Bristol-area food fundraiser a huge success

BRISTOL — Volunteers packed more than a quarter-million meals last weekend in Bristol and Essex at the culmination of a drive to send aid to starving children. With Love From Vermont, a Christian charity that operates in Chittenden, Addison and Rutland counties, had been raising money for food packets specifically designed for the bodies of malnourished children.
The charity buys the supplies, organizes volunteers to put them into individual serving packets, and WLFV’s partner, the international Christian charity Feed My Starving Children, distributes them.
The goal was to purchase the supplies to create 272,000 packets — the number that would fill an entire tractor-trailer. At 22 cents per pack, With Love From Vermont needed to raise $60,000. In the end, the group eclipsed its goal and shipped 272,160 meals to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
“That is enough to feed 746 starving children in Haiti every day for a year,” volunteer Nancy Orvis said.
The packs occurred Oct. 18-19 at Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol and A.D. Lawton Middle School in Essex.
Volunteers packed dehydrated meals, called MannaPack Rice meals. They consist of four ingredients that Feed My Starving Children officials say are nutritionally complete to rebuild or maintain a child’s body and brain: rice, soy nuggets (which provide protein to build muscle and promote brain development), dehydrated vegetables for fiber and texture, and a vegetarian flavoring powder loaded with 20 vitamins and minerals (including iron, vitamin A, iodine, etc.) critical to ensure normal growth and immunity.
Orvis and her husband, Greg, put a little twist on the fundraiser to incorporate the Mount Abraham fall sports teams. The Orvises devised a system where they would donate according to how many points and goals Mt. Abraham student athletes scored. Nancy Orvis said the athletes “earned” 3,350 meals, or $737. This is enough to feed nine children for an entire year.
In addition to the food sent to the Caribbean, more than 800 pounds of food was collected from volunteers at the pack sites to stock the shelves of the Vermont Food Bank, Orvis said.

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