Help Needed Feeding Douglas County's Needy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Help Needed Feeding Douglas County's Needy

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In Nevada, about 20%, one in 5, now live below the poverty line of $23,000 for a family of 4. You can see the need on almost every street, like the ones in Minden. For Janice Roberts, milk and eggs are a blessing. Picking through the choices at the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, she told us that a few bags of food gets her mom, dad and herself through the month. As she put a carton of eggs and jug of milk in her car, she said, "These are the important things you need."

She's not alone…so many others don't have the money to provide even a simple necessity like food. That's why the storage room at the Carson Valley Community Food Closet is the most important room, in the little building on Waterloo Lane.

Tina Tubridy, the food closet's managing director, told us, "We're probably seeing anywhere from 40 to 50 families a day, 5,000 a year." After a year on the job, Tina doesn't doubt that, without their food, many families would go hungry. Many. "There are a lot of people that really need help. And that surprised me, at how many people."

As the food closet's Mike Wiley put it, "We seem to go through tons of food." For Mike, this season is the rush hour. With heating bills and holidays, he knows families that are barely keeping their lights on. He told us, "We had a 29% increase in new clients just last month."

Like other Nevada areas, everybody knows somebody who's been out of work for a long time in Douglas County. Skipping meals is a common routine. Kids are hungry for no fault of their own. Seniors don't know where to turn for help, or how to ask for it. Tina Tubridy told us, very often it's "Older single men and women, mid to late 60's, and now they're needing our help where they've probably never had help before."

The donations from last year's Share Your Christmas Food Drive covered about 9 months of the food closet's needs. This year, Mike Wiley is a bit worried...demand is close to outstripping supply. There were over 1,700 new clients to feed just last year. But he believes in his town. "We need nice weather, and the community will just come through like gangbusters."

If you'd like to give to the food closet, and wonder what items they need most, that's easy: nothing fancy. Just picture what a family could easily eat…simple canned goods and mac and cheese. Bring it out to our food drive's location in Minden: the Carson Valley Inn from 5am-6pm Friday.

-written by John Potter

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