I am gladly giving this food bank a 5 star rating. It's important to share that it's self-sustaining. Not only do the participants take ownership in it, they also staff the facility. The "hand-up", not a "hand-out" really suited my desires to be helpful also. My first experience, waiting in the line, was a humbling one for sure. I was lost in where to go for food resources and I didn't want to dig out every piece of identification just for a couple cans of food or maybe some rice. My name, how many in my household, and a "maintenance fee" is all that was required. That in itself was a relief. My heart was pounding as I made my way down the bread isle and picked out 10 loaves of bread. I could hear laughter and people chattering away in front of me, but I was still scared. I was making my way to a red counter where this woman was eagerly saying "hello" to everyone and seems truly concerned about what everyone did during the past week. People were donating money to get flowers that were offered too. The lady in front of me didn't have money for flowers so I offered her my change. The lady behind me offered me hers and it just kept going down the line. Needless to say, they ended up with extra donations and about 4 families walked out with beautiful flowers. I was truly in shock at this point. This was no ordinary food bank! I got to the red counter and found a pre-packed box of perishable foods. Not one can or bag. Milk, eggs, fruits, veggies, and even some hot dogs. The lady at the counter introduced herself as did I and we laughed about the flower incident. She put a sheet cake on top of my box and asked me to come back and volunteer. I've been volunteering every since.
You can't be called a non-profit when you don't account for every cent you collect. The 501c3 is invalid due to failure to file their Financials to the IRS. Yet they still claim donations are tax deductible! If all the money goes back into this "non-profit" , then why are Hands of Hope and Homeless Veterans not opening their books to the IRS!
Review from Guidestar
Disgusting place to volunteer for any length of time. Once a week should fulfill any desire to get out of the house and participate in the community. There's another great volunteers to socialize with.
This place needs new management! Elaine (the executive director) seems to always be a mental basket case. She yells, shows favoritism (as long as you agree with her every word your her pet), is a control freak, and can't seem to keep her religious views from taking over the place.
Paul, (Elaine's husband and president), never seems to want to take on the emotional crisis within the facility. It must be the husband thing to do!
This place is always in turmoil. Scrambling around like chickens with their heads cut off and yelling at volunteers for being that way. Most of the volunteers appear to be happy as long as they stay clear of management.
From what I understand, Elaine is the only paid employee. She makes money for being rude, disrespectful, hurtful, crying in despair, messing up accounts, and yelling at participants and volunteers? This is why I saw volunteers constantly walking out of the facility.
Oh...and don't forget to say, "thank you Elaine" when she tells you too or you'll get the evil eye!
I wanted to respond to your comments about your experience at Hands of Hope Food Bank. During the time you apparently were volunteering at our facility, Elaine was suffering from un-diagnosed Terminal Cancer. She had Cancer of the brain, chest and abdomen. This resulted in her diagnosis in September of 2011 and subsequent death in October of 2011. How much the Cancer in her brain affected your experience volunteering at our facility, I can not determine, but we have volunteers that have been here for 4 to 5 years, and continue to come on a daily/weekly basis. Please contact me at email@example.com if you would like to discuss this further. Paul Gademsky, President.
Review from Guidestar
Fortunately, Eastern California and Northern Nevada offers a *REGIONAL* food bank (The Food Bank of Northern Nevada) which offers packaged foods, fresh produce and dairy to over 100 partner agencies WHICH CHARGE *NO FEES TO ACCESS THEIR SERVICES!* Many don't require ID's or other documentation in order to assist in providing food to their clients either.
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada was founded in 1981 and incorporated in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization as a regional food distribution and support system for more than 100 different direct service, non-profit agencies serving the needy, the ill, the elderly and children. Among clients who visit emergency food program sites, 58% are over age 50 and 35% are over age 65. Children are the most vulnerable to hunger – 37% of emergency food recipients are children under the age of 18. To learn more about the Food Bank’s programs, see what they do.
Employees: 46, including part-time
Fiscal 2010-11 Budget: $5,902,045
(plus $10.6 million in donated food)
In the last fiscal year, the Food Bank provided 8,410,391
pounds (~6,469,532 meals) and other services to more than
153,000 individuals and families:
4.6 million meals to 105,610 unduplicated individuals
through our food support system of 126 member
emergency food pantries, shelters, youth and child care
programs, rehabilitation services, senior programs, and
organizations serving victims of domestic violence
206,323 school-year and 65,598 summer meals free to
~4,805 children through Kids Cafe
27,544 monthly Commodity Supplemental Food
Program boxes to 2,972 individuals, 93% of whom were
28,193 backpacks/110,944 meals to homeless and
chronically hungry children through Back-pack Kids
554,581 meals to families through Mobile Pantry
6,147 Food Stamp applications were submitted on behalf
of individuals/families; 5,491 received benefits
Nutrition education was provided to 20,269 children,
adults and families
Anti-hunger advocacy was performed at local, state and
7,717 volunteers served 18,884 hours (9 FTE)
The region is truly blessed to have such a great agency advocating to combat hunger in our region. They have close ties with local grocery stores, food distributing agencies, schools, parks, local media, the United States postal service, and The Feeding America national network of food banks.
The mission of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada is to end hunger in our region through direct services, advocacy, outreach and education.
** CALL 775-331-FOOD (3663) FOR MORE INFORMATION
OR VISIT WWW.FBNN.ORG!! **
Thank you for providing your input. We were part of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada at one point, so we have already experienced that avenue. You seem to have great knowledge of the FBNN and their statistics. You do fail to mention that the FBNN does charge a Shared Maintenance Fee to each and every organization that obtains food from them. These organizations are expected to generate the funding to pay to the FBNN from whatever source is available. They are prohibited from passing on the fee to any of the recipients by the Government grants that the FBNN relie upon (HHS, USDA, etc). There are quite a few of the smaller Food Pantries that have started up, and then become overwhelmed with the Shared Maintenance Fees, and have had to stop their programs. We try to serve a different population than the FBNN. We serve the working impoverished, and the people that would rather have a 'hand up, than a hand out'. The majority of the participants find that helping a program to be sustainable that helps them is preferable to the entitlement programs that the FBNN fosters. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this. Paul Gademsky, President
Review from Guidestar