Meals insecurity is a systemic drawback magnified by the financial results of COVID-19.
Earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, about one in 10 Washoe County residents had been unable to accumulate sufficient meals to “dwell an lively, wholesome life,” in response to Feeding America, the nation’s largest home hunger-relief group. On high of that, almost half of all Washoe County College District college students qualify free of charge or reduced-price lunches.
The Meals Financial institution of Northern Nevada—earlier than the pandemic—served about 91,000 individuals a month. In April, the quantity rose to a file 125,000. 9 months in, the meals financial institution remains to be serving to roughly 106,000 individuals monthly.
And whereas organizations just like the meals financial institution are integral to the neighborhood’s strategy to tackling large-scale public well being points, meals methods are complicated and feeding hungry individuals requires multi-faceted options.
Reno Meals Techniques, a nonprofit with a five-acre working farm in west Reno, has emerged as a kind of options. The group describes its focus as constructing “a resilient, interconnected native meals system that helps private well being, environmental sustainability, and financial viability.”
Via two CARES Act grants from the Nevada Division of Agriculture, Reno Meals Techniques has launched a program to assist join Nevada farmers and ranchers with the hungriest members of the Northern Nevada neighborhood.
Along with rising, promoting and sometimes donating its personal produce, Reno Meals Techniques buys unsold Nevada-grown produce and meat from native farmers and distributes the contemporary product to greater than a dozen native organizations. Reno Meals Techniques additionally distributes gleaned produce and meals “rescued” from grocery shops.
Earlier this week, Nevada Unbiased photographer David Calvert spent a morning with Lyndsey Langsdale and Meagan O’Farrell of Reno Meals Techniques whereas they delivered meals to a number of native organizations. He additionally stopped by the Desert Farming Initiative at UNR—a Reno Meals Techniques associate—and the Riverside Farmers Market.