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San Marcos Students Help Fight Hunger In North County

San Marcos High School senior Xiamora Martinez serves up a bowl of chili to Michael Lawson, director of the North County Community Services Food Bank. Two San Marcos high schools partner with the food bank for Empty Bowl fundraisers.

Students from San Marcos and Mission Hills high schools have created hundreds of ceramic bowls to give away at so-called “Empty Bowl” fundraisers for the North County Community Services Food Bank.

Michael Lawson, the food bank's director, said there is a great need for food aid in North County.

“There are about 400,000 people in North County alone that are considered food insecure," Lawson said. "They don’t know where their next meal is going to come from.”

Brady Stout, a ceramics teacher at San Marcos High, said making the bowls for the fundraisers is a lesson for students that raises awareness and shows them they can make a difference.

Lawson said San Marcos High students crafted 400 bowls and raised $4,000 for the food bank last month.

“The big thing is students gain an awareness that there are needs out there that aren’t really spoken about," Lawson said. "This gives them a concentrated way to see the need, and how they’re able to take a simple solution, add it in, and it provides such a tremendous help to that need.”

A $10 donation is requested at the fundraiser for a bowl and a buffet lunch. Empty Bowl is a nationwide fundraising effort that helps support local food bank programs.

Mission Hills High School, which also is in San Marcos, is set to hold its Empty Bowl fundraiser Thursday, April 17.

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