It’s fitting that on the day after Thanksgiving we’re featuring a man who is literally feeding children. Mark Crea is the executive director of Feed My Starving Children, a Christian organization that does just what its name says. FMSC, based in Minnesota, distributes scientifically developed food to starving children in 67 different countries. The rice-based meals each cost 19 cents. They’re funded by donors and packaged by volunteers.
This year alone, FMSC expects to ship more than 125 million meals. It was just named the nation’s fastest-growing charity by Charity Navigator. FMSC’s latest effort was to send 57,000 specially formulated potato-based meals designed specifically for the cholera victims in Haiti.
A day after we all got to eat way too much, we wanted to honor the guy feeding those who barely ever get enough. Crea took some time to answer a few of our questions.
Why did you get involved with Feed My Starving Children? Why dedicate your time to helping children?
I was blessed to be able to work in organizations that literally saved peoples lives. From starting out working for the Hazelden Foundation, the world’s foremost drug and alcohol treatment center, to currently directing Feed My Starving Children’s efforts to provide a scientifically designed food to reverse malnutrition in children. FMSC has a unique approach, producing this special food, 100 percent packed by volunteers and distributed through a network of world-class missionaries. Every day, 18,000 children die from starvation. I have the honor to work in an organization that strives to save them.
To be able to go to work every day and know you are saving children from starving to death is truly a blessing. Six years ago, FMSC re-dedicated its mission to Feeding God’s Starving Children; since then, FMSC has grown from 20,000 volunteers producing 3 million meals annually to an organization this year that will use 520,000 volunteers to produce 127 million meals. These children are the future of each of these countries, and they are all God’s children. By growing up healthy, these children now have real hope for the future.
Are you a good man? Why or why not?
I strive every day to be a good man. I will be judged on how I treated others and what is in my heart. I work every day to be the best husband, father, and friend possible. One of the truest signs of being a good man is how do you behave, how do you act when no one is looking. Anyone can look good when the spotlight is shinning on you, but how do you act when know one will find out? My wife Rosanne is my most trusted friend and, after 32 years, knows me better than anyone. She, along with my faith, family, and friends, guides my life.
What makes a good man, in your eyes?
This is very easy. Good men are humble and faithful. They are true to their word. They care for the poor, the weak, the crippled, and they will joyfully sacrifice themselves for others.
Who has been the ultimate good man in your life?
My father. I lost my dad this past summer and miss him and think about him every day. Pastor Williams described him perfectly when he said Rocco Crea was a “vintage man,” a “prince,” and the nicest man he ever met.
What other men would you nominate as a Man of the Day? What guys, like you, are doing equally awesome things?
Bobby Burnett, founder of Love a Child orphanage in Haiti, is one of the best missionaries I’ve ever met and a man who has survived 30 years in Haiti with joy in his heart. Jim Haglund, CEO of Central Container, is a great husband, father, entrepreneur, and one of the most genuine, hard-working men in America. My brother Larry is, in his core, as close to being my dad as anyone could be.