COVID-19 pandemic increases food insecurities in Las Vegas valley; local organizations step up to help

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The coronavirus pandemic is still greatly affecting a lot of people, causing thousands to still be out of work around the country and in southern Nevada.

Many have to choose between paying bills and buying groceries. Organizations such as Three Square Food Bank and Project 4 Humanity say as we head into the holiday season, food insecurities will grow even more. 

“Ever since COVID hit — the pandemic definitely put a damper on food insecurities, said Shawna Gonzalez, CEO, and founder of Project 4 Humanity. “About 73% here in the valley 40% of that being children; homeless children.

Gonzalez says they started to see an increase in food insecurities in June when thousands started losing their jobs. The need increased, especially for seniors and veterans.

Lisa Segler with Three Square also reports an increase in people needing help.

“Seniors in our valley right now are experiencing some serious challenges — even pre-COVID,” Segler said. “We know that the cost of housing, the lack of affordable housing here in southern Nevada really posses an issue.”

That’s why both Three Square and Project 4 Humanity are stepping in to help.

“It’s called Golden Groceries. It’s a supplemental grocery program for those that are 60 and better, so it offers lean protein, whole grains, and fresh produce, and it’s a client twist model, which is something that we are very proud of,” Segler said.

“We’re distributing 6,000 boxes this week,’ Gonzalez said. [It’s] “going out to senior veterans and families. These boxes have been vamped up. They have milk, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, a cooking type of meat. They also have produce and apples, oranges, a different variety.”

Gonzalez says she doesn’t see things improving, especially with the holidays approaching.

 “We cannot conquer hunger without everybody,” Segler said. 

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