The Salvation Army in Reno “Feeds the Hungry”

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Reno feast draws record crowd.

by Carole Miller –

SCI members and Outdoor Channel host Jim Zumbo (in cowboy hat) were part of a TV crew videotaping the dinner for an upcoming show [Photo by Carole Miller].

Mild temperatures and a tough economy recently attracted record numbers to The Salvation Army’s seventh annual Feed the Hungry Feast at the Reno Events Center.

The Salvation Army and the Safari Club International (SCI) Foundation’s Sportsmen Against HungerTM program (SAH) coordinated the event and invited the community, including homeless people from shelters and off the streets, under-housed residents who live in downtown motels, the unemployed and lonely seniors. Nearly 1,500 meals were served this year, up from 1,100 in 2008.

Hunters donate wild game meat for the feast. SCI’s Northern Nevada Chapter donated 650 pounds of meat—half venison and elk and half ground beef that they purchased from local meat suppliers at cost.

Eldorado Hotel chefs prepared the meal; assisting them were members of the High Sierra Chefs Association, Job Corps students and Washoe County School District culinary students. Sponsors included the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, C & M Food Distributing, Max Packaging, Model Dairy, Sierra Sportservices, Truckee Sourdough Company, SYSCO Food Services and the Carson Valley Inn. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Department helped provide security.

“We are very pleased that our partnership with these terrific sponsors allows us to offer the
community a hot, nutritious meal—especially when so many are being affected by the economic downturn,” said Major Doug Williams, Reno corps officer. “We saw a nearly 70 percent increase in the number of people seeking Christmas assistance, so we also expected a higher attendance for this dinner.”

More than 180 volunteers helped with the event, including Safari Club members as well as representatives of Wells Fargo, Sparks and Sunrisers Kiwanis Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, members of the McQueen High School football team and Salvation Army Advisory Board members.

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