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Three Square food bank celebrates opening of new campus

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September 11, 2020 By Jason Orts

Three Square food bank now has three locations as part of its mission of helping those who are hungry and food insecure.

Southern Nevada’s only food bank officially opened its east campus Thursday — Hunger Action Day — at the corner of Craig Road and Walnut Street in North Las Vegas to go with its north and south campuses, which are across the street from each other on North Pecos Road, less than a mile from the newest location.

The 31,087-square-foot facility features an expanded call center and will house Three Square’s senior hunger programs, such as Golden Groceries for those 60 and older.

Perhaps most important, it provides another 14,000 square feet of warehouse space, including 3,500-square-foot refrigerated and freezer areas to store the additional food needed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jodi Tyson, Three Square vice president for strategic initiatives, said two anonymous donors supplied the money to buy the building last year, and funding from the New Markets Tax Credit Program and Emergency Food Assistance Program helped take it from an empty shell to a completed office.

“Three Square was fortunate in that we had already planned for this campus before the crisis began, knowing we didn’t have enough space to bring in all the food,” Tyson said. “We were so cramped for space that we had pallets lined up between rows in our warehouses in our other campuses.”

The east campus has nearly doubled the capacity for the call center, and Tyson said that will allow the operators to help people find their nearest food pantry, get assistance with applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Energy Assistance Program (EAP), among others, and do it privately and confidentially.

Last year, Three Square received an average of 15,000 calls per month. In the first two days after the state-mandated shutdown in March because of COVID-19, it received 7,000 calls, underlining the need for greater call capacity.

In addition to the opening of a new facility, Three Square also celebrated Hunger Action Day by beginning a new drive-thru distribution center at Fiesta Henderson. It will be held at 8 a.m. each Thursday and will continue until it runs out of food.

Darwin Bosen, Three Square director of programs and community engagement, estimated that 18,000 pounds of food was at Fiesta, enough to be distributed to 600 to 700 households.

“We love our community partners, and Station Casinos is a great example of that,” Bosen said. “What they provide us is not only real estate, which is obviously the start, but they work with us on logistics for their parking lots and provide security. We also have partnerships with Central Christian Church, and there are some others from UNLV that are out here volunteering.”

Joe Richard, one of the Central Christian Church volunteers, said he sees more than just physical needs being met when people get the food loaded into their cars — he sees hope.

“You can see people hurting,” said Richard, who has lived in the valley for about a year after moving from Texas. “You can see in their eyes that this has been a really tough time, but when they see a smiling face — or half-smiling face with the masks — put food in their car, they know not only are they going to have food, but they’re not alone in this.”

Hunger Action Day is part of Hunger Action Month, and Three Square is using it to host a monthlong virtual fundraiser with all proceeds benefiting its efforts to combat food insecurity. Three Square estimates that for every dollar donated, it can provide three meals.

“There’s a beautiful exchange that happens in our community,” Tyson said. “When (someone) has $20, they donate it to the food bank, and that’s a generous donation. We then have the opportunity to give people a hand up when they’re struggling, and we are fortunate enough to have an abundance of food in the warehouse to be generous and help others. It’s a great exchange in our community.”


2 Reviews

Reviews

Cindy
North Vegas
Great news Three Square

Happy to hear that 3 square is able to continue to help the community

September 2020

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sue easton
north las vegas
43h87h

i hope thay get alot of help

September 2020

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