With the holidays approaching, more people open up their hearts to those less fortunate, and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) is offering an easy way to help feed kids in need. The nonprofit organization is launching its annual Plastic Food Drive to provide the more than 11,000 Clark County homeless youth with a hot meal for Thanksgiving and the December holidays.
To meet its goal, NPHY is asking the public to participate – individually or through employee and customer drives – by purchasing and donating fast food restaurant and grocery store gift cards. The requested denominations are $5 or $10 for fast food restaurants and $25 or $50 for grocery stores.
“The holidays can be especially unsettling and scary for homeless youth. They aren’t able to be in the traditional family setting, compounded by the fact they’re always wondering when they’ll eat their next meal,” said Arash Ghafoori, executive director of NPHY, the most comprehensive service provider for homeless teens in Southern Nevada. “Without access to stable shelter, a stove or microwave, donation of fast food restaurant and grocery store gift cards is the easiest way to ensure these kids receive a hot meal.”
He added that a $5 fast food restaurant gift card equates to one meal for a homeless teen, and a $25 grocery store gift card provides meals for several days.
Now in its ninth year, this year’s Plastic Food Drive will culminate at a special tailgate party with food, fun games, and a raffle on Saturday, Nov. 21 before the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – San Diego State football game at Sam Boyd Stadium, 7000 E. Russell Road. Entry is free, but donations are required for refreshments and the raffle. Those who bring fast food or grocery store gift cards or other donations will be eligible to win food, game tickets, and other prizes. The event will be co-hosted by NPHY and UNLV, and will take place on the north side of the stadium from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Following the tailgate party, NPHY staff will distribute the gift cards to homeless teens through its Drop-In Center, Safe Place Mobile Crisis Intervention, Independent Living Program, outreach efforts and other touchpoints.
There are a number of ways to get involved with the Plastic Food Drive:
● Purchase $5 or $10 gift cards from fast food restaurants.
● Purchase $25 or $50 gift cards from local grocery stores.
● Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/nphypickupthetab15.
● Participate in #pickupthetab at https://www.gofundme.com/nphypickupthetab15.
● Implement an employee or customer Plastic Food Drive by calling 702-383-1332 or visiting www.nphy.org/pfd for information or to get started.
Prior to the tailgate party, gift cards and/or other cash donations can be dropped off at the NPHY Drop-In Center, located at 4981 Shirley Street, south of Tropicana Ave. near UNLV, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., or at any business in the Village Square Shopping Center, 9400 W. Sahara Ave., during its normal operating hours.
“With the growing number of homeless youth in Southern Nevada, the community’s support for the Plastic Food Drive is more important than ever,” said Ghafoori. “This initiative does make a powerful difference, and we are so appreciative of everyone’s help in feeding these vulnerable kids for the holidays.”
For more information, visit www.nphy.org/PFD or call 702-383-1332.
About The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) is the most comprehensive service provider for more than 11,000 homeless youth in Southern Nevada, serving hundreds of youth through its core programs and by touching the lives of thousands more through outreach each year. NPHY's programs stabilize homeless teens' lives, meeting their immediate needs and providing a safe, supportive environment and a path to self-sufficiency. Programs include: Outreach, Safe Place Mobile Crisis Intervention, Operation Go Home Family Reunification, Drop-In Center, Emergency Shelter, and Independent Living Program. For information and to support NPHY’s critical work to get homeless youth off the streets, visit www.nphy.org or follow NPHY on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nevadapartnershipforhomelessyouth.