Food closet distributes 500 Thanksgiving dinners |

Food closet distributes 500 Thanksgiving dinners

by Caryn Haller

Kathy Thompson huddled with her volunteers Tuesday morning, and reviewed the plan on how the Thanksgiving dinner distribution would flow this year.

The Carson Valley Food Closet director said she was expecting to distribute about 520 dinner baskets of turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings.

Thompson has worked 12-hour days for the last two weeks in preparation for this one day distribution.

“It never ceases to amaze me how much giving Douglas County does,” she said. “It’s a very caring community, and they want to be sure everybody in the county is taken care of.”

The shelves at the food closet were stacked with boxes of stuffing, cans of sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, fruit, vegetables and French fried onions.

“I hate getting retrained. I’ve only done onions and potatoes,” Linda Garmong joked during the morning briefing.

This year Garmong was in charge of yams and celery.

“I enjoy giving back. It’s a good feeling,” she said.

Volunteers Judy and Steve Weich of Reno have been helping with the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner distribution for 10 years.

The couple began volunteering when they lived in Gardnerville, but wanted to keep helping even after they moved eight years ago.

“It’s organized chaos. By 10 a.m. the people are lined up out in the parking lot coming in waves,” Steve said. “We’ve got the system down pat. We do about 80 to 100 families in an hour. I’m exhausted when we go home, but we wouldn’t miss it.”

Bill Jonkey, president of the Douglas County Mounted Posse, was one of many posse members volunteering Tuesday.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Jonkey said. “There’s a lot of residents in the community that appreciate this help, and we’re more than happy to provide it.”

For four years, Kathy Mollet of Nevada City, Calif., has volunteered at the food closet with her mom Vaughan Davis.

“It’s my turn to give back. I had a wonderful career and retired three years ago, so it’s my turn,” Mollet said. “This is such a good thing to be doing. So many people need help. We’re lucky to do it.”

Thompson said she will give herself a few days off before beginning preparations for the Christmas dinner distribution Dec. 22.

Much of the food needed will come from the Channel 2 Share Your Christmas food drive at Carson Valley Inn, but Thompson said donations are always needed.

Food and monetary donations are accepted 12:30 to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Cash donations can also be made at the checkout counters at Raley’s or Scolari’s.

The Carson Valley Community Food Closet is located at 1255 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville.

For more information, call 782-3711.