How Your Food Donations Help in Carson City - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

How Your Food Donations Help in Carson City

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It's Carson City's safe place and open door for battered women, who usually come in scared with traumatized kids. The shelter at Advocates to End Domestic Violence is designed to put them at ease. Executive Director Lisa Lee told us, "Shelters of any type are barracks with a lot of bunk beds, kinda scary. Most of them walk in the door and they're really shocked at how nice it is and how friendly and homey it is here."

Food for these displaced families comes from donations. While many shelters will house folks for a few weeks, this shelter has them for an average of 5 months. For moms and kids without everything, it takes that long to get back on their feet. Lee told us, "You really need to break some old habits, start some anew. You need to find a job, often get daycare, get some legal issues resolved and begin to start moving forward." Which takes a lot of food. Advocates to End Domestic Violence keeps their donated food in 2 little wood structures. What comes in goes out quickly.

Down the road, there's FISH, which stands for Friends In Service Helping. It had a very humble beginning back in 1979. Executive Director Jim Peckham told us, "It kind of revolved around the trunk of a car I think is kind of how it started!" Jim ran through their wish list. They're short on a lot: "Fruits and vegetables, shortages of protein items. So we're looking for chili, ravioli…tuna fish."

The shelves here may be stocked there, but what you see there doesn't last long. Demand for items like a can of chili is still high. Too many people need help, who never expected to. The food bank manager for FISH, Elizabeth Patterson told me, "We had an elderly couple who moved into our area because the cost of living here is less expensive. Their grandchild gave birth to a child that she could take care of." Elizabeth says that couple is raising that child now, and wouldn't be able to do it without the donations here.

Across town, help is found at another food bank, also there to serve the capital city's needy. It started as a truancy center, until a juvenile probation officer by the name of Ron Wood found poverty and a lack of food was a big reason kids skipped school. Ron Wood Family Resource Center director Joyce Buckingham told me, "How can we expect children to study and to be healthy individuals when they don't have enough food to get that brain going in the morning?"

Children make up half of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center’s  customers. Donated food is set up in a circle. Families go around taking what they need, until its empty. As Joyce told us, "It'll all be gone by the end of the day." Until the trucks bring in what they can...tomorrow for another day.

No matter the weather, we hope you all will come out and help us this Friday starting at 6am for our 24th annual "Share Your Christmas" food drive…in Reno, Carson City and Minden.

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