Press Releases

Food For Life Challenge to Start Today

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada’s Food For Life Challenge to Start Today 

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 5, 2016) – Three of Southern Nevada’s most notable food and beverage journalists are about to be put to the ultimate culinary test.  Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada (CCSN) is pleased to announce the first Food For Life Challenge to raise awareness for the issue of food insecurity, which affects roughly 1 in 6 Southern Nevada residents.

Each week, one of the participants will meet with CCSN’s Executive Sous Chef Jun Lao and plan a menu based on the food donations available in the kitchen that week. The special menus will be served each Thursday at the St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility to more than 700 clients during the free community meal from 10-11 a.m.

The food and beverage journalists, who are lending their time and expertise to the cause, are:

  1. Mitchell Wilburn, Co-Author of “Eating Las Vegas”
  2. Debbie Hall, Editor-in-Chief, Las Vegas Woman Magazine
  3. Al Mancini, Food & Beverage Writer, Vegas Seven

CCSN clients will rate the meals based on taste, creativity and presentation. The winner will be announced at the Food for Life event on Oct. 26, where CCSN will unveil extensive renovations to its food service facilities that will allow the nonprofit to serve more individuals than ever. The challenge begins today and will run through Oct. 19, 2016.

“Food insecurity is an issue that impacts far too many men, women, children and senior citizens in our community,” said Deacon Tom Roberts, CCSN’s president and CEO. “The newly renovated facilities begin an exciting new chapter for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, as more people will receive the help they so desperately need. And to the individuals participating in this challenge, we thank them for their service.”

Earlier this year, CCSN was awarded nearly $2.5 million in Clark County Community Development Block Grant funds to expand the Hands of Hope Community Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels program. Improvements include 3,778 additional square feet of space at the St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility kitchen; the consolidation of the Meals on Wheels kitchen into the expanded St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility kitchen; and a massive renovation of the Hands of Hope Community Food Pantry.

The food pantry’s expansion will give CCSN the space and resources to serve 1,000 individuals every week, a 33 percent increase over current numbers. The consolidation of the Meals on Wheels kitchen will make the food preparation process more cost effective, which will result in more than 600 seniors being removed from the waiting list.

As CCSN celebrates their 75th anniversary of giving help and hope to those in need, they are calling on the community at large to help them fight hunger in Southern Nevada. The Food For Life event will also be the official kickoff for CCSN’s 30th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. The goal is to collect 4,000 frozen turkeys, along with enough nonperishable dinner fixings and desserts to fill 3,500 baskets that will feed thousands of Southern Nevada’s less fortunate. The donations will also allow CCSN to serve more than 1,000 clients at their annual Thanksgiving Day meal.

For information on how to support CCSN’s food service programs, please visit

For 75 years, the mission of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada has been to serve those in need – the most vulnerable, regardless of race, religion or creed. Today, through the support and generosity of foundations, grants, organizations and individual donors, Catholic Charities continues to operate programs, often with shoestring budgets, to meet the incredible needs of so many, in so many areas. These five categories – Family Services, Food Services, Senior Services, Immigration and Refugee Services, and Homeless and Housing Services – are providing a wide range of human services and support, from infants to seniors. Programs such as the Emergency Shelter, Meals on Wheels Senior Nutrition and Adoption Services are lifelines for those in need. A community resource that offers help and hope and restores a sense of dignity as it strives to meet the diverse needs of the more than 100,000 clients we serve every year.