Valley students give back on their day off

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many students in the Central Valley have the day off for President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. For some, though, they didn't use the day to sleep in. Instead, some students spent the morning volunteering their time to help those in need.

Chopping vegetables seems like a simple task for these Fresno Unified students, but they're giving it their all knowing it's for people who are homeless or hungry in our community.

Edison High School student Elizabeth Lozano said, "I really like helping out people that need it because I did get a lot in my childhood and I feel like people deserve it."

Sunnyside High School student Hana Luna Her said, "I really like helping people out and know the Poverello House is such a big thing here in Fresno, I decided to just come out and help, basically volunteer my time."

Ten students from Edison and Sunnyside High Schools in Fresno woke up before the sun came up on their day off and headed to the Poverello House for a day of community service.

Lozano said, "We were serving breakfast and handing out the trays and right now we're cutting peppers."

Sunnyside High School teacher Kate Shelton said, "They got here bright and early. Some of them were here before me and they've been really excited. They keep asking, 'What's next?' And that's really exciting."

Employees at Poverello House say they really appreciate the students coming in and volunteering their time but it's also good for the clients and residents here. Poverello House says those receiving the food like interacting with volunteers, knowing the community cares about them.

Executive Director Cruz Avila said, "Volunteers are huge. Without volunteers we couldn't do the serving, the prepping, because it's a lot of work that goes into 1,200 to 1,500 meals a day, 365 days a year."

The peppers, tomatoes and meat the students chopped up were used right away in stews and soups that were served during the Poverello House's lunchtime meal. Students giving back, while feeding those who need it most.

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