts about two hours, and they (pack) the meal in this order: chicken, veggies, soy rice. And they say it over and over when they’re doing the packing,” Lundberg said. “And there are usually about 90 people on a shift, so my daughter’s group took up about a third of that shift, (which means) we didn’t do all the work ourselves. But we were a part of it.”

Lundberg said the children were excited to pack meals because of the video shown to them by FMSC to give the kids an idea where the food will be shipped.

“A lot of children aren’t exposed to that. They were shown a picture of an 8-year-old boy who weighs basically nothing-like, 19 pounds. And then six months later he was up to almost 70 pounds,” she said. “You see where the food is going and what it’s doing, then after you’re done serving, they show you a thank you video where more of the children are eating, happy and healthy. I think the children were very excited about that.”

Lundberg said her family would like to do more work in the future for FMSC.

“We have served at Feed My Starving Children with our church twice in the past, and I am sure that the next time (they) offer an opportunity to serve there again, we will,” she said. “(The church) is where (Blythe) got the idea to have a birthday party at FMSC, and the staff even sang (happy birthday) to her.”

FMSC packs food six days a week through four different shifts of volunteers.