Casinos, eateries donate to food closet |

Casinos, eateries donate to food closet

Local restaurants and casinos donated 11,632 pounds of fresh food to the Carson Valley Community Food Closet last week, including produce, dairy and meat.

The largest bite was donated by the Mont Bleu Resort & Casino at Stateline with 7,250 pounds, according to Food Closet Executive Director Sarah Sanchez. She said Carson Valley Inn donated 2,848 pounds of food. Sharkey’s donated 774 pounds of food while the Topaz Lodge donated 760 pounds.

“These donations were a wonderful surprise and have really helped to tide us over these two weeks and be able to provide nutritious food to our recipients,” Sanchez said. “As you can imagine our donations from local stores are low as there is not much left over to donate with all the heavy shopping taking place.”

Sanchez said right now the food closet’s biggest need is for money.

“Monetary donations are the most effective way for us to obtain products when we are low,” she said. “Particularly items outside of canned and dried goods. For example eggs, bread, produce.”

As a partner of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada a dollar spent with them can go a lot farther than the average grocery store shopper.

“We are able to using our purchasing network to make each dollar stretch farther, allowing us to buy the exact items we need, when we need them, and the best price,” she said.

Getting people the food they need is an essential function of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, and that wouldn’t happen without their volunteers.

“We have an amazing group of volunteers who have not wavered in their support since things changed,” Director Sarah Sanchez said. “We were able to immediately change from our normal distribution method to providing curbside delivery to recipients vehicles in our parking lot. This keeps recipients from having to gather in the lobby and keeps everyone at a safe distance in their vehicles and within the facility.”

She said the food closet has met with Douglas County Social Services and Washoe Tribe Social Services to make getting a voucher easier than ever during the outbreak.

“We also collectively work to make sure that our recipients have access to pick up food either through a friend or family member, caseworker, or DART,” Sanchez said. “We have also collaborated with Backpack Buddies to distribute their weekend bags to families with school children. In just the last five business days we distributed 191 Backpack Buddies bags.”

Sanchez said the food closet has no plans to close or alter its business hours.

“We have seen an increase in recipients week to week,” she said. “Currently, we are serving an additional 100 people each week.”

The food closet has provided local employers with handouts and the Douglas County School District is providing families with the same information.

Sanchez said she has started a call list for people who are interested in helping and do not currently volunteer.