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Feeding the Need

Germantown lawyer sends food to the hungry in needy countries.

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Fueled by the World Health Organization's statistic that a child dies every six seconds from malnutrition, Ted Medlin has made some philanthropic efforts to make a difference.

In less than a year, the farmer and corporate lawyer from Germantown has helped to feed more than 700,000 people suffering from hunger in other countries.

Medlin's first food program — Christ Feeds Haiti — took place in May 2010, a few months after the earthquake in that country. Hosted by Medlin's church, Christ United Methodist, the program enlisted more than 900 volunteers and provided more than 150,000 meals.

In October of last year, Medlin held another food program at his church. That program provided 200,000 meals, 800 school uniforms, and 200 pairs of shoes for needy people in Zambia. Later that month, Medlin organized a food-packaging program in honor of World Food Day at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. That program packaged 355,000 meals to be shipped to starving people all over the world.

"They don't have soup kitchens they can go to," Medlin said. "They're just impoverished and in despair."

Medlin acquires 100-pound bags of soybeans, flour, and rice through humanitarian organization Outreach International.

"We mix [the grains] and put them in plastic bags that hold six meals — similar to freezer bags," Medlin said.

As a result of his charitable work, Medlin was recognized in December with a replica of the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Danforth Plant Science Center.

The replica is based on the original medal presented to the late Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who introduced high-yield, disease-resistant wheat into Mexico, Pakistan, and India. Medlin credits Borlaug for his work to help the hungry.

Medlin said he found his calling in September 2009 when he traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to attend a memorial service following Borlaug's death. While there, Medlin met a couple involved with a food-packaging program to help the hungry in Tanzania.

"I've seen the eyes and faces of starving people in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia," Medlin said. "It left me to wonder, What can I do? And when I experienced the program in Des Moines, I felt that I reached that moment in my life where I could make a difference."

Medlin said his next food program will occur this summer: "We did 355,000 [meals] last time; this time we're going to provide 400,000 meals."

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