*NEWS*EMPTY INK CTGS = FOOD FOR CHILDREN

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*NEWS*EMPTY INK CTGS = FOOD FOR CHILDREN

 user 2005-12-27 at 9:43:00 am Views: 95
  • #13622

    Local effort turns empty ink cartridges into food for malnourished children(michigan usa)
    EAST TAWAS – Francie Szymanski is helping to feed starving children in Guatemala by simply collecting empty computer print cartridges.
    According to Szymanski, the effort is through the organization “Food for the Poor”, which accepts empty printer and toner cartridges. The cartridges have a cash value because they can be refilled and resold.
    Szymanski says the most basic ink cartridges are worth about $2 each, while others are worth $3 to $4. Two dollars buys 20 pounds of rice and beans – which is a meal for 80 children or feeds one child for 40 days.
    She said 100 percent of money earned goes directly to benefit children at Sr. Ana’s Nutritional Mission in Guatemala.
    “We see those starving children on television,” the East Tawas resident said. “You want to help them all, but you can’t.
    “This is one way we can help. It’s something that we would throw away. That’s the miracle of it and it doesn’t cost us anything. If we can get our family, friends and neighbors to help, it can make a huge difference.”
    Szymanski said her church, Holy Family Catholic Church in East Tawas, adopted the sister mission in Guatemala and she has been involved with that mission for the past couple of years. That’s where she discovered the non-profit agency, Food for the Poor.
    The organization collects empty ink cartridges, sorts and packs them, then mails them to a recycling company. The recycling company pays Food for the Poor for the cartridges, the money from which is then donated to the mission.
    Szymanski began collecting empty printer ink cartridges in August 2004. “With lots of help from church members, in a little over a year we have sent enough cartridges to buy 10,000 pounds of food,” she said.
    In addition to beans and rice, other food items include powered milk, powered baby cereal, baby formula and protein powder made from soy beans.
    Szymanski and a group from Holy Family went on a pilgrimage to Guatemala in February to learn more about the country’s orphanages and nutritional centers. While there, they saw firsthand that the country’s children were very malnourished and starving.
    In early October, Syzmanski’s daughter, Tricia, went to Guatemala in a humanitarian effort to work in a refugee camp to help hurricane and mudslide victims. She is now working with the agency, Hope for Life Mission, at a nutritional center and orphanage with about 70 children in the country.
    “She is now feeding malnourished children with food coming from Food for the Poor,” Szymanski said of her daughter. “The food there is coming from East Tawas.”
    In addition to Holy Family, four other Catholic churches are also collecting the empty cartridges, including Sacred Heart in Oscoda, St. Catherine’s in Ossineke and two others in Midland and Milan. Also joining the effort is St. Joseph Health System, she said.
    Cartridges can be dropped off at Holy Family Church, 526 W. Lincoln St. in East Tawas, or in Oscoda at Wiltse’s Restaurant or Sacred Heart Church.
    For more information on recycling printer cartridges, visit http://www.foodforthepoor.org/recycle, or contact Szymanski at szymanf@charter.net.