LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Police officers will be distributing “2,600 turkeys and other food items” Tuesday morning to help Southern Nevadans in need.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is sponsoring the distribution to help address “unprecendented need” this year, working with Las Vegas Metro police and Three Square.
Dozens of officers will collect the turkeys and other food items beginning at 9 a.m. at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, 400 S. Martin L. King Blvd. The food will be go out to area command centers around the valley.
Community policing teams and community advocates have identified individuals and families to be recipients, but officers will deliver the surprise either directly or through shelters, churches or those who support Nevadans in need.
The effort is being made possible through a collaboration by the LVMPD Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nevada Medicaid and Three Square.
A news release from Anthem reminds, “As Thanksgiving approaches, we have a sobering reminder of the hunger crisis that has gripped Nevada amid the ongoing pandemic and economic fallout.”
Some facts about Thanksgiving 2020:
- More than 300,000 people are struggling with hunger in Nevada alone, and approximately 40 percent are children.
- The COVID-19 crisis and unprecedented unemployment rate has significantly increased demand for everyday meals, so more people across Nevada are asking for help for the first time.
- Nevada’s unemployment rate hit a record high of 30 percent in April and the Las Vegas valley’s casino-heavy and tourist-dependent economy continues to be devastated by the ongoing pandemic. Currently, an estimated 12 percent of Nevada’s workforce is unemployed – more than the national average (of 6.9 percent) during the coronavirus pandemic.
- While there was a desire to procure and donate more turkeys this year, resources and storage space had to be used to access/store/supply critically needed food items, not only for Thanksgiving meals, but also to address daily food needs across Southern Nevada.
- Prior to COVID-19, it was estimated that 11 percent of American households were food insecure, affecting approximately 14.3 million people. Recent surveys have found that nearly 40 percent of households now report moderate to high levels of food insecurity, which can mean skipping meals or having to choose between food and medicine.