About 500 volunteers are gathering in San Clemente Saturday to pack 250,000 high protein meals that will be shipped to starving communities in Liberia, where the Ebola outbreak has killed nearly 5,000 people.
The event, organized by Kids Around The World, begins at 10 a.m. at the nonprofit's California Headquarters at 1046 Calle Recodo, San Clemente.
The Ebola outbreak has created critical food shortages and starvation as farmers have abandoned fields where the virus has struck and health authorities have warned people not to eat "bush meat" because of the risk of contamination. Travel restrictions and border closures have also disrupted the food supply chain, according to Kids Around The World.
"This will be the largest emergency food relief project we have organized here so far," says Chris Marshall, regional vice president for Kids Around The World, in a statement announcing the food drive.
Once packed, the vitamin-fortified rice and soy based emergency meal kits will be shipped to Gathering Together, a nonprofit in Liberia that will distribute the food where it's most urgently needed, according to Kids Around The World.
The San Clemente organization boasts of having helped distribute nearly 12 million meals to starving children and their families in places like Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Liberia since 2010. Christian-based and fully funded by donations, the nonprofit welcomes support through www.KidsAroundTheWorld.com.