Demand Reaching Another Holiday High at the Food Bank - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Demand Reaching Another Holiday High at the Food Bank

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With double digit unemployment still in the Truckee Meadows, it's shaping up to be another tough December for many. The holiday crunch is on at our local food banks. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada's Jocelyn Lantrip told us, "Our food goes out so fast…we turn the entire warehouse every 90 days."

Inside the food bank's sterile warehouse, it's hard to picture just what it all means to thousands of low-income Nevadans….a hot breakfast at school, or something at home so a family doesn't go to bed hungry. Lately, those who receive food often get just barely enough. Lantrip told us, "At most of our pantries they'll get a bag of food that may last a week."

The shelves and aisles of the food bank's 63,000 square-foot warehouse is now stocked, but the food there doesn't last long. After almost 4 years of double-digit unemployment in Nevada, demand for the food items is still high, and the fight against hunger is still a formidable challenge. Lantrip say that "Parents will often skip meals to make sure their kids eat."

It's not just the homeless who are going without. At the weekly food distribution at Sparks Christian Fellowship, we found many parents who are living without a paycheck, struggling to meet their family's most basic needs. Parents like Holli Trulson of Sun Valley. As she told us, "Today, nobody will hire me, so this is the place I go to bring something home for my son. Being a single mom of a disabled child and not working, this is about the only way of getting food right now during the holiday season."

There are lots of Holli's. And lately, there are too many small hands who reach out for these bags of food...too many who don't get enough. Mike Walsh of Sparks Christian Fellowship told us that for the little ones in line, "It's very important. You know, they get food. If we don't do it, then what are they going to do?"

Back at the food bank's warehouse at the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Center, years of high demand has put a strain on their life preserver for troubled times. They still hope enough donations come in to fill the gaps left behind when the food goes out. Lantrip said this about food donations: "It all adds up. It all makes a difference."

And that is what the Share Your Christmas Food Drive on is all about. This Friday, we'll have drop off locations at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, the Governor's Mansion in Carson City and the Carson Valley Inn in Minden.

-written by John Potter

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