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Donors tour food closet

Tristan and Izzy Stumpf listen as Director Sarah Sanchez conducts a tour of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet on Thursday.
Kurt Hildebrand

Operators invited the community into the Carson Valley Community Food Closet on Thursday as a thank-you for all the support.

Director Sarah Sanchez couldn’t say how many people toured the new facility on Waterloo Lane, but that the stream of people was steady during the three-hour open house.

Scout Troop 33 Webelos participated in a tour and asked if they could volunteer.

Sanchez said they had a couple of 90-year-old volunteers, so the boys would be welcome.

“When the boys are collecting food, this is what they’re doing,” she said.

Sanchez and one other person are the food closet’s only paid employees, with volunteers making up the rest of the workforce.

“The two of us don’t make this happen,” she said. “It’s all the volunteers.”

The popular Carson Valley charity provides food donated by residents to Douglas County residents down on their luck.

Sanchez said that with giving season wrapping up, the food closet is fully stocked, but that will change as the year progresses.

She asked Valley gardeners to plant extra in the spring to help the food closet provide fresh produce. The Heritage Park Gardens in Gardnerville often donates food, and Sanchez said any excess fruit from the Valley’s orchards is always welcome.

“It’s kind of the more the merrier with food,” she said.

Douglas County Social Services verifies need on behalf of the food closet, but there is the emergency food assistance program for those in immediate need.

“I want to get someone through the door through that process that makes them feel welcome,” she said.

Clients run the gamut from retirees who are on limited incomes to single mothers who are working and trying to support their families.

“It’s an interesting mix of people, but they’re all appreciative,” she said.

The Food Closet moved into its new location in May and is still settling in, she said.

Last year, the food closet served more than a quarter-million meals.

For more information about the food closet, visit its web site at thefoodcloset.org.

Carson Valley Community Food Closet is a nonprofit supported by donations from individuals, businesses, service groups and churches. It is located at 1251 Waterloo Lane. It is open 12:30-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Fridays.