Food for Thought has seen its largest growth in children in need of meals this year, jumping from 700 students served to just shy of 850.
“People got on really hard times, and they need a little extra help this year,” said Stephanie Gardner, executive director of the five-year-old nonprofit organization that discreetly provides meals to elementary school children over the weekends.
The increase in need, she said, amounted to an additional truckload of food each a week, a cost she hopes will be recouped at the annual Saddle Up for Kids fundraiser this weekend.
“The fundraiser is vital to keeping our program’s doors open,” she said.
It begins with a barbecue at 5 p.m. Friday at the Governor’s Mansion, which includes an auction and a silent auction of items including a week in Hawaii and a trip to Disneyland. Entertainment will be provided by CW and Mr. Spoons, with food by Carson City BBQ. Carson High School culinary arts students will make a dessert.
“It’s just a good, old-fashioned barbecue,” Gardner said. “It’s really a lot of fun.”
For the first time this year, the fundraiser will include a carnival the following day at Mills Park.
“We’re an organization for kids, so we wanted to do something the kids in the community could come out and be involved in,” Gardner said.
The carnival begins 7:30 a.m. with tethered hot-air balloon rides, culminating in a golf ball drop at 9:30 a.m. Golf balls may be purchased prior at nvfoodforthought.org for $10. Balls will be dropped from the balloon, and the person whose ball is closest to the designated spot will win $2,000. Carnival games and a petting zoo will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Carnival games and a petting zoo will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We hope to make it an annual event,” Gardner said.