Las Vegas food banks see surge in demand in summer months - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas food banks see surge in demand in summer months

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LAS VEGAS -- With the end of school for most students just a day away, many Las Vegas valley kids will now be without meals.

Students in need often count on free and reduced lunch to get through the school year, but when summer hits, they can go hungry.

At the Catholic Charities food pantry, they are now serving 200 people a day. That is up from 150 just a few weeks ago. The charity says summer is the one time families in need use its services the most. Now, it has changed the way it gives food to give families.

Raven Eaglewood has five little ones at home. Two of her own and three godchildren she supports. It has been a struggle for her to find the food to feed them.

"Put one plate in front of them, they eat it, it is gone. Mom, more! Mom, more!" Eaglewood said.

She shops food banks across southern Nevada several times a month. Eaglewood says places like the Catholic Charities food bank are literally a lifesaver during the summer, because that is when her kids go without free school lunch.

"It helps a lot. It really does," Eaglewood said.

Catholic Charities just revamped its food pantry, making it more like a store. Families can "shop" for what they need.

"We know summer is coming, and we know that there are families that struggle there during that time. We have to do our best to bridge the gap for them," Leslie Carmine with Catholic Charities said.

Places like Three Square Food Bank and various grocery stores donate everything from canned goods to frozen items.

"Donated dollars that come in, we utilize community partners to stretch those as far as we can to be able to provide variety and nutritious items for families in need."

Carmine said.

Families also get nearly unlimited produce to encourage healthy eating in a world of cheap fast food.

"I get a lot of vegetables and stuff like this, because the kids need that," Eaglewood said.

Even with the help of local food banks, Eaglewood is still struggling.

"There are people out there with families and living on the street who need food," Eaglewood said.

Now, she says places like Catholic Charities give her some sort of security she can provide for her family.

The Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada food bank is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, go to catholiccharities.com.

For information on Three Square Food Bank, go to threesquare.org. For information the program that helps high schoolers get the food they need in the summer, go to project150.org.

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