The Pahrump Salvation Army is benefiting from additional food sources to help feed low-income individuals and families throughout the valley.
Jon Watt, the agency’s pastor, spoke about the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which helps to supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing emergency food assistance.
“It’s basically USDA Foods and the USDA has been donating food for 30 or 40 years,” he said. “I know, because I got it when I was in seminary 30 years ago. They will be giving us a pallet of canned goods and a half pallet of protein products, but I’m not sure what that’s going to entail. That goes out to people according to an income basis.”
Watt also said that the Salvation Army is now working with other local organizations in an effort to aid those in immediate need.
“New Hope Fellowship also has the USDA program, and they are bringing on additional partners so we can get more of the community, because not everybody gets over to New Hope,” he noted. “The items that New Hope gets may not be the same items that we get, so we are providing a service to the community. Most, if not all of the food banks in town, work together. New Hope Fellowship works with us and does a lot of stuff. They come over and get our excess boxes that we have gotten from Walmart so they can pack those up to give to the people to take out.”
Aside from New Hope Fellowship, which is located at 781 West St., Watt noted another organization devoted to assisting the community.
“We have Voices of Triumph Church, and they have come up with a source of bread from Las Vegas,” Watt said. “They come back to town with anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 loaves of bread that they then turn around and give out to the various pantries here in town. We all work together and we used to have meetings where all of the food organizations in town come together so we can make sure that we were working together.”
Meeting various needs
Additionally, Watt pointed out that the various organizations are not duplicating their respective services.
“It’s a matter of providing those services to the community and each group may have something different,” he said. “We have one organization that provides food in the early morning hours and that’s it, but it is good for that day. There are several different area organizations but none of us are competing.”
In wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, where individuals found themselves out of work due to business closures, Watt noted that the Salvation Army and other food distribution sites have noticed a dramatic increase in families and individuals seeking the services.
“We are getting anywhere from 700 to 1,000 people a month,” he said. “Before that, we were seeing maybe 400 to 500 people, so we really pushed it up. Of course, it goes up higher when the snowbirds are here.”
Three Square Food Bank also supplies food items to local food banks.
Watt noted that the organization, based in Las Vegas, recently altered its delivery schedule as a cost-saving measure.
“They changed the program from getting the food to the people twice a month to giving it to them once a month,” he said. “They did that because it cuts down on the transportation costs. We didn’t lower the amount of food because we were giving people a choice of 10 items, plus a bag of vegetables and a bag of bread.
“Now we are giving them 20 items with a bag of bread and vegetables. So they are not losing anything, and it’s really working out well. Everybody was saying how much they loved it and appreciated the fact that we went to once a month.”
For additional information, call the Salvation Army at 775 751-6171.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes