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Volunteers from Stanly Industrial Services help those in need during MLK food packing event

SIS volunteering MLK eventThey danced, ate and enjoyed getting to know their fellow “food packers” – but best of all, a group of Albemarle-based Monarch staff and people supported helped provide hunger relief to those in need as they participated in the MLK Challenge at Montgomery Community College in Troy, N.C.

The college partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere, a Florida-based charity that organizes meal assembly programs to make a difference for hungry children around the world.

Students joined volunteers from Monarch’s Stanly Industrial Services (SIS) and others from the community to fill 10,000 bags with food to be distributed by the Montgomery County Food Pantry. Each bag was measured with a specified amount of lentils, white rice, dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt. The bags were then weighed, sealed and shaken to mix ingredients.

The ingredients provide protein, fiber and nutrients for a sustainable addition to a healthy daily diet. They can be used in a variety of meal options, from simply adding water to make a vegetarian casserole to serving as a side dish or an ingredient in a delicious jambalaya.

The festive event included breakfast provided by Bojangles’, and volunteers received t-shirts and certificates. Teams of volunteers had fun dancing to background music as they collaborated to pack 48 assembled bags into large cardboard boxes, supporting one another with a rousing cheer whenever a box was completed.

“Wow! What an amazing event,” said Nicole Turner, a Monarch developmental specialist, who accompanied day program participants at SIS to the event along with Tenika Bailey, a fellow developmental specialist. “Everyone so enjoyed it that they can’t wait to do it again next year.”

“We volunteer on a daily basis throughout our own community,” said Kerry Stipe, site manager at SIS. “This was our opportunity to step out of our community and give back. This event prompted inclusion and team building as college students and volunteers from Monarch joined together to package the food.”

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