MONTEBELLO – Continuing its waged War on Hunger, the Montebello Unified School District and its partners kicked off the 6th Annual War on Hunger Food Drive to assist local families in need on Sept. 24 at Bell Gardens Intermediate School.

“In order to provide the best educational opportunities for students, we must do everything to ensure that our students are healthy, both emotionally and physically,” said MUSD Board of Education President David Vela. “Now in its sixth year, this annual food drive has collected enough food to feed thousands in our community and I know that now until Oct. 24, our MUSD community and local businesses will again rally to donate generously to help those who may be struggling.”

Thousands of students and families have been helped through the campaign since its inception in 2009, and this year, MUSD students, teachers, staff, community members and sponsors came together once more to show their support for the project, which raises roughly 50,000 pounds of food annually.

To commence the month of giving, the kick-off event featured speakers from MUSD, as well as District partners, including representatives from Heart of Compassion, Camino Federal Credit Union and the Montebello Council Parent Teacher Association. Other partners this year include the City of Bell Gardens, and the Bicycle Club. The event also included a BGI student dance performance and MUSD students showing their support of the project. BGI Principal Ricardo Mendez acted as the event’s master of ceremonies.

As part of its partnership with the District for this effort, Camino Federal Credit Union is also asking its employees and members to pitch in by contributing to the “War on Hunger” campaign.  Those interested can either make a pledge at a teller window or drop canned goods off at the Camino main branch, 520 N. Taylor Ave. in Montebello, through Oct. 24.

Throughout the month, students and staff will be able to donate non-perishable food items or funds to help local hungry families at all MUSD school sites. The community may also donate at Bell Gardens City Hall (7100 Garfield Ave., Bell Gardens) and the MUSD District Office (123 S. Montebello Blvd., Montebello).

“It is very special to this community to come together each year to help those in need,” said MUSD Superintendent of Schools Cleve Pell. “The War on Hunger is the perfect example of what it means to be part of the Montebello Unified family and we sincerely thank everyone who has contributed in the past and all those who will provide much needed assistance to our families in need.”

Families may be able to pick up food items at the Heart of Compassion Distribution Center (600 S. Maple Ave., Montebello) or may contact District homeless liaison Rose Hernandez at (323) 887-2133.