We have launched new churches in our Mercy Networks in the Philippines, Thailand, and Myanmar this year. We have also expanded our orphan care support through additional nutritional food provision.
We have a container shipping soon for Albania that will be targeted to support Syrian refugees, and we have developing opportunities in other impacted countries where the refugee populations have soared in recent months. We have also extended support to refugee populations in northern Uganda and southern Sudan in recent months. Many of these families are severely undernourished and are in desperate need of help.
We are in the process of launching a new Mercy Network in Ecuador and have expanded our church network in Peru. We have supported a number of mobile medical outreaches in El Salvador, Peru, and Guatemala, where physical needs are met and the hope of the gospel is shared as well. Our Honduras Mercy Network continues to expand its reach, serving hundreds of impoverished children and families. Recently, we have been working diligently to support our host of pastors in Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew damaged several of the orphan homes we support, as well as many homes and churches involved in our Food Pak program.
The increase in poverty in America is continuing to stretch our resources to the limit. We are seeing the greatest growth in the area of suburban poverty. Each of our regional distribution centers need to see a 50% increase in bulk food items that we use in the assembly of our Food Paks. We are specifically focused on protein items such as a variety of beans, peanut butter, and canned meats. We are also needing to find or purchase additional sources of ready to eat foods for many of the urban families we serve across the country, as well as for use in our Food Paks that are assembled for emergencies and disaster relief. As an example, a mixed load of canned meat, vegetables, and other needed items will help supplement up to 5,000 Food Paks at a cost of about $28,000.
Every year, we seek to supply every child served by our national network of churches with a new toy for Christmas. It is a wonderful way to share the Christmas story and the Christ of Christmas. We have been praying specifically for an increase in toys this year, and God has provided. We just received a commitment of 21 truckloads of Disney toys, and an additional 30+ truckloads of plush toys from Ty, Inc. In total, we anticipate receiving more than 1.2 million toys through these two sources! However, the costs we will incur, including gift wrap and freight to receive and distribute the toys, will total about $175,000. We have yet to raise any of these funds.
We anticipate receiving several containers of medicine and pharmaceuticals to help resource the medical centers and mobile medical brigades operated by many of our international Mercy Network partners. The cost to ship and distribute each container totals about $25,000. Each container generally contains well over $1 million of medicines.
We have experienced dramatic growth in the number of families we are serving this year through our Food Pak program. Perhaps the region experiencing the most growth is Southern California. We have added many churches and expanded our reach in Orange County, the Inland Empire, Ventura County, and San Diego. We now have trained Mercy Networks of churches in the Bay area, the central valley, Phoenix, and the central coast. The demand for Food Paks has greatly exceeded our projections, and is continuing to increase as the holidays approach. To help meet this demand, we will be building out a temperature-controlled Volunteer Center at our headquarters that will position us to expand the number of volunteer work days we have each week, and will ultimately result in the assembly of more Food Paks to help meet the rising demand
The Southwest region has exploded this year with the launch of our distribution center in Dallas, as well as our emphasis on training churches in the border cities of South Texas. We are still working on securing additional funding to help underwrite the launch of our Dallas facility. Our presence in the Dallas area has facilitated the training of scores of church leaders who are now engaging their communities through the home delivery of Food Paks. We are also experiencing growth in San Antonio, Austin and Abilene. Our work in the border cities is targeting some of the poorest families in the Southwest, where malnutrition and undernourishment are rampant.
We have spent much of this year focusing on developing relationships in the Atlanta area. We remain committed to establishing a regional distribution center in Atlanta in the future, and we continue to seek the seed money that will position us to do so. You can pray with us that God will supply an additional $600,000 so that we can launch our distribution center sometime in early 2017. We have already begun training churches in Atlanta and now have a Mercy Network in place that we are supplying with Food Paks from a church location in Lawrenceville. We have a host of interested churches in other cities throughout the Southeast that are anxiously awaiting our ability to serve them.
We just completed an expansive renovation project on our regional distribution center near Chicago. We are now positioned to expand the number of churches we can train, and we can greatly expand our volunteer program each month. The timing of the renovation is ideal, as we are experiencing a huge spike in the demand from churches in the Midwest who would like to participate with us. The size of our Mercy Network in the Chicagoland area has nearly doubled this year. Additionally, we have launched a Mercy Network in St. Louis, and are now working with several churches who are ministering tofamilies in the Ferguson area. We are also looking to expand our Mercy Network in the twin cities area of Minneapolis.