Food drive gathers 76 tons-plus |

Food drive gathers 76 tons-plus

by Caryn Haller
Derek Clark of the Sheriff's Mounted Posse prompts drivers on Hwy 395 to turn into the Carson Valley Inn to donate food Friday.
Brad Coman |

When volunteers arrived to set up for the food drive at 5:30 a.m. Friday, there were donations waiting for them on the sidewalk.

The 22nd annnual Share Your Christmas food drive brought in at least 152,486 pounds and $48,287.60 for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.

There was still a trailer left to count on Friday night that could have as much as 1,000 more pounds of food, Carson Valley Inn’s Bill Henderson said.

“I average about 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of food per load,” truck driver Gil Goode said of the five loads he was expecting to take to the storage unit. “That’s somewhere around two tons of food every time I go over. We’ve got a lot of strong people to load it so it goes pretty quick.”

Goode has volunteered at the food drive for 16 years.

“I like the camaraderie of all the people who come, and all the people who bring the food,” he said. “There’s so much cooperation between the people in this Valley.”

Lauri Christine and Charles Johnson of Smith donate food every year.

“We don’t want people to be hungry,” Christine said. “We go out and purchase food for it. I try and get something with protein. It’s the most important thing in a diet for someone without food.”

Dick and Lynda Treinen of Gardnerville dropped off 70 pounds of food on their way to an appointment.

“It’s Christmastime,” Dick said as volunteers unloaded the food from the back of his car. “People need it, and we have more than we need.”

Instead of sitting at home while in between jobs, Jacob Livingston helped sort cans of food in the 40-degree weather.

“It’s pretty cool how many people show up to help,” he said. “I am having a good time. Everybody is having fun and making jokes. I’d do it again.”

Gardnerville Ranchos residents Tony and Carol Delill buy extra food when it’s on sale during the year to donate at the food drive.

“If we don’t have enough in the pantry, we go buy food for this even if it’s a couple months ahead of time,” Tony said. “People need food.”

The couple donates regularly to the Salvation Army and Disabled American Veterans.

“You just can’t leave people out there to starve,” Tony added.

To keep the volunteers out of the weather, The Entertainer owner Rich Ellis donated a 20-foot-by-40-foot canopy.

“They helped out our family a few years ago, and they still help my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law,” Ellis said of the food closet. “The very least we could do was give them some shelter to help others.”