Evelyn Mount Food Drive

A Reno woman who has spearheaded a Thanksgiving holiday food drive for 27 years says she's not angry over the theft of enough donated items to feed more than 300 needy families.

Evelyn Mount, 80, said she has faith that there will be enough donations to make up for the loss.

"No, no, I'm not mad. I'm praying that God will bless them (thieves)," she said Friday. "I felt sad that they felt they had to steal it. But if they're hungry, I hope they'll be fed by what they took."

Sak 'N Save officials told police that thieves made off with up to 150 turkeys and seven cases of Cornish game hens after cutting the locks of two trailers behind their Sparks store sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Mount said she has been deluged with donations since police released details of the theft. She hopes to provide food for 4,000 people next week, with the help of churches, companies and community organizations.

"I have assurance from God that everything will be replaced," she said. "God works in mysterious ways ... A bad start always makes for a good ending."

The setback hasn't diminished Mount's enthusiasm for the nonprofit Community Outreach agency she and her late husband Leon formed in 1979, said Ken Klinger, a Sak 'N Save meat manager involved in the effort.

Mount has an uncanny ability to rally others to her cause, he said. She is the driving force behind the annual collection and preparation of food baskets coordinated from her modest home in northeast Reno.

"It's amazing the community support she gets, the giving and sharing," he said. "Everybody loves the woman to death. She's just awesome."

Mount knows what it's like to be poor. As a youngster growing up in Tallulah, La., she was one of 11 brothers and sisters and three cousins who shared the family's four-bedroom house.

She plans to begin collecting food for Christmas on Dec. 4.

On a side note, Cub Country held a food drive for Evelyn this morning. They brought in 600 turkeys and rasied 15,000 dollars in donations for Community Outreach.