A Carson City nonprofit will expand into a new warehouse this week to help feed children who have little or no food to eat during the weekend.
Food for Thought will open its new 3,000-square-foot warehouse today, doubling the size of its former office. It will stock and prepare meals for more than 600 students at eight elementary schools in Carson City and Virginia City and at Carson City's two middle schools.
The nonprofit is trying to keep up with the needs of the poor and homeless students in the area, said Rebecca Rund, executive director.
The program that distributes meals on Fridays has grown quickly from serving 100 students at the beginning of the school year because teachers and parents see the needs of children, she said.
"None of us want to know our children's classmates are going without a meal," she said.
But Food for Thought needs more financial and food donations to keep up with the 12,000 meals it will prepare each month costing $5,000 a week, Rund said.
Schools in Lyon and Douglas counties have also requested help for students, Rund said. This is important, she said, because a hungry student in Gardnerville needs food just as much as a hungry student in Carson City.
"We would love to be able to do that, but we just don't have the funding," she said.
Rund started Food for Thought in 2006 after she noticed that some students at Fritsch Elementary School didn't have enough food for the weekends. The nonprofit moved into its first warehouse in the summer of 2008.
Ron Pacheco, director of community involvement, said Food for Thought might become the biggest student weekend food program in the state if it expands to Carson High School and other counties.
The people who deserve the most credit for the program's success are the school counselors who discretely distribute the food to the children relying on them, Pacheco said.
"It's tough to start the morning off when you've got an empty belly," he said.