Gospel Mission Makes it Work With Small Staff

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

Shelves are emptying at the Salvation Army's food pantry, as more middle class families seek assistance.

Reno, NV - It's a constant battle to feed and shelter those in our area who need help. And while a recent survey showed that volunteerism rates in Nevada are the second lowest in the country, the need keeps rising. One place you can really see that is at the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission where they feed about 1,200 people a day with very limited resources.

Three days a week at the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission, the day starts off with a delivery.

"We never know what's going to come off the truck. We never know what people are going to donate," says Paul Parent, food operations manager at the mission.

All they know is the community and businesses... do.

"There was local restaurant that went south and we got their seafood. You never know," says Parent. "It's kind of like Top Chef. They give us a basket and we open it up and see what we do from there."

On this day, plenty of milk is unloaded into the supply room. While some workers stock, others chop.
For this evening's dinner, there's mashed potatoes, turkey, corn, and warm bread.

"It's very busy actually, it's pretty close quarters," says Jeremy Monge, who cooks in the kitchen. "Hot environment you know but we get things done."

They have to. In the last four years since Paul Parent has been managing the kitchen...

"We see more and more (people) every year," says Parent. "More and more people are either working poor or having bad luck and not having enough money to feed themselves so there are a lot of people here who are on the street."

Even though sometimes, these guys don't get much to work with, they always do make it work.

"That's the way it was when Jesus fed the 5,000, he put up the fish and the loaves and it never stopped. And it never stops here," says Parent.

If you want to volunteer or donate contact Paul Parent at the mission at:

(775) 329-0485
Reno Sparks Gospel Mission
355 Record Street
Reno, NV 89512

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