Arnold Stalk, Ph.D, Founder SHARE Village Las Vegas: Fighting Food Insecurity Through SHARE Village Community Pantry
Food insecurity is a serious issue affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals and families across the country. In the United States, it is estimated that one out of every eight individuals experience hunger or the risk of hunger daily. This situation is worse in low-income households where there is insufficient access to affordable and nutritious food. With a significant increase in families seeking assistance with food since the end of additional SNAP benefits put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic in February this year there has been an increase in need for quality fresh foods provided by the community pantry for families struggling with food insecurity. The SHARE Village Community Pantry is a local initiative founded to provide a solution to this growing problem. Year to date for 2023 SHARE Village Las Vegas has distributed over a quarter million pounds of food to the Las Vegas community.
The SHARE Village Community Pantry offers free groceries, and other resources to individuals and families in need. The pantry operates in collaboration with local organizations like Three Square Regional Food Bank and Feeding America, which provides the pantry with fresh foods including fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy items, and non-perishable food items allowing them to provide healthy and nutritious food to those facing food insecurity, the homelessness, or those at risk of becoming homelessness within the community. Beyond food items the SHARE Village Las Vegas Community Pantry provides access to personal and feminine hygiene items, baby supplies and pet supplies.
Since its establishment, the SHARE Village Las Vegas has partnered with local organizations to provide much needed services to the local community. These partnerships not only support the operation of the community pantry they allow SHARE to provide additional wraparound services to its residents and to the wider community such access to affordable housing and employment resources. Most recently SHARE Village Las Vegas has partnered with Molina Healthcare Nevada to provide on-site healthcare services via their Mobile Help Center. These resources are necessary to get people back on their feet and allow them to focus on securing housing and a steady income.
New for 2023 SHARE Village Las Vegas has partnered with The Venetian Resorts Las Vegas to power their Summer Hydration and Nutrition program. This program will provide thousands of bottles of life sustain water and emergency nutrition to individuals in need during the brutal Las Vegas summer.
In addition to partnering with local businesses to provide food and services to the community, SHARE Village partners with local hospitality industry companies and other entities to power their volunteer program. Volunteers are the backbone of the Community Pantry; they work tirelessly to ensure that those in need have access to the resources available. They support the pantry’s bi-weekly food distributions by sorting, packaging, and assisting community members with their needs.
The SHARE Village Community Pantry is an excellent example of a community-led initiative that has successfully provided essential services to those in need. Its contributions go beyond addressing food insecurity to helping individuals regain their independence and achieve stability. Anyone can support the initiative by donating non-perishable foods, volunteering time, or financial donations. These donations and partnerships help SHARE Village Las Vegas to continue aiding community members experiencing food insecurity by helping them regain their independence and stability.
To learn more about SHARE Village Las Vegas visit them online at www.sharelasvegas.org. You can also download the SHARE Village Mobile app, available on both Google Play and in the App Store. The mobile app is a valuable tool for anyone, it’s lifesaving information in the palm of your hand.