Since the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis shuttered businesses throughout the state, charitable groups, government agencies, and restaurant owners have stepped up to solve an immediate problem: how to feed families and individuals who suddenly find themselves with no income.
Many casino-hotels on and off the Strip have donated their unused stores of food and water to both their own laid off employees and various charities, which, in turn, are innovating to get it to those most in need. The following is a summary of what’s available as of March 26, 2020.
First, the pre-existing sources of food, mentioned in our previous post:
Now, for the new developments …
Working with several nonprofit partners, Clark County launched a pilot program called Delivering With Dignity the week of March 23. On each of its first two days, the program delivered 800 meals to nearly 100 families around the Las Vegas valley. It expected to deliver some 5,000 by the first week’s end. It’s intended for those most vulnerable to COVID-19, particularly people struggling with poverty, the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions, and their family members living in the same household. The county is working with its nonprofits to identify the tens of thousands of people it believes are eligible. To request service or volunteer, call 888-603-3548 and leave a message with your name and phone number.
EMERGENCY FOOD BOXES
Lutheran Social Services of Nevada has shifted its pantry operation into emergency mode, offering food boxes for curbisde pick-up from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. Families in need can go to the organization's location at 4323 Boulder Highway to receive boxes packed with a variety of non-perishable groceries, as well as fruits and vegetables. Lutheran Social Services workers wear gloves and face masks to prepare the boxes, which they place on a table near their building's loading dock for recipients to take. There are two lines for service, one drive-through and one walk-up. The group estimates more than 1,300 families have received food since the operation started March 16. For more information visit lssnv.org or call 702-639-1730.
FOOD FOR THOSE 60 AND OLDER
Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, a nonprofit that offers several services for people aged 60-plus, distributes food to people with a photo ID to verify their age. Their pantry is open Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to noon at 3640 North 5th Street, Suite 140, and they also deliver emergency provisions to those who are housebound. Call 702-633-7264 or visit hhovv.org for more information.
Share Village (former Veterans Village) has expanded its hours in order to meet the growing need of those experiencing economic distress due to the pandemic. The pantry is now open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to noon at 50 North 21st Street in downtown Las Vegas. The nonprofit will continue to restock its pantry through its food rescue program, sending trucks to restaurants and grocers to collect donations. To ask about services or make a donation call 702-624-5792 or visit sharelasvegas.org.
Anticipating an impending need, leaders of political advocacy group Battle Born Progress used their 501(c)3 arm, Institute for a Progressive Nevada, to start Vegas Community Pantry on March 12. Within days, requests for food were pouring in. The group estimates it's now delivering groceries to around 100 families, ranging from 2 to 10 people each, per week. To request food, visit the Facebook group and ask to join (it's being moderated in order to avoid business promotions and political discussions, administrators say, adding that no requests for food are denied). The request form is turned off over the weekend as supplies are restocked, and then goes live again at the beginning of each week.
Other food pantries are listed at foodpantries.org/ci/nv-las_vegas.
KIDS EAT FREE, OTHERS AT REDUCED PRICES
Kids also eat free at Rachel's Kitchen through the end of April. When ordering online, use the promotional code KIDSEATFREE. Order at rachelskitchen.com.
Note: This story was updated April 2 and April 10.