People living in poverty in rural Nevada will have more access to food and other social support this summer.
Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, which runs the St. Vincent’s Food Pantry in Reno, recently received a $2 million grant from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. The money will help St. Vincent’s to expand their services to an additional 11 counties across the state by August.
Scott Cooksley heads up Food Services for Catholic Charities. He says that poor families in rural areas have fewer options accessing food than those in urban areas.
“A family may have to go 30, 40 or 50 miles to go do groceries because the only access to food they have could be the convenience store that’s run out of a gas station or maybe something from one of these dollar store chains,” Cooksley says.
Cooksley says the goal of the program is not only to provide food to families in need but also to help them break the cycle of poverty.
“You have a really small finite number of jobs that are available for that population and then it’s tough to move out of those areas; maybe you have family that’s been there for three, four, five generations and it’s not easy for them to pick up and move.”
The grant money will be used to add an additional truck, a driver and case manager. St. Vincent’s mobile program is a “one-stop shop” model that provides help with employment, transportation and health care.