More than 130 Carson City children in transition will receive a brand new coat, a gift and a holiday brunch on Monday, thanks to the efforts of Food for Thought, a Carson City-based non-profit dedicated to feeding children, and the generosity of the Carson City Nugget Casino Hotel.
Based on the premise that every kid should be able to enjoy Christmas with a gift, a hot meal and a winter jacket, the Kids Brunch is organized by Traci DiLullo, wife of Nugget owner Dean DiLullo, and Marlene Maffei, executive director for Food for Thought.
The coat drive opened in October. By the week before Christmas, Maffei said they were down to needing 26 more coats to cover each of the children’s needs.
Dirk Roper, owner of Carson City’s Roper’s Heating and Air Conditioning, and his executive assistant, Amanda Scramlin, spent a couple of hours scouring local stores to come up with the missing coats.
“We cleaned them out,” Roper said. “When it came to our attention that there were still kids needing coats, we knew we had to help out. We spend our days making people warm and comfortable, and we would not be happy knowing we didn’t get them all. We really appreciate the support of our customers and coworkers that allow us to participate in programs like this.”
Maffei said this is the first year Food for Thought has done the coat drive and the party.
“When the Nugget reached out to us and said they wanted to work with us, we were thrilled,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way to show the community’s support for our kids.”
Throughout the year, Food for Thought provides shelf-stable, non-perishable food items each weekend for more than 300 local children. Supplies are packed up on Wednesdays and the school district picks up the packaged items and distributes them to each Carson City school in the program.
“Each bag of food provides healthy proteins, fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates,” she said. “For many of our children in transition, the last meal they’ll get for the week will be Friday lunch at school until breakfast at school on Monday. These packages sustain them through the weekend.”
Maffei said Food for Thought is currently doing their annual fund drive and the organization is seeking funding for next year’s food program.
“For $5 per week, or $250 a year, a student will be provided food packages for the entire year,” she said. “We also have a list of approved food items we can accept on our website.”
For more information, visit www.nvfoodforthought.org, or call between the hours of 9 a.m -1 p.m. at (775) 885-7770.