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Casino Shutdown Batters Town, Forces Mayor To The Food Bank

West Wendover Mayor Daniel Corona visited the local food bank recently, but not for a photo op. He was there to get something to eat.

Corona, like the bulk of the 5,000 residents of the northeast Nevada casino town, works in gaming, and he has been out of work since mid-March because of the pandemic lockdown. And because of the backlog in jobless claims, he also has yet to collect any unemployment benefits.

“Throughout this entire pandemic I’ve been really pushing people to use the food bank as a resource, but I myself wasn’t taking that advice,” the fourth-generation West Wendover resident told State of Nevada.

“I was worried about what the perception would be of the mayor going to the food bank,” he said. “I was worried that maybe I wasn’t as at-need as someone in the community and didn’t want to take away from someone who had a higher need than myself.”

Corona said City Councilwoman Jasie Holm, who works at the food bank, persuaded him to make use of its services, saying there was plenty of food to go around.

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“It was her constant pushing, that reassuring that you’re not taking from anyone else that pushed me over the line,” the mayor said.

It also led him to want to reach others who refused to take advantage of local food banks, including writing an essay for the Medium website that was published under the headline, “No Shame in Food Insecurity.”

“I felt that there were probably a number of people in the community, and even outside of the community, who were in similar situations as myself, but felt that they weren’t as at-need as other folks, so they were staying away from food banks,” he said. “So that’s why I decided to share my story."

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Daniel Corona, mayor, West Wendover

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