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Nonprofit aiding hungry moves to Libertyville

John Schmelzel left walks around new Libertyville Feed My Starving Children packing plant with Christine Varsbergs Aurora's site supervisor Scott

John Schmelzel, left, walks around the new Libertyville Feed My Starving Children packing plant with Christine Varsbergs, Aurora's site supervisor, and Scott Kirk, Schaumburg's site supervisor. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media

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Feed My Starving Children

742 E. Park Ave. (Route 176), Libertyville

Size: 18,000 square feet

Volunteers: Up to 120

Staff: 10-12 (full and part time)

Web site:

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Updated: November 14, 2012 1:35AM

LIBERTYVILLE — Millions of children will be saved from starvation thanks to a new nonprofit that it taking up residence in Libertyville.

Feed My Starving Children is a Christian nonprofit that organizes fund-raising, packaging and distribution of mobile food packs to malnourished people in 70 countries.

“This is the difference between hope and no hope for starving children,” CEO Mark Crea said.

FMSC has seven permanent locations. Three are in Minnesota, one is in Arizona and two are in Illinois, Aurora and Schaumburg.

The new Libertyville site, located at 742 E. Park Ave., will be the only site in Lake County, according Crea.

“Libertyville just made sense,” Crea said. “I know we’ve packed in the millions of meals. There have multiple (mobile packing) events for years in Libertyville.”

Mobile packing events are when a community organization, such as a church, recruits local volunteers to assemble food packs designed for malnourished individuals. Volunteers measure exact portions of rice, soy nuggets, vitamins and dehydrated vegetables so that starving people can just add hot water to the food packs.

The new Libertyville site can house up to 120 volunteers at a time to assemble food packs, Crea said. FMSC signed the Libertyville lease late last month. Crea said he expects the building to be ready by December.

Renovations are underway. So far, FMSC has raised about $1 million of the $1.55 million project. Crea said that he hoped the remaining funds would be raised to finish funding the new site.

“The beauty for us is a little bit goes a long way,” Crea said.

Crea said that 92 percent of donations supports the food program. The remaining 8 percent takes care of everything else.

The new Libertyville site will be the largest of the Illinois sites, Crea said. FMSC is projecting that the Libertyville location will produce 40 million meals per year for starving kids.

“We’ll be feeding an additional 90,000 starving kids every day going forward once the site goes up. This is huge,” Crea said.

In the beginning, it will be open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Eventually, the Libertyville site will be open 12 hours per day Monday through Saturday “as fast as volunteers and fund-raising will allow,” Crea said.

The site will be volunteer-driven. There will be 10 to 12 full and part-time employees, and FMSC is accepting applications for jobs online, Crea said.

To apply, donate or learn more, visit the Web site

“We’re hoping that schools, businesses, churches and individuals come to this site. We know that the volunteers are there,” Crea said.

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