Food drive collects 106,067 pounds |

Food drive collects 106,067 pounds

by Caryn Haller
Shannon Jaeger, a volunteer from St. Gall Catholic Church, sorts donations at the Carson Valley Inn last year during the annual Share Your Christmas food drive.
Shannon Litz file photo | The Record-Courier

Friday the 13th was lucky for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet as 106,067 pounds of food and $57,743 was donated.

After greeting children, Santa Claus helped unload food donations during the annual Share Your Christmas drive by food drive at the Carson Valley Inn.

“It’s going pretty good. It’s warm down here,” Santa said as he unloaded bags of food from the back of a car. “The Carson Valley is really something special. It means a lot to give rather than receive.”

By 11 a.m., the food closet’s truck, hauling 6,000 pounds at a time, was halfway full with its second load of food.

“I’m ecstatic. I can’t believe it,” food closet director Sarah Sanchez said. “The community pours through here. It’s pretty amazing.”

Volunteers from all over the Valley started showing up at 5:30 a.m. to prepare for the food drive.

Rite of Passage student, Destiny was one of them.

“It’s good that people actually care. I would have never thought people would give this much,” the 16-year-old said. “I never thought there were so many nice people to do this. It makes me feel good about myself to know that at the end of the day, someone is going to have something to eat.”

That’s exactly what counselor Marlo Preston said she wanted her students to come away with.

“We want them to see what it’s like to give back to the community,” she added. “That’s what our program is all about.”

Dan and Dorothy Yoder of Gardnerville have been donating to the food drive since 1997.

Not only does Dorothy clean out her pantry to donate food, but she buys some as well to give.

“We want to give to whoever needs help,” Dorothy said. “God has blessed us, and we want to give back. That’s why we give here.”

As Karen Brekas sorted through canned fruits and vegetables, she reflected on her second year volunteering at the food drive.

“Anytime there’s a place I can volunteer, I do so,” she said. “It’s all a part of giving to the community, and it’s fun.”