It began 36 years ago as a modest food pantry and clothing closet serving the underprivileged and usually underserved. Today, it’s a grassroots organization known for the myriad services it offers as well as the dignity and respect it shows anyone seeking help. Lutheran Social Services of Nevada (LSSN) is there for the homeless, the hungry, the family, the child, the senior, the veteran and the disabled. In their eyes, everyone counts – and anyone can count on them, regardless of circumstances or religious affiliation.
Small but mighty
A dedicated team of 12 staff members, augmented by volunteers, consistently overachieves. They’re a small but mighty bunch. LSSN has been able to distribute nearly four million pounds of food and provide 16,000 services annually. In the last 25 years, the organization has cared for approximately 440,000 individuals – more than the entire populations of Henderson or Reno.
On the menu
After looking through the menu of what LSSN offers, you come away with the feeling the word “comprehensive” is inadequate. The list is abundant, extensive, voluminous.
Their DigiMart Neighborhood Market, a food pantry where people can pick up food. Access to fresh, nutritious food is the main course, but LSSN also provides nutrition courses. These have cooking demonstrations, menu planning and budgeting. There are special sessions available with a registered dietitian for those with diabetes, hypertension or other conditions.
There’s a Senior Meal Service held at local churches, which is free to those over the age of 60. There’s also a virtual program called Bingocize, aimed at the same age group and an exercise program to help seniors stay fit.
Family Empowerment Services assists in applying for SNAP benefits, Medicaid, Energy Assistance, as well as other government services. LSSN collects donations and puts together backpacks for Southern Nevada students heading back to school. October becomes Socktober as children from a Lutheran school collect new socks to distribute to children in need. Since the holidays can be especially difficult for children in unstable homes, LSSN has a Toys for Christmas program. They collect and distribute presents to kids who deserve to smile and laugh a lot more often.
The SCE Credit Union connection
LSSN manages a housing program that helps people get to self-sufficiency. To that end, SCE Credit Union has stepped in to provide those receiving assistance with information on budgeting, credit repair and making better money-related decisions. The Credit Union also helps those who’re underbanked, those without basic financial tools.
“SCE Credit Union has been a longstanding reliable partner with us. They’ve demonstrated a commitment to our community and our cause,” says Kim M. Fiore, the Chief Programs Director at LSSN.
Safety net and ladder
Lutheran Social Services of Nevada is a wide-ranging support system that acts as both safety net and ladder. They benefit those at the bottom rung, helping them get their balance and climb up. SCE Credit Union is proud to stand with an organization so beneficial to the people and communities we care so much about.