Food banks around the region are hoping the community will be as generous as it has been in years past.
"It is more extreme out there this year than I've ever seen it," said Joyce Buckingham, executive director of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center.
"Between September and October we were up from feeding 2,000 people a month to about 2,700, and we're not seeing an end to it," Buckingham said. "Our needs have doubled this year over last year, and donations are down."
The resource center provides food to help people make ends meet - enough for two to three days only - so donations of cash as well as food are needed, she said.
Jim Peckham, executive director of Friends In Service Helping, said his organization is also counting on Carson City's generosity more than ever this year.
"With our current economy, we're seeing people we've never seen before," Peckham said. "Two-income families that are now one-income families are in need of groceries to make ends meet, but we're seeing a wide range of people - over 100 new families every month since January."
Peckham said they're expecting to distribute 1,200 turkey dinners this year, up 20 percent over last year's 1,000.
The situation is doubly frustrating this year.
"The economy has hit so many people personally that they've got their own financial woes, so our cash donations are really down this year, too," he said. "This is a generous community we live in, but some people are finding they have to focus their resources inward this year."
FISH has been helping those in need for 30 years and serves Carson City, Lyon, Douglas and Storey counties with food, medical needs, clothing and shelter.
"Our success is tied very closely to the generosity of this community," Peckham said. "It's so cool that when they understand a need, they rally. We're praying for God to motivate those people who have been blessed so that they can bless us so that we can take care of helping those who need us."
The Salvation Army Carson City Corps is organizing the annual Turkey Roundup today at Mike's Pharmacy, 1007 N. Curry St. It will collect frozen turkeys and cash donations from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on behalf of many organizations throughout the region. The food will be distributed Thursday.
The event has been held in Carson City for at least 10 years, said Lt. Heather Paap, and is a community cornerstone because of the generosity of the people of Carson City.
"The thing I love most about this community is its deep spirit of generosity," said the Salvation Army's Capt. Erica Helton. "When we see our neighbors hurting, even when we're hurting, we still do what we can to reach out and give a hand up. That is what I love."
HOW TO HELP
• Turkey Roundup: The annual turkey roundup, one of the community's biggest food drives of the year, starts today at 6 a.m. and continues until 6 p.m. at Mike's Pharmacy, East William and Curry streets. Turkeys and donations will help charitable organizations throughout the area to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. For more information, call 887-9120.
• Friends In Service Helping: Cash and food donations are needed to help families throughout the holidays and beyond. Call 882-3474 for more information or go to 138 E. Long St. Monetary donations also can be made to that address.
• Ron Wood Family Resource Center: Cash and food donations are needed to help families throughout the holidays and beyond. Call 884-2269 for more information or go to the resource center at 212 E. Winnie Lane. Monetary donations also can be made to that address.
• Salvation Army: Food and monetary donations can be made to the Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St. For more information, call 887-9120.
• Toys for Tots Hot line: Those interesting in donating new toys can call the Toys for Tots hot line headquarters at the Ron Wood Family Resource Center from Nov. 30 through Dec. 18 at 884-8697.
• Toys For Tots Motorcycle Rally: Northern Nevada Boozefighters will hold a motorcycle rally at 3 p.m. Saturday starting at Red's Old 395 Grill, 1055 S. Carson St. Donations of new, unwrapped toys or donations will be collected for needy children throughout the area. Any street-legal motorcycle, car or truck is welcome.
For more information, call 315-8537.
• Burlington Coat Factory/-
FISH coat drive: A coat drive partnership is being conducted through the end of the year. Coats can be donated at Burlington Coat Factory, 4209 S. Carson St., or by calling FISH at 882-3474.
• Metal for Meals: Carson Cans Recycling Company is hosting a fundraiser in support of FISH. The following donations will be accepted: aluminum cans, scrap aluminum, copper, brass, electric motors, insulated copper wire and cable, radiators, car batteries, cell phones, plastic water bottles, lead weights and ammunition brass (restrictions apply). Tax receipts given upon request.
Carson Cans is at 3030 Sunrise Dr., Carson City. Hours are from
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday. For more information, call 885-2260.
• Canned Food Drive: Carson City Latino youth groups are sponsoring a canned food drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 3579 U.S. 50 East, Suite G in front of the Goodwill store. The event will help feed families in the community.
The event is sponsored by Cardinal Tax Service and the Latino Parent Association. For more information, call 379-2506.
• Red Kettle Campaign: The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle Campaign this week with bell ringers throughout the area. For more information, call 887-9120.
• Angel Trees: J.C. Penney Co. and the Salvation Army will have angel trees around town for those who want to help a child have a merry Christmas. Toys can also be dropped off at the Salvation Army office, 661 Colorado St. For more information, call 887-9120.
• Turkey Drive and Coat Drive: Turkeys and coats are needed in Dayton and Silver Springs for the Stand Tall youth leadership teams drives. Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday at the Dayton Community Center, 170 Pike St. Monetary donations are also needed, and are tax deductible. Contact Lavurne Jeffreys for more information at 246-7550.
• Toys and Gifts: A toy drive for the Silver City, Mound House, Dayton and Mark Twain areas is organized by Community Roots and the Healthy Communities Coalition this year. It grew last year to more than 300 children. Don't forget teens need gifts, too. To help, call 246-7550.
• Adopt a family: Any group that would like to adopt a family for Christmas in Dayton or the surrounding area can call 246-7550.
• Pets of the Homeless: Provide pet food or offer your business as a collection site for food for the Feeding Pets of the Homeless nonprofit by calling 841-7163. Those who want to help can also do so online at www.petsofhomeless.org or by mailing a contribution to 2255 Waterford Place, Carson City, NV 89703.
• Great Teddy Bear Roundup: Motel 6 is collecting new small- to medium-sized teddy bears through Dec. 11 to offer comfort to children in need during the holidays. The bears will be donated locally to law enforcement agencies, fire departments or hospitals. Call 885-7710.
WHERE TO GO FOR HELP
• Carson Plaza pre-Thanksgiving dinner: Carson Plaza's retirement community will host a pre-Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 serving all the traditional favorites and featuring live entertainment. This event is free and open to seniors 65 and older. RSVP by calling Carson Plaza at 883-1221.
• Dayton Food Bank: Turkey with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving will be distributed Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Dayton Food Bank, and either turkey or ham with all the trimmings will be distributed for Christmas on Dec. 17. For more information, call 246-7550.
• USDA Food Distribution: RSVP volunteers will distribute free USDA commodity foods from 9-11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20 at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St. This is a week earlier than normal due to the Thanksgiving holiday. This month's foods include frozen deli turkeys, lima beans, cranberry apple juice, canned pork, milk, canned corn, mixed fruits, peaches, apricots, frozen sliced ham, macaroni, canned tuna, tomato soup and frozen orange juice.
Recipients must not make more than 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines, which are $20,036 for a single and $26,955 for a couple.
For more information, call the Nevada Food Distribution Program at 688-2828 or RSVP at 687-4680, ext. 0.
• Thanksgiving with the Carson Nugget: The Carson Nugget will provide its annual free Thanksgiving meals with turkey and all the trimmings, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26 at the banquet area upstairs. Call 882-1626.
• Friends In Service Helping: FISH is the largest human services resource in the tri-county area, offering a daily free hot meal, a food pantry, free medical and pharmaceutical care, clothing, showers, help with power bills and a homeless shelter.
• Ron Wood Family Resource Center: The resource center at 212 E. Winnie Lane provides emergency food to help people make ends meet as well as many other services. To learn more about the resources offered, call 884-2269.
• Salvation Army: The Salvation Army provides wholesome programming, a food pantry and assistance with natural gas bills, as well as a youth program for ages 4-18 at 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, followed by a family meal. For more information, call 887-9120.
• Stand Tall Coat and Turkey Drives: For information, call Lavurne Jeffreys at 246-7550 or go to the Dayton Community Center, 170 Pike St., Monday through Friday.