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Emergency Aid seeks holiday spirit — in July

The season of giving is typically reserved for winter, but Emergency Aid of Boulder City is hoping that residents have saved some charity for the summertime.

While the demand for food goes up and the funding goes down, Emergency Aid has partnered with the Boulder Dam Credit Union for its inaugural Christmas in July food drive.

For the entire month of July, Boulder City residents and credit union members are encouraged to drop off canned foods and other nonperishables to the credit union, at 530 Avenue G, to help those less fortunate.

“It’s a community-driven organization of Boulder City,” credit union CEO Eric Estes said of Emergency Aid’s objective. “I’d stack their efforts up against any food pantry in the state for what they do for the community.”

The push for more donations during the summer comes less than two months after the pantry lost $45,000 in state funding. For the past two years, Emergency Aid and the Senior Center of Boulder City split a $90,000 grant for their respective food pantries.

The state denied their application for the upcoming year and designated just 30 percent of its funding for Clark County.

The loss of funding forced the senior center to close its pantry altogether, but Emergency Aid President Marylyn Phillips said Emergency Aid is working hard to find solutions to make up for the $45,000 loss.

“We’ve had to brainstorm to come up with some other ideas to help,” she said. “You never rely on one source.”

One of those ideas was the Christmas in July food drive, although Phillips said she’s also been in contact with staff at Boulder City High School for other alternatives.

“I suggested that we work together with the groups at the high school to do a food drive at the football games,” she said. “Homecoming would be ideal because you have the majority of people show up.”

From January through March, Emergency Aid’s food pantry provided assistance for 1,360 families. That’s a typical first-quarter average, according to Phillips, who said the number of families using the pantry during the first quarter hovers from 1,200 to 1,500.

“Our people are very, very supportive about what needs to be done,” she said.

Phillips said the summertime donations fill in the gap between the holiday season and the pantry’s first-of-the-year food drive. She said the Boulder City community typically provides year-round assistance for those who have a difficult time putting food on the table.

“I have never seen a community that comes together that helps all year-round,” she said.

Donations can be dropped off inside the Boulder Dam Credit Union from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

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