Thanks to contributions from public fundraising and help from donors, the Carson Valley Community Food Closet has the funds they need to build a new 1.4 million dollar distribution center. Plans for a new facility have been in the works for years and construction is finally underway.

Currently the food closet distributes food out of a jam packed office building. The food they can't fit in there is held in a 4,000 square foot storage unit that's several miles away. The new building will bring it all under one roof.

During hot summer days and cold winter nights, Sandra Martin will wait in the elements three times week to pick up the food she needs at the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.

“It's hard on older people,” says Martin.

Come this February, that burden will be taken off of her and all the food closet's clients when the new 10,000 square foot distribution center opens its doors.

“We've got a larger lobby to accommodate more clients inside, we have restrooms so they don't have to go off site while waiting,” says Sanchez.

Contractors broke ground on the site earlier this year and progress is coming along smoothly. The new building will also hold a kitchen and learning center meant to teach clients about new ways to cook.

“Beans from scratch, try a fruit or vegetable they've never tried before, we want to encourage them to be able to do more with what they're receiving,” says Sanchez.

In the last few years, the food closet has found the need for food assistance to be increasing in Douglas County. Sanchez says a much larger, more comfortable facility should help to meet that need.

“When our numbers swell during holidays, we'll address that need more efficiently,” says Sanchez.

However, more frequent client visits, means less food on the shelves. This can of course be a problem when the bulk of their food donations come during the holidays.

“As the summer months progress and we get into fall, what we collect during holidays weans a little bit,” says Sanchez.

The food closet never likes to see their stock dwindle, saying that food security for all their clients is a top priority year-round.

One way you can help is by donating at KTVN’s Share Your Christmas Drive-By Food Drive. We'll be collecting food and goods for a handful of food banks on Friday, December 7th. You can bring your donations to the Grand Sierra Resort, the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City and the Carson Valley inn in Minden.