Las Vegas has been one of the hardest hit U.S. cities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment has skyrocketed, tourism is in decline, and the economy is facing an unpredictable future.
But we are a resilient group of desert dwellers, and in hard times, our community comes together because we are #vegasstrong.
September is Hunger Action Month, and local non-profit organization Three Square will continue to raise awareness of Nevada’s record-high levels of food insecurity, and continue to provide nutritious meals to those in our community who are struggling with hunger.
Three Square has been feeding people in need since 2007. As Southern Nevada’s only food bank, they have community collaborative partnerships with local businesses, non-profit agencies, food distributors, higher education institutions, the Clark County School District, governmental entities, and the media.
VegasNews recently spoke with Three Square’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Lisa Segler, Phd. about the organization’s current offerings in today’s climate.
“The community has come together in the most amazing way,” she said. “We have had traditional and non-traditional partners step forward without hesitation.”
One of the partners who came forward is Las Vegas’ Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). They volunteered their transit vans, navigational systems, and kept their staff employed to deliver groceries for those in need.
“The elderly needed the most help – we turned it into a home delivery grocery program for the most vulnerable people,” said Seglar.
The program became Golden Groceries, a home delivery service that provides delicious, healthy, supplemental groceries to individuals who are 60 or better. As long as you meet the minimum age requirements, there are no income restrictions or immigration status criteria to use the service. Currently, Golden Grocery serves nutritious meals to over 10,000 elders across Southern Nevada.
Three Square set up mobile food distribution services across the valley – a social distancing friendly way for people in need to pick-up food without leaving their car.
The Metro Police Department has also reached out to Three Square to provide support at their mobile distribution centers. To alleviate the long lines of people waiting in their vehicles in the summer heat, they administered gas for those who ran out, jumped vehicles with dead batteries, and passed out water.
Because of Three Square’s prominence as a local entity, they have a lot of buying power. Every dollar donated to the organization can be turned into three meals. “If you can only offer a few dollars right now it really can go a long way,” said Seglar.
Walmart and Sam’s Club customers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar in stores and online, the change will go to support Three Square.
Segler encourages anyone facing food insecurity to reach out to Three Square.
“The number one most important thing is to call our call center if you need help, we take thousands of calls every month,” she said. Through their call center, people can sign up for SNAP benefits, and one of their multiple programs that help with energy assistance through NV Energy.
“We want people to call in to get help to get food immediately, but looking longterm and down the road, signing up for these programs help put money back in people[s pockets, so they can focus on buying medications and other things that they need right now,” said Seglar.
You can reach their call center at, (702) 765-4030. For a full list of food distribution site locations and operating hours, visit their website. If you cannot financially donate, Three Square is always looking for helping hands at one of their many mobile distribution centers.