Three Square Exterior, courtesy of Three Square Food Bank

Nonprofit of the Month: Three Square Food Bank

Three Square Food Bank–the area’s first and only food bank–aims to end hunger in Southern Nevada. Here, Beth Martino, president and CEO of Three Square Food Bank, discusses how readers can help the nonprofit’s mission, including by taking part in Las Vegas Restaurant Week.

What is the mission of Three Square? At Three Square, our mission is to provide wholesome food to our hungry neighbors throughout Southern Nevada, while actively pursuing a hunger-free community. We work together with a network of community partners, including nonprofits, faith-based organizations and schools, among other partners in our community. In Southern Nevada alone, statistics show that one in seven people are food insecure. Additionally, one in five children live in a food-insecure household and don’t always know where their next meal will come from. Through our efforts and with the help of our incredible community partners, we are continuing the fight to end hunger in Southern Nevada.

What prompted the start of the nonprofit? Southern Nevada’s first and only food bank, Three Square was established in 2007 and has been dedicated to serving residents of Lincoln, Nye, Esmeralda and Clark Counties ever since. Three Square’s vision is simple: no one in our community should be hungry. Since its inception, Three Square has gained an incredible amount of support throughout Southern Nevada, including the gaming industry, local businesses, food distributors, the Clark County School District, government entities, the media and thousands of volunteers and donors to help bring this vision to life. While there is still a lot of work to be done, Three Square is proud to have served over 550 million pounds of food to food-insecure individuals across the community since 2007.

Three Square Team Member, courtesy of Three Square Food Bank

What is the greatest reward in being involved with Three Square? The greatest reward in being involved with Three Square is meeting the many inspiring neighbors that our partners serve throughout Southern Nevada. It’s incredible to learn how we have helped and that we play such an important role in assisting them at their most vulnerable times.

What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? The biggest challenge Three Square faces is increased costs, especially of food. This challenge impacts everyone, including food banks. We often have to look long-term at how we can continue to meet the needs of our community in the face of rising costs, but we are determined to continue our mission of ending hunger in Southern Nevada.

What are your goals for 2024? Three Square’s primary goal for 2024 has been gaining a better understanding of what our community needs, so we can determine how to adjust some of our current programs and operations. Continuing to evolve with our community is a priority and will help to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our hungry neighbors.

Three Square Kitchen, courtesy of Three Square Food Bank

How can readers help? There are many ways for the community to help support Three Square, and we encourage people to contribute however they can through donations or volunteering. We accept monetary and non-perishable food donations, and for every $1 given, Three Square can provide up to three meals for our hungry neighbors. We also love our volunteers and offer a variety of volunteer opportunities. To volunteer with Three Square, you can sign up either individually or as a group. To learn more about how you can help, call 702.644.3663 or visit www.threesquare.org.

Does the nonprofit have any events or fundraisers on the horizon? Beginning Monday, June 3, through Friday, June 14, Three Square will be hosting its 17th annual Las Vegas Restaurant Week to help combat food insecurity. During Las Vegas Restaurant Week, participating restaurants across the valley develop prix-fixe menus – some offering breakfast, brunch, lunch and/or dinner – at price points ranging from $20 to $120. A fixed portion of the meal’s cost will directly support Three Square and Southern Nevadans who are food insecure. Last year, 232 restaurants participated with 49,746 patrons supporting the cause, and we are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support. In total, $221,449 was raised, which equated to 664,347 meals for food-insecure individuals. We are looking forward to this year’s Las Vegas Restaurant Week, and we hope to have even more meals donated this year. For more information about Las Vegas Restaurant Week and for the full list of participating restaurants, visit www.restaurantweek.org.

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