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East County News Service

April 23, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- Students and staff at Monte Vista High School know that Mondays are special.  They are faculty work days; classes begin two hours later than usual so students get the chance to sleep in.  But this coming Monday, April 25th, won’t be a typical one for the Monarch student body.  Instead of sleeping in, more than 200 students and staff members will work with “Stop Hunger Now” to package 40,000 meals for needy children in developing countries.  The students and staff are excited to be a part of this community service event hosted by their school and nearby Foothills United Methodist Church.

At 6:30 a.m., a semi-truck will deliver raw ingredients and supplies to the school.  Working in teams on an assembly line, volunteers will combine rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a packet containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packages. Each meal package only costs 29 cents to make and has a shelf-life of two years. After an intense two hours, all 40,000 meal packages will be assembled, boxed and ready for shipment.  Meals will be distributed to feeding programs that promote education, improve health and nutrition, and aid in crisis relief.

Foothills UMC lead pastor Dr. Eric Smith said his congregation jumped at the chance to provide the bulk of the funding for this event.  “It startles people in this modern era to learn that one in nine people on the planet go to bed hungry each night,” Smith said.  “Hunger takes more lives than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.  We can either discuss this tragedy on Sundays from the pulpit or we can do something about it.  Combining our resources with the energy of the Monte Vista student body is the perfect partnership to solve a solve-able problem”

Monte Vista High School has a tradition of giving and community service.  “Events like this are incredible learning opportunities for students.  It opens their eyes to issues affecting other students in the world and shows them their small actions have a large impact.  We all have a responsibility to work together to build a future for those less fortunate,” said Randy Montesanto, Principal of Monte Vista High School.

For more information on “Stop Hunger Now” go to

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