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Veterans food pantry begins service June 2


A new food pantry exclusively serving veterans is set to open in Reno June 2. Nation’s Finest, a regional nonprofit that provides services and support to veterans, received a grant from the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to operate the distribution point twice a month.

A report released by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, ranks Nevada as the eighth state with the projected highest overall food insecurity rates for 2021. An estimated 15.2% of Nevada households will be food insecure in 2021, up from 12.1% in 2019 before the pandemic.

Double that number for veterans, says Nation’s Finest. It notes that veterans who served in U.S. wars, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, are almost twice as likely to be food insecure as compared to the general population.

Northern Nevada veterans can access the food pantry on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s located on the back side of Nation’s Finest’s Reno office, at 419 W. Plumb Lane.

All area veterans are eligible to access the food pantry, but they must complete a brief intake form on-site if they’re not already a client of Nation’s Finest. After that, they’ll be able to pick up both dry goods and perishables. Organization officials say meat and dairy will be provided based on availability, and additional items such as hygiene kits may be available at times as well.

Walk-ins are permitted, but to avoid waiting in line, it’s suggested veterans call ahead to 775-284-8387 to reserve a 15-minute pick-up time slot.

Nation’s Finest, formerly called Veterans Resource Center, serves about 200 to 300 veterans through its northern Nevada operations from offices in Reno and Carson City. The organization has more than 30 locations in 14 mostly rural communities across Arizona, California and Nevada.

In addition to the food pantry, veterans can access mental health, employment and housing support services from the organization.  Nation’s Finest also operates a 20-bed transitional housing facility in Reno.

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