Feeding Nevada County: Effort to help those hungry bolstered by partnerships between nonprofits (VIDEO) | TheUnion.com
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Feeding Nevada County: Effort to help those hungry bolstered by partnerships between nonprofits (VIDEO)

VOLUNTEER

List of current volunteer opportunities: https://volunteerhub.connectingpoint.org/

DONATIONS

Help feed Nevada County’s hungry. Contact any of the nonprofits listed below or donate to the Nevada County Relief Fund, where every dollar is focused on nonprofit organizations that serve western Nevada County’s most vulnerable residents.

FOOD

Families and individuals who are in immediate need of food can call 2-1-1 for more information or click the following link for a comprehensive list of food resources: https://211connectingpoint.org/nevada-county/covid-19/food-resources. More information: Visit http://www.211connectingpoint.org.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION SITES

(Visit websites for current dates, as times may change week to week):

Interfaith Food Ministry

530-273-8132

Email: info@interfaithfoodministry.org

https://www.interfaithfoodministry.org

Food Bank of Nevada County

Phone: 530-272-3796

https://foodbankofnc.org/

FREED Center for Independent Living

530-477-3333 voice

530-477-8194 TTY

https://freed.org/

Local resources for older adults, people with disabilities, & caregivers:

Phone: 800-655-7732 or 2-1-1 Nevada County.

Gold Country Community Services

Senior Nutrition Program (Meals on Wheels, Congregate Lunch Cafe, CalFresh (federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP)

Nutrition Office: 530-273-4961

https://www.goldcountryservices.org/senior-nutrition-program/

Sierra Roots

530-751-3263

http://www.sierraroots.org

Salvation Army

530-274-3500

https://grassvalley.salvationarmy.org/

Nevada County’s Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)

530-265-1454

Economic statistics remain grim across the country, with 20.5 million people losing their jobs in April and the unemployment rate rising to 14.7%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

One key indicator of just how many people are struggling in any given region is the number in need of free food, and western Nevada County has seen a marked increase.

The Interfaith Food Ministry in Grass Valley reports a 260% increase in new clients since COVID-19 began to impact everyday life roughly two months ago. Additionally, past clients who haven’t needed supplemental food for the past two years are now coming back, said Naomi Cabral, IFM’s development director.

“Right now we’re giving out bigger distributions than normal, so people don’t have to come out of their homes as often,” said Cabral. “Initially we saw some shortages and delays from food stores, but fortunately most food now is coming to us at a normal pace.”

“We’re fortunate to live in such a great and generous place. We’re not going to let anyone go hungry here — we’re not that kind of community.”Naomi Cabral, Interfaith Food Ministry

IFM’s purchasing power is greatly increased through its ability to buy in bulk in partnership with the Placer County Food Bank, which can mean as much as $5 worth of low cost staple foods — such as canned tuna and peanut butter — for every dollar spent. Additionally, Sierra Harvest, along with local farmers, continue to provide a majority of the fresh produce.

The massive effort to feed Nevada County’s hungry is greatly bolstered by the strong partnerships between nonprofits, said Cabral, such as the Senior Grocery Bag program with Gold Country Community Services, the student food pantry at Nevada Union High School with United Way of Nevada County, The Food Bank of Nevada County, FREED Center for Independent Living and others.

“Believe me when I say that these people are not abusing the system,” said Cabral. “Even before COVID-19 our clients came to us only when they absolutely had to. We’re also seeing people giving back. Clients who have gotten on their feet are coming back to donate groceries or drop off a check.”

FOOD BANK

The Food Bank of Nevada County has also seen an unprecedented spike in numbers that have nearly quadrupled. In 2019, the food bank fed an average of 2,500 individuals each month.

“At our COVID-19 drive-through distributions we are serving between 2,000 and 2,800 individuals each week,” said Nicole McNeely, the food bank’s executive director. “We are now feeding as many people each week as we used to feed each month.”

Like IFM, the food bank partners with other programs and has now changed to a drive-thru model, where pre-assembled bags of groceries are handed out. While McNeely says there is currently enough food to meet the demand, groceries need to be carefully divided.

GOLD COUNTRY COMMUNITY SERVICES

The Meals on Wheels Program, which addresses food insecurity among the elderly, has seen a demand for groceries not seen before, said Executive Director Janeth Marroletti.

“We recently added 98 people from the waiting list and the need continues to increase without a sign of slowing down,” she said. “Because the demand for meals continues to increase we also just recently partnered with The Lift to help us deliver some meals to the hard-to-reach areas that are more challenging to deliver with volunteers. This has made a huge impact to ensure these seniors have access to food.”

As a result of the increased need, Gold Country Community Services created the Senior Grocery Bag Program in collaboration with IFM, the food bank and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital to provide a bag of nutritionally balanced “shelf stable” meals for seniors, as many cannot attend food distribution locations due to their frailty, lack of support and/or lack of transportation.

FREED

While calls to the FREED Center for Independent Living have doubled since the onset of COVID-19, the nonprofit also has the added challenge of serving a mostly homebound population with disabilities and secondary health conditions, said Ana Acton, FREED’s executive director. This places its clients at high risk should they contract the virus.

“The biggest need we’re seeing is access to food and nutrition for those who need groceries delivered to their homes,” she said. “For low income individuals, paying for a grocery delivery service is a barrier. We are working with the food bank to help them take over grocery delivery. But right now, in partnership with IFM, the food bank, 211 Nevada County and Gold Country Community Services, we deliver weekly grocery bags to about 60 to 70 individuals who fall into high risk categories — it’s important to note that these are not all seniors. These are all people with health conditions, such as diabetes, who would have a much harder time recovering should they get sick.”

As sheltering-in-place orders continue to be relaxed, Acton said there is likely to be a “dual reality,” as those in high risk health categories will need to remain home for much longer. Part of the community’s challenge, she said, will be to continue to support homebound, low income, at risk individuals for an extended period of time.

FREE LUNCHES FOR CHILDREN

When Emily Scott of Emily’s Catering and Cakes heard that many low-income children were missing much needed free meals that were normally provided at school, she started making 100 bag lunches to give away to children every Friday.

During her first attempt, not all 100 lunches were given away. Then word got out.

“In the last few weeks we ran out in half an hour,” said Scott. “Now we’re making 125 lunches and those are gone within an hour. We’re definitely seeing a need. We were going to stop at the end of May, but now we’ve decided to go through July at least.”

“We’re hearing a lot from people who are scared — they’ve lost their jobs or had their hours cut,” said Cabral, of IFM. “But at the same time they’re incredibly grateful. We’re fortunate to live in such a great and generous place. We’re not going to let anyone go hungry here — we’re not that kind of community.”

MORE IN THIS SERIES

COVID-19 protocols strain Nevada County homeless shelter’s budget

Tenants, landlords arrange payment options during COVID-19 eviction ban

Patchwork of tenant protections intact for now

The high cost of homelessness in Nevada County

Nevada City collaborates with county and nonprofits to move campers off Sugarloaf Mountain

Nevada County housing market sees increased demand, limited inventory

‘I may have now but I might not tomorrow’: No uptick in Nevada County homelessness amid COVID-19, but future concerns linger

Nevada County graduates consider options in wake of COVID-19

Nevada County students receive more than $800,000 in scholarships

Graduating seniors in Nevada county weigh financial, academic concerns for college

Career education program adapts to meet needs of students

‘I just want to play’: Players, coaches, ADs and officials eye safe, speedy return of high school sports

‘Should I jump into a career?’ Many questions remain for students, teachers and administrators as the future draws nearer

Nevada County middle schoolers, high school underclassmen unsure what to expect next year

Support systems for Nevada County teens go virtual during pandemic

Sierra College summer enrollment not slowing

‘The best they could’: Nevada County Superintendent of Schools reflects on the school year, ponders what’s to come this fall

‘I can’t see the bottom now’: Administrators consider where and whether to make layoffs amid revenue shortage

‘These kids want to ball’: Youth sports organizations grapple with tough decisions regarding COVID-19 safety

Hamstrung: Nevada County summer sports scene hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

Nevada County theaters go dark for the year

Movie theaters struggle to cover rent, utilities in an industry that typically operates with narrow profit margin

‘Planning for all of it’: Nevada City Film Festival moves online for this year’s event

Nevada County’s music festivals look to virtual events to build community, recoup finances

For Nevada County musicians, the show goes online

Nevada County artists adapt, host online galleries, concerts and workshops

Street fair cancellations in Nevada City, Grass Valley a huge economic hit

‘We are the recovery; we are essential’: Nevada County Arts Council survey reveals artists, art organizations are struggling

Who’s zooming whom? Creativity among Nevada County artists in the pandemic era

Nevada County Arts Council receives $112K Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education grant for new project

Nevada County nonprofit funding in jeopardy

Nonprofits struggle to serve clients during pandemic shutdown

Nevada County animal rescue groups see surge in fosters, adoptions

Nevada County’s thrift stores move ahead with reopening

Possible postponement, cancellation of Nevada County Fair would negatively impact several Nevada County nonprofits

Local nonprofits feeling the effect of canceled, postponed fundraising events due to COVID-19

Feeding Nevada County: Effort to help those hungry bolstered by partnerships between nonprofits (VIDEO)

Nevada County youth organizations adjust to public health requirements

Volunteer work faces changes at Nevada County nonprofits amid restrictions

‘Do you have reserves?’ Still much uncertainty over how nonprofits will fare in coming months, years

Government business continues in isolation during COVID-19 pandemic

Nevada County, cities collaborate to reopen safely

Wildfire prep in Nevada County continues virtually during pandemic

‘This is why we signed up’: Librarian, homeless shelter manager continue working during pandemic

Financial aid offers much-needed relief in western Nevada County for those who can get it

Grass Valley trims staff in response to COVID-19 shutdown

Nevada County: Staffing, service reductions not yet needed

Nevada County property tax on par despite pandemic

Nevada County health workers say they currently have sufficient supply of personal protective equipment

Hospice of the Foothills continues providing end-of-life care during COVID-19 crisis

Senior care facilities on lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic

Residents of Nevada County senior living communities staying connected

‘Continue to plan and prepare’: Hospital analyzes finances, anticipates federal funding to ensure financial stability

Nurses in Nevada County and the region talk about why they love their jobs

Nevada County not planning to release more detailed COVID-19 case data

Officials: Testing is key in calls to reopen in Nevada County, across California

Nevada County doctors change approach to providing care due to COVID-19

The trifecta: Public health experts recommend testing, contact tracing and supported isolation to phase into a reopened world

Investigating the impact: Lack of revenue, uncertain return date causes concern for arts and entertainment venues

Impacts of Idaho-Maryland mine to be revealed soon

Nevada County artists discuss how COVID-19 shutdown has affected them

‘The arts are essential’: Center for the Arts launches emergency relief fund

Real estate sales strong in Nevada County despite challenges

No slowdown seen in Nevada County construction industry despite COVID-19 lockdown

Nevada County government, home improvement and real estate representatives talk business during COVID-19

‘I’d like to place an order’: In light of COVID-19, the demand for home delivery services in Nevada County is at an all-time high

Grass Valley, Nevada City first to feel COVID-19 economic hit

See you soon? Small business owners struggle, but are hopeful for a brighter tomorrow in Nevada County

Nevada County businesses struggle navigating economic relief

Nevada County health care providers pivot on financial tight rope

‘A sudden and dramatic downturn’: Nevada County economy will be hurt for longtime following coronavirus slowdown, expert says

‘A recession, let alone a depression’: Western Nevada County businesses apply for federal loans, but most have yet to receive money

Nevada County businesses, governments, nonprofits navigate uncertain times, worry what’s ahead

RELATED RESOURCES

http://www.TheUnion.com/coronavirus

http://www.MyNevadaCounty.com/coronavirus

Coronavirus Guidance for Businesses/Employers

Nevada County Relief Fund for Covid-19

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at cory@theunion.com or call 530-477-4203.


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