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Helping northern Nevada’s hungry on MLK National Day of Service

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 9:42 PM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Dozens of volunteers stepped up to serve with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada (FBNN) on Monday, January 18, 2021, also observed as Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service.

“It’s a great community asset, and we want to help others out in our community and the food bank is the best way to do it,” Brian Kelley, a volunteer from Sparks said.

Jocelyn Lantrip, Director of Marketing with the FBNN added, “Without them, we can’t move food out the door, we can’t sort those donations, we can’t hand them out to families.”

Residents helped sort and pack food donated to the nonprofit. It will later be distributed to our area’s hungry.

But like most things, the annual event was forced into a new look due to COVID-19. Sessions needed to be kept smaller and face coverings were required to participate.

“The food bank has done a really good job with social distancing and making sure that we’re not all jammed together,” Kelley said.

“It’s a lot different than last year but just as meaningful.”

Jocelyn Lantrip, Director of Marketing with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada

Since the pandemic began, the food bank says there has been a 35% increase in the need for emergency food assistance.

Lantrip added, “It’s hard to ask for help, especially if you haven’t been in that situation before, so it means the world to them. They know that we’re going to be there and that’s one less thing they have to worry about in their lives.”

Staff and volunteers agree that it’s important to give back because it empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, addresses social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

You can contribute to making your neighborhood better, even as the public health crisis rages on. The FBNN is always in need of volunteers, either at its warehouse, located at 550 Italy Drive in Sparks or by handing out food in northern Nevada cities. For more ways to get involved with the organization, click here.

If you cannot donate your time, there are other ways to give.

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