While many people are enjoying the carefree months of summer creating vacation memories and spending time with family and friends, too many individuals are wondering how to make ends meet – or how to feed their children when food bank shelves are bare.
Sunset walks, al fresco dining, farmers markets, picnics with popsicles, and a tossed strawberry salad … These seemingly mundane activities are the very embodiment of summer. With longer days and warmer weather, being outside often goes hand-in-hand with sweet treats, popsicles, iced coffee, and no-bake dinners.
Strolling through a farmers market and grabbing fresh vegetables and fruits makes eating healthy a breeze. Easily accessible supermarkets allow us to grab almost anything needed to curate a crudité or charcuterie board. We don’t think twice about a quick run on the way home from work or out to a party.
Unfortunately, due to high inflation and the rescinding of pandemic-era benefits, this is a luxury that an alarming number of Southern Nevadans do not have.
According to a Feeding America study, one in seven Las Vegas-area Nevadans and one in four children in Southern Nevada struggle with food insecurity.
Rent.com reports that Las Vegas residents spent between $233 and $266 per month per person on groceries. Multiply that for a family of four, and groceries end up costing $1,000 per month – without extraneous dining.
The financial strain can lead to malnourished young people and unhealthy, unfocused students. The rising cost of healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains makes it more difficult for parents to provide a balanced diet for their children. Cheaper food options such as French fries and chips, fruit juice, processed meats, white rice, and heavily processed snack bars often cost less but have a negative impact on health. Many families, however, cannot even afford those items.
It takes a lot to ask for help. When a parent or individual realizes that they need help feeding themselves or their families, they often turn to a food pantry, food bank, or other nonprofit organization in the hope that they can provide a nutritious meal or meet the basic needs of their family.
The experience of shopping at a food pantry can be uncomfortable, but, for years, families have relied upon the assistance provided by these facilities. Despite kind and understanding volunteers, shopping can be humbling. Even worse, when food pantries do not have the resources to provide the food needed, clients leave empty-handed and disheartened. Children go hungry. Education and work suffer. Health is impacted.
Unfortunately, compounding the issue is that food pantries across the nation have seen a decline in food donations. Shelves that once were full are now bare. Produce is difficult to keep in stock with many perishables only available in limited quantities.
Donations across the board have decreased due to the rising cost of groceries. According to a recent report from NPR, during the pandemic, the loss of jobs was viewed as temporary, and people were willing and able to help where they could. Inflation has dealt a blow that has proven more difficult to overcome. Donations from individuals, as well as local grocery chains, have plummeted.
In addition, NPR reports that volunteers are both overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with understaffing leading to reduced hours of operation of food banks.
Alliance Foundation knows that the path to prosperity can be better found when individuals are not hungry and not wondering where their next meal will come from.
As part of our commitment to end food insecurity, Alliance Foundation allots grants to nonprofits in need of assistance. When the Las Vegas community is in need, Alliance tries to fill that need – with your help.
As a nonprofit, Alliance Foundation builds a fund of monetary resources so that when a nonprofit organization needs extra help to complete a goal, its board of directors can apply for a grant to fulfill the need.
We invite you to join us in our mission to eliminate food insecurity by donating today.