Whale of a food drive | RecordCourier.com

Whale of a food drive

Residents donated the weight equivalent of a medium-sized blue whale at Friday's annual Share Your Christmas Drive-By Food Drive.

The preliminary count at the end of 12 hours of donations hit 131 tons of food for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.

That's a new record for the drive hosted by KTVN, which celebrated its 25th year in Western Nevada, and its 20th in Minden.

The first food drive was held at the Carson Valley Inn on Dec. 17, 1999.

The formula was a simple one. Stop by between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and drop off nonperishable food items to support the food closet, which opened in 1988.

In 2004, the drive collected 25,000 pounds of food. Thirteen years later that amount has increased by a factor of 10.

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Food donations have only dropped one year, in 2012, from 99,010 pounds to 95,291 pounds.

Cash donations have not been quite so steady in their increase. The initial count of $57,613 was topped last year and in 2011, which both saw totals higher than $60,000.

All the same, the amount of money has risen considerably over the years. In 2007, almost $26,000 was raised.

The food drive totals are just one example of Carson Valley residents' generosity over the holiday season.

At the Douglas County Fairgrounds, people of all ages and walks of life are gathering to wrap presents for Project Santa Claus.