Sheri Samson The Catholic Charities organization delivers food to the former JPO building last week.

Sheri Samson
The Catholic Charities organization delivers food to the former JPO building last week.

The Catholic Charities truck was greeted by Barbara Owens from the Mineral County Park and Recreation Department and Curtis Schlepp, Chief Probation Officer, as over 1800 “snack packs” were delivered to the old JPO building. Owens explained that the relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley had provided a network of resources, one of which was the contact with the Catholic Charities who are combining their efforts within rural Nevada communities in various ways.

Scott Cooksley, the Division Director of food services shared, “This is a form of backpacking extra food items to kids that may need it over a weekend or to encourage students that need extra help. We are a 75 year old agency, with a proven track record of helping people and partnering with others to sustain helpful levels that can impact communities. This Hawthorne connection was made and after meeting here, we knew we could help several areas of Mineral County.”

Working off a Nevada State grant, it was a good fit to supply food through the schools. Owens had enough cases delivered to take care of 450 kids over four weeks. Each pack contains three small meals, including a variety of choice items. There were several key people involved in making this happen, including Yvette Myers with Catholic Charities, and Christina Hurt, the Grant Coordinator.

As the truck driver for Catholic Charities, Wallace Wright mentioned, “It’s great to get a foothold in a variety of places, especially in rural areas.”

Cooksley shared that there is now a growing consistency in this outreach as they are serving 14 out of 17 Nevada counties. They have 65 pantry partners, including our local CAHS who is planning a special Sept. 9 event, in conjunction with Catholic Charities, at their office located on 5th St.

“When the program and the grant were first implemented, it was small. Now the endeavor addresses food insecurity that is experienced by our State’s children by servicing more pantries and schools every time the grant cycle is renewed. Half our funding is designated for rural areas”, stated Cooksley, “so working directly with a local organization that is already running the WIC, SNAP and other programs was an easy fit. We are happy to partner up and make this happen locally for you.”

Owens was joined by Melissa Isom who has volunteered to help develop a system of handing out the snack packs within the schools. As an extra food source, it is a benefit for local children that rely upon the help, or those that just need to know it’s there when needed.