Dayton, Nevada – The Dayton Food Pantry hit it’s goal to collect and distribute 300 turkeys during the days leading up to the Thankgiving holiday. Pantry manager Alie Trier said, “I can’t thank everyone enough. During November, the community helped the Pantry get food to 1,250 people.” Trier said that many individuals and groups donated turkeys, and also cash. With the cash donations, the Pantry was able to buy turkeys in large numbers at a discount from area grocery stores.
In addition, individuals contributed more than $6,000 in food and cash during a November food drive held by volunteers at Smith’s Food and Drug in Dayton. Trier noted that Smith’s also donates food such as fresh vegetables and fruits throughout the year, and the Grocery Outlet in Carson City has continued to support the Pantry as well.
“I really want to do a big shout out to Riverview Elementary School too,” Trier said. Their Student Leadership led a school-wide food drive that resulted in the donation of nearly 2,000 nonperishable food items for the Pantry’s Thanksgiving week food boxes.
Weekend Food Backpacks: Beyond the 1,250 people the Pantry reached in November, between September 2018 and November 2018, Pantry volunteers packed and delivered nearly 1,000 food backpacks to Dayton schools. The backpacks, which help students who lack food during weekends, each contain enough food for five meals (items are donated by Catholic Charities and supplemented with additional donated food). For information about how to receive weekend backpacks, parents should contact their school academic counselor, or Dayton Resource Coordinator Terri Gahr. This school year the Pantry has also provided 31 snack boxes for school nurses and counselors to keep onhand for hungry students.
Hams and Sleeping Bags Needed: For the winter holidays, the Food Pantry has a goal of collecting 200 hams. In addition, the Pantry is in need of clean blankets and sleeping bags to distribute.
Barrels where nonperishable food items can be donated will continue to be out during December at locations such as Gold Ranch Casino, Stor-All, and the Dayton Valley Learning Center in Dayton. The Pantry is hoping for items such as boxed macaroni and cheese and canned soups.
Referrals: When you’re visiting the Dayton Food Pantry, trained Community Health Workers there are happy to help visitors make appointments with their local clinic and assist in filling in paperwork if wanted. Public Health Nursing services include immunizations, well-child services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, reproductive health and family planning services for both males and females, etc.
Hours and Location: Volunteers and donations are welcomed at the Pantry, which is located at 209 Dayton Valley Road. The Pantry is normally open Monday-Thursday from 10am-4pm and closed on holidays. During the winter holidays, the Pantry will be closed on December 24-25, and also on New Year’s Eve (December 31) and New Year’s Day (January 1).
The Dayton Food Pantry is one “spoke” in Healthy Communities’ regional Healthy Food Hub, an effort to increase access to and demand for affordable, locally and sustainably grown food. For additional information about the Pantry, call (775) 246-7834.
How Does the Pantry Work? Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties funds management and oversight of the Pantry, maintains required data reporting such as the number of boxes distributed, and provides training for the dedicated volunteers who give thousands of hours of service to the Pantry each year. Coalition staff help write and manage grants to support the Pantry as well. The Pantry collects donated food through Food Bank of Northern Nevada and benefits from reduced price rates from many area grocery stores. Through grants, USDA, fundraisers, food drives, and generous donations from farmers, clubs, businesses, individuals, Catholic Charities, etc, the Pantry is able to help people of all ages access healthy food and avoid hunger.