Food Bank Demand Still High, Despite Economic Recovery - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Food Bank Demand Still High, Despite Economic Recovery

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Most of the industries in Northern Nevada have recovered from the recession, and unemployment rates are at near-historic lows. But in one area, we're not seeing much improvement, and that's hunger.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada still serves more than 95,000 people every month, which is only slightly down from recession levels. CEO Al Brislain said a big reason for that is housing costs.

"We have so many people that are trying to make ends meet," Brislain said, "and having rent increases and the pushing up of the rental market is really hurting a lot of the low-income folks."

The rising costs have left a lot of people cutting back where they can, and looking to the food bank for help feeding their families. That's particularly tough during the holidays, so for the past 24 years, Channel 2 News has put on the Share Your Christmas Drive-By Food Drive, benefiting the FBNN and other organizations that feed the hungry in our community. This year the news team will be collecting food and cash donations as usual, but we're also collecting new, unwrapped toys for kids who wouldn't otherwise have anything under the tree this year. They'll go to Toys for Tots in the Washoe County and Carson City, and Project Santa Claus in Douglas County.

To the recipients, those gifts mean the world.

"We have tears. We get cards. They bring us cookies," Toys for Tots organizer Joyce Buckingham said. "I mean, they're so thankful that we are there for them."

If you'd like to help, Share your Christmas is coming up on December 8, from 6 am to 6 pm. Channel 2 will have teams collecting nonperishable food, cash, and toy donations at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden, the Governor's Mansion in Carson City, and the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

To see interviews with the other organizations that benefit, tune in for Face the State this weekend. It's airing on Saturday at 4:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Episodes are posted here after they air.

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