Food closet breaks ground today |

Food closet breaks ground today

The public is invited to the ground breaking ceremony of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet. The ceremony will take place at 1255 Waterloo Lane. The event begins at 10 a.m. with the groundbreaking scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Light treats and refreshments will follow. The groundbreaking will mark the start on the closet's new building.
Kurt Hildebrand

While the ground has already been broken, construction should start shortly on the new Carson Valley Community Food Closet building in Gardnerville.

Residents are invited to a ceremony celebrating beginning of work on the 10,000 square foot building located at 1255 Waterloo Lane, right next door to the current location.

It took nine months last year for organizers to raise $1.4 million to help build the structure, according to Food Closet Director Sarah Sanchez.

But the project has been in the works for years since the food closet found itself short of room to store donations provided during the year.

The food closet has relied on storage provided by the Park family.

Sanchez said half the space in the building will be devoted to warehouse storage.

“That 200,000-plus pounds we get in donations will now be stored in our own facility,” she said.

In addition to the warehouse, there will also be room for distribution, offices and a kitchen and learning center.

“We’re really excited about that,” she said. “We will be able to focus on providing clients with education, in the form of tips and tricks, and resources to do better with what they receive. This will allow us to provide that service onsite.”

Sanchez said the closet has been spending the last few months getting prepared to start work.

“This came to fruition in a hurry,” she said. “For a while there was one delay after another, and then everything happened really fast.”

One example was clearing the lot, which was done last year in part because the closet received a donation in the form of dirt from Trinity Lutheran Church, which had just finished its parking lot.

She said everyone involved in the food closet is ready to see the project started.

“It has been needed for over a dozen years and we’re ready, more ready than we’ve ever been,” she said. “The board has always known that a new building had to happen. With this we will be able to do better for our donors and our clients.”

Sanchez said they expect to be finished with the new building by next May. The old building will be essentially donated to Backpack Buddies for that organization’s use.

More than 120 donors participated in the campaign, including supporters from outside Douglas County. Lead gifts included support from Cristek Interconnects, Pacific Radomes and a $200,000 matching grant from the Fairweather Foundation. These gifts, along with an outpouring of support from individuals and businesses, helped the Food Closet surpass its initial Phase I goal of $400,000 to lay the foundation for the site. A substantial contribution of $787,000 to complete the project then came from the William N. Pennington Foundation.

The Pennington Foundation was formed by the late William N. Pennington, a gaming industry pioneer and philanthropist, and provides grants to Northern Nevada based organizations in the areas of education, community services, health care and medical research.

Donations over and above the $1.4 million goal are still being accepted to provide for interior equipment and provisions that will be needed when the building becomes operational.