Honoring the Spirit of Giving in the Reno Community
This holiday season, thousands of Nevadans across the Silver State will donate food, gifts, time and talent to help those in need. Thousands more will show up for work at jobs dedicated to providing health care to sick Nevadans, educating our youth and keeping our communities safe. As we celebrate the spirit of giving this winter, I want to recognize some of the outstanding work Northern Nevadans are doing every day to make our communities stronger and supporting those in need.
One of Reno’s most beloved community heroes is Evelyn Mount. For over 41 years, Evelyn has provided Reno residents and families in need with the comfort of a holiday meal. Born in a small town in Louisiana, Evelyn’s family instilled in her the values of sacrifice and service at a young age. In 1976, Evelyn moved to Reno with her husband Leon. While working as a telephone operator at the airport, Evelyn started collecting food donations in her spare time. That first year, she collected more than 200 bags of food to distribute amongst members of the Northern Nevada community. Now, her annual food drives are a Reno holiday staple, feeding over 10,000 residents each year, and an outreach center bearing her name works year round to provide food for senior citizens across the city. Unfortunately, this year marks the end of an era in philanthropic leadership in Reno, as Evelyn intends to step away from her work organizing her annual food drive to enjoy some well earned rest and respite.
Earlier this year, I also had the opportunity to tour the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, another organization dedicated to assisting Nevada families with food donations, literacy education and workforce development programs. I was so inspired by the Reno community members I met with and the work they do each day to serve the more than 95,000 Nevadans that come through their doors each month. It also reminded me of the importance of fighting for resources that support food banks and food services, and working to ensure that vital programs like the Supplemental Assistance for Needy Families Program (SNAP) and Meals on Wheels are fully funded.