Helping the Needy in Carson Valley - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Helping the Needy in Carson Valley

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You'll hear it again this year…your food donation has never been more needed. You can still see the proof at charities. It's true in Minden too. Sara Sanchez of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet told us, "We're serving an average of about 500 families per month."

Like others, they're seeing an increase in demand after the reduction in food in November. A typical family of 4 saw as many as 36 fewer dollars a month for food. Volunteer Ralph Quintel changes the perception that hunger is reserved for the third world. It's not...it's in Carson Valley too. That's why he's been helping out at the Food Closet for 2 years now. Ralph told us, "I think there are enough people here who are in need. And if somebody doesn't step forward and fill that void, they can't help themselves. Someone has to help them."

The face of the needy has changed over the years. Few are homeless. Many were doing well, then lost their job…or are now trying to get by on part time paychecks. Sara says she sees "A lot of families, a lot of elderly on fixed incomes. Definitely in the winter season when heating bills go up."

Your food donations during our Share Your Christmas Food Drive cover several months of the need there. In other words, whatever you can give will be used, and soon. The reaction of those receiving food here...happy...humbling. Jennie Parker is on a very limited income. She comes by for the food she needs once a month. For her, the Carson Valley Community Food Closet is a lifeline. Jennie told us, "You don't go hungry here, that's for sure. They take care of you very well. Yeah, it's awesome."

Sara and her crew will keep the shelves in their cramped room stocked with food. They'll think of the families, singles and seniors who will cherish what you give. They're depending on your support, and they're betting you'll come through. As Sara put it, "For being such a small county, you know we depend almost 100% on these donations, so it's huge. Everyone's excited."

"Share Your Christmas" is Friday from 6 in the morning until 6 at night. We'll be set up at the Grand Sierra Resort, the Governor's Mansion in Carson City and the Carson Valley Inn down in Minden. We hope you'll stop by and donate some non-perishable food for those in need.

-written by John Potter

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