Harrah's Hosts Holiday Outreach Meal for Needy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Harrah's Hosts Holiday Outreach Meal for Needy

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Hundreds packed a tent in downtown Reno on Monday night to get a warm Thanksgiving meal.

About 1,500 people in need were fed. The line to get in wrapped around from the intersection of 6th and Center to Lake Street.

"I heard about this through other homeless people," said Jerry Bohler of Reno. "I just came down here, and believe me, I'm sure everybody here is very, very appreciative."

The lines were long, but many say it's worth it for the dinner put on by the Harrah's.

"Not everybody's going to have a Thanksgiving," said Juanita Lopez of Reno. "A lot of these people don't have a kitchen. Some of them don't have homes. Some of them can't afford a turkey or get a turkey."

"It gives them a break when it's just a few days until pay day," said Lee Smith of Reno. "Especially for a lot of folks who don't have Social Security checks or food stamps. It's definitely a blessing."

Low-income families and the homeless got to eat, and they each have a different story as to how they ended up here.

"Homeless is not good, okay?" Bohler said. "Once you get labeled homeless, you're in a whole different bracket now. Family and friends will move away, do everything possible to just not really have anything to do with you. I know by first-hand. First time in my life, here I am."

"I haven't been employed for four years," said Tammy Fecko of Reno. "It's been really hard to get a job."

For families who are struggling, their days are unpredictable. So, it was nice to eat some good food.

"It's a hot meal," Fecko said. "We don't get that every day. We eat Top Ramen and Cup of Noodles, if we can get into a store to let us have their hot water."

Dozens of volunteers turned out to help, including folks from Harrah's, along with others in the community.

"These people are giving their time, on their time, to do this in the community," said Janet Leis, a Harrah's employee. "What a great feeling."

Senator Dean Heller was on hand to volunteer as well.

"People are down on their luck," he said. "An opportunity to lend a helping hand, and you can see, it's a lot of people."

Senator Heller also brought his daughter, Emmy, with him who says she had a great experience.

"I wasn't expecting to do this," she said. "But, it's been so rewarding, and it's fun, and it's nice to talk to all the people needing help."

On Tuesday, the Silver Legacy Resort Casino will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal at the same location as Monday's dinner, on 6th and Center streets, starting at 11 a.m.

Then, on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), employees from John Ascuaga's Nugget will provide a feast at St. Vincent's Dining Room on 325 Valley Road in Reno at 11:30 a.m.

Evelyn Mount will also serve a meal on Thanksgiving Day at noon. That's at the MacGregor Inn at 1661 East 6th Street in Reno.

Harrah's employees will provide meals on Thursday at the Salvation Army.

Written by Adam Varahachaikol


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