Nevadans Going Hungry

RENO, NV -- Too many Nevadans are going hungry. According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nevada is ranked number eight in the nation for low food insecurity.

The percentage of households in Nevada that face food insecurity jumped from nine percent to 16 percent in 10 years, which is the largest increase in the nation. Local charities are even feeling the impact.

Food insecurity is a struggle that three-year-old Maya and her mother, Trinity, face every week. Trinity has a part-time job at a retail store, but with a child to raise on her own, bills start to add up and she's worried she can't feed her family.

"I would just like to be able to have her eat a good meal, a good three meals every day," she said. "I'm worried she's not getting enough of nutritional things."

She spends about $50 a week on groceries, but sometimes health falls on the wayside.

"It's almost cheaper to like get stuff off the dollar menu."

She's one of more than 300,000 Nevadans dependent on food stamps or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programs (SNAP).

"Even though it's supposed to be a supplement and for many it is, for 20 percent of those it isn't," Jocelyn Lantrip, representative from Food Bank of Northern Nevada, said. "It's not easy to eat on a budget of $4.06 every day."

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada feeds about 89,000 people every month, but for community outreach leaders like Evelyn Mount, getting donations has been a struggle this year, and it's getting worse.

With empty shelves it's hard to feed empty stomachs.

"The contributions of food, clothing, household items is badly needed, but mostly the food because you can see that we are out of food practically and we never do under 500 people," she said.

She has to go back to giving out food to the community on a monthly basis instead of doing it weekly based on a lack of donations, which help people like Trinity survive.

"I'm just glad we have a roof over our heads and we're not completely starved; at least I have a job."

The community can help her by donating any food or clothing to her house at 2530 Cannan Street here in Reno.

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