Catholic Charities sees uptick in demand as rents rise

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The St. Vincent’s food pantry on east Fourth Street and Valley Road has been quite busy lately. Staffers with Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada say they have seen a significant uptick in demand for their services lately.

“We have gone from 12,000 clients a month to almost 16,000, so a 25% increase,” said Scott Cooksley, Director of Nutrition Services.

Cooksley says a big part of the change has been the increased price of rent, leaving people less money for other essential goods.

“Today we are going to see about 400 households. When we started we were doing about 200,”Cooksley added.

For many, like Reno’s Kay Estep, the services couldn’t be a bigger help.

“I need everything I can get right now so I can start over,” said Estep, who said she used to be homeless, but no longer is.

A big part of the reason Catholic Charities has been able to handle the increase in demand is the help of volunteers, who find joy in helping others.

“They have to pay the rent,” says volunteer Laura Reinig. “They can come here and get fresh produce and other things that we offer to help fill their pantry. It’s a great joy to be able to do.”

“People from all walks of life working as hard as they can but still can't make ends meet,” said Lydia Bailey, who also volunteers at the St. Vincent’s Food Pantry. “Being a part of something like this that is so well organized. St Vincent’s just does a lot of great work and it's good to be a part of it."

Catholic Charities depends on volunteers like Reinig and Bailey, but also depends on the public to help. Cash, food and material donations are needed. Click here to find out more.