Weather impacts food distribution in Northern Nevada

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 12:05 AM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - The severe winter weather we have been experiencing is not only impacting travelers but it’s also creating more barriers for people needing food.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada (FBNN) serves over 100,000 neighbors each month.

“We have been scrambling a little bit more,” said Jocelyn Lantrip, director of communications & marketing at FBNN.

Due to the weather systems that have hit the area consecutively, the organization has had to cancel several distribution days.

“We really try to not cancel programs; this is an unusual amount of weather for us.”

According to Lantrip, the cancellations happened in the valley as well as rural areas.

“It’s tough because a lot of our distributions are held outside in parking lots, and maybe the roads are clear enough but the parking lot isn’t clear enough,” she explained.

When there are cancellations, the FBNN updates its social media and helps connect those who reach out with other resources in their area.

Another service that experienced cancellations due to the storm was Carson City’s Meals on Wheels. However, they had prepared.

According to the executive director, they had delivered frozen meals ahead of the normal schedule, while drivers called clients to make sure they were okay.

On the other hand, Catholic Charities’ food pantries kept services going without pause. While road conditions did impact the volume of volunteers, executive director Marie Baxter said their partnership with local businesses kept them afloat.

“A lot of our suppliers are local manufacturers. We do pick-ups at various stores and those kinds of things,” said Baxter.

The close pick-ups and preparing boxes helped them speed up the process. Baxter explains more than operations, it was clients who were impacted the most, especially by power outages.

“If you’re living paycheck to paycheck or you’re relying on fresh fruit and vegetables from a food pantry and your refrigerator goes down for three or four days, that food rotted for a lot of people. So, we did see an uptick in people that kind of needed to replenish,” she said.

The organizations are now preparing for the weather expected this weekend. They say the community can help out by checking in with their neighbor and helping them clean their driveway or parking lots. You can also donate your time and money.