A Summer of Feeding

The Las Vegas Field Office teamed up with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the State of Nevada Food and Nutrition Division and the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas for a second year in a row to help reduce food insecurity and hunger among low income children. The USDA funds the State of Nevada's Summer Feeding Program which provides free meals to low income children 0-18 years at centrally located places called a "feeding sites".

[Photo: Group photo with ServinghopeLV notation]

According to the Census Bureau, there are as many as 315,000 people in Clark County that face food insecurity at any given moment. Food insecurity is defined as having limited access to food due to lack of finances or other reasons.

A feeding site can be any facility ranging from schools and churches to an apartment complex. Phyllis Hargrove, Senior Management Analyst, worked with Mary Cain, Las Vegas HUD Multifamily, to identify HUD subsidized properties that were interested in becoming "feeding sites". The Culinary Academy, a hospitality training facility, prepares and delivers the free meals to the various feeding sites.

More feeding sites are needed each year as more families struggle to maintain housing and provide enough food to feed their families. This year the Las Vegas office added four new HUD assisted properties and coordinated with HUD approved Housing Counselors to provide onsite services for the adult residents with financial literacy and fraud prevention classes.

The HUD, USDA, State of Nevada and Culinary partnership alone helped to feed hundreds of hungry children, but we did not stop there! The Las Vegas office received requests to help struggling senior citizens in need of food assistance. So the Las Vegas Field Office contacted a local nonprofit called Serving Hope.

Serving Hope was already serving hundreds of homeless and low income persons weekly with food, clothing and other services. HUD's partnership with Mr. Moses allowed him to accept larger food donations from Fresh and Easy, Albertsons, local bakeries and several others. Ms. Hargrove coordinated with Serving Hope's founder and President Siloh Moses to add three HUD assisted senior housing developments to a his food distribution list.

Incredibly as word got out, Siloh's food donor list expanded even more so that we were able to coordinate another community partner. Phyllis connected Siloh with Sherrill Maddox of The Move Project to help her set up and stock her food pantry. Sherrill's group works closely with the City of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas, Metro Police Department and the Veteran's Administration.

Through referrals, struggling veterans and those exiting the justice system could now access even more quality food for free. We estimate that through HUD's coordination and partnerships with USDA, State of Nevada, Culinary Academy and Serving Hope Las Vegas approximately 5,000 seniors, children and other adults in HUD assisted properties were served quality food and hope.

This truly was a summer of feeding. It shows that the power of a few to affect many and that partnership works even in 110 degree heat. We would like to give a special thanks to Siloh Moses and his band of dedicated volunteers as they continue serving hope throughout the year.

More information of the summer food program (http://nutrition.nv.gov/Programs/Summer_Food_Program_(SFSP)/).


Content Archived: January 3, 2017