LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The coronavirus pandemic has taken so much. In many cases, it has robbed people of the simple dignity of putting food on the table.
Since the end of March, a new non-profit called “Delivering with Dignity” has helped meet the needs of Las Vegas’ most food vulnerable. This week, the organization hit a major milestone.
The task was simple. Take some food to a couple of apartments.
From “Graffiti Bao” restaurant in the southwest valley, the destination was near downtown. For a few hours, I was what they call a “Food Hero”.
Punam Mathur runs the non-profit “Delivering with Dignity.” Since the end of March, it’s paired with other nonprofits to find the valley’s most vulnerable and give them the food they desperately need.
“Restaurant quality, chef prepared meals and a whole bunch of love,” Mathur said. “It’s a bit tough to wrap our head around, isn’t it? In a place as abundant as our community and our country, to think about people who are literally challenged to eat.”
The food goes to families that for one reason or another can’t go to a grocery store or can’t wait at a food pantry.
On Wednesday, I had the honor of helping with a special delivery.
“Today marks the 100,000th meal,” Mathur said.
And it was my responsibility.
It would go to an apartment off Charleston and Eastern — the home of Shaquan Longmayer.
“It’s hard out here, the coronavirus and no jobs. Grocery store lines are long,” Longmayer said.
About a block away, it was meal 100,001.
This is Elizabeth Martinez. She is a single mother of two, disabled in a car crash.
She knows as well as anyone even when the pandemic passes, the struggle for survival will linger.
It’s why families appreciate the simple gratitude of “Food Heroes,” and why Mathur knows their work is just beginning.
“For the most vulnerable among us, Phase 2, Phase 3 won’t change their lives,” Mathur said. “It’s going to be a long, long time.”
In addition to helping hungry families, the program is helping struggling restaurants stay in business with grant funding. Families are referred to “delivering with dignity” by other nonprofits and local food banks.
If you would like to be a “food hero”, CLICK HERE.