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More Fresh Produce Heading To Reno Food Pantry

Michelle Bliss

A charity in Reno recently partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno for a project they hope will make it easier for low-income families to access fresh, locally grown produce. Marcus Lavergne reports:

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada is working with UNR’s Desert Farming Initiative to build a new “hoop” house in Reno. There, they’ll grow fresh fruit and vegetables year round for some of Catholic Charities’ poverty programs, including St. Vincent’s Food Pantry.

The hoop house will help ensure a consistent flow of fresh produce – something spokeswoman Auburn Harrison said they’re lacking.

“The people who visit our food pantry and our dining room are so appreciative of those types of items,” Harrison said. “This is going to really increase the amount that we’ll have available, and it will also make it so that we always have it available, when currently, it’s sort of on a case by case basis.”

St. Vincent’s Food Pantry served more than 150,000 people in the valley last year. For Harrison, partnering with UNR will help feed low income-families more than just perishable foods.

“When we’re giving somebody canned goods every week then, hey, once in a while we can also give them some kale, some tomatoes, some fresh peppers and so it’s just adding to their diet,” Harrison said. “We want to try to make sure that people are getting a really well-balanced, well-rounded diet.”

Harrison said the partnership also provides more opportunities for Catholic Charities’ volunteers as. From children to adults, anyone looking to give back to the Reno community can help out with the garden, according to Harrison.

The two groups plan to finish the hoop house next month. They hope to plant in the next few months, just in time for a spring harvest.  

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