Positively Impacting Those in Our Community
Three Square Food Bank has thousands of volunteers that support its commitment to end hunger in Southern Nevada. Three Square’s goal in 2015 is to distribute 36 million pounds of food to community members in need. This would not be possible without volunteers like Nellis United States Air Force Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos led by Master Sgt. Seth Kewley and Tech. Sgt. Rubin Gomez. Not only does this group of 15 serve our country day in and day out, but they also help provide relief to food insecure families across the Las Vegas Valley.
In the past year, Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos have volunteered more than 380 hours and helped distribute more than 117,000 pounds of food. This group is made up of extremely compassionate, giving, humble, resourceful and dependable individuals who positively impact those in our community and beyond.
Nearly 18 months ago, Three Square began a new program, Mobile Pantry, which distributes food directly to thousands of area families in need. The Mobile Pantry program has been implemented at 13 Valley schools with food distributed every month. Since the program’s inception, Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos have contributed significant time and effort to ensure its success. The group took it upon themselves to adopt Valley High School to effectively maintain its Mobile Pantry program. Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos served more than 2,200 families by distributing groceries each month, including non-perishable food items and fresh produce. Without the time committed by this group, thousands of families in Southern Nevada would have gone hungry.
More than 58 percent of Clark County students are enrolled in free or reduced-price lunch programs, making childhood nutrition programs—such as BackPack for Kids—vital to the Las Vegas community. The BackPack for Kids program provides bags of wholesome, kid-friendly, ready-to-eat food items each Friday during the school year to children who might otherwise not have food during the weekend. These bags are typically packed in Three Square’s warehouse with the help of several volunteers.
This year, Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos lead this volunteer activity off-site, bringing it out into the community in order to engage a broader spectrum of volunteers and raise awareness of the BackPack for Kids program. The group prepared and set up the activity and trained new volunteers on how to assemble the packs. Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos’ innovative approach resulted in the creation of thousands of bags of food for children in need. Without Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos’ efforts, many children across the Valley may not have otherwise had food through the weekend.
Additionally, Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos mobilizes their own members. Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos is a group of active-duty members of the military. There have been instances in which Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos members have been deployed. When this happens, they take it upon themselves to recruit and train new volunteers from the base to support Three Square without disruption to service. The feedback about Troop 505 TS/CSS Rhinos is always the same: they are an inspiring group of people to be around. The group’s passion and dedication prompts community members to volunteer and get involved with various programs at Three Square.