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KNOXVILLE — About 6,000 high school students from across North America will get a hands-on lesson about world hunger this week at the CHIC 2006 conference being held on the University of Tennessee campus.

CHIC 2006, a high school youth conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, is teaming up with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) from July 17-21 so students can gain an understanding of world hunger. The group will pack meals for some of the world’s most malnourished children.

FMSC, based in Brooklyn Park, Minn., is a nonprofit Christian organization which uses volunteers to pack meals made of rice, soy, vitamins, chicken flavoring and dehydrated vegetables in a formula designed particularly for severely malnourished children.

FMSC has a mobile packaging unit that will visit CHIC 2006. The goal is for 1,800 of the conference participants to work together in two-hour shifts to package a total of 500,000 meals which will be sent to Africa. Each meal package — consisting of fortified rice and soy protein — costs only 15 cents to produce.

The packing will take place every afternoon of the week in the Thompson-Boling Arena beginning today.

On July 18, CHIC participants will attend a program at 9 a.m. to learn more about how hunger is addressed by FMSC as a small group of teens fill the mobile packaging unit on the arena floor. From 12:30-2:30 p.m. that day, CHIC participants will forgo their regular conference meal to sample the food products that FMSC sends around the world.

ARAMARK, UT’s provider of dining services, is providing $10,000 to FMSC for the meal.
Partnering with Covenant World Relief, CHIC is trying to help Bentiu, a small village in central Sudan. In addition to packing meals, which will be used to start a food program there, CHIC participants will donate money to help build a new school, buy school supplies, pay teachers’ salaries and build a medical clinic for the community.

For more information on the CHIC 2006 conference or the Evangelical Covenant Church, visit www.covchurch.org or for more information on FMSC, visit www.fmsc.org.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu
Robert Gibbs, (865) 974-0250, rgibbs@utk.edu
Darrin Devault, (865) 974-0270, devaultd@outreach.utk.edu

For more UT news, visit http://www.tennessee.edu/news/tntoday/