By R. Keith Rugg | Wednesday, May 6, 2020
IVCBA, Embrace Incline Project Joined by Incline Serves

One reason that the COVID-19 pandemic has been so devastating is that it causes hardships across the community. The efforts being made to maintain and protect people’s health have impacted the economy and the business sector, which in turn exacerbates the situation of anyone struggling to put enough food on the plate for their families or themselves. 

The Incline Serves organization is designed to help alleviate both the economic stresses being experienced by the restaurant industry and the very real issue of food insecurity being faced by so many in our local community. The effort is a collaborative initiative that works with local restaurants to provide meals for those in need. By purchasing these meals, Incline Serves helps to provide a demand for the restaurants’ services, allowing the businesses to keep employees on the job and to remain viable during the health crisis. At the same time, it helps to strengthen the local community safety net by making food available for people who might not otherwise be able to obtain it right now. The goal of the program is to provide 300 meals over three days a week and to maintain that rate for 10 weeks, through the end of June, for a total of 9,000 meals. Photo at left: Courtesy Incline Serves.Meals being delivered at drive-up site

Incline Serves is the result of efforts by Incline Village resident Mary Danahey, who is the founder of the Incline Education Fund. “We all want our restaurants to stay afloat, and you can help make that happen by purchasing a meal for someone who’s hungry,” Danahey said. “Feeding our neighbors feeds our community and puts people back to work.” The project is a true home-grown response to community need and an example of how residents can pull together in a crisis. Danahey describes the way this grassroots project came to be as a collaborative effort. "Friends, family, business associates, community contacts and I brainstormed about what we could do to help. I had read about GoFundMe pages to help individual restaurants in other places and of the extra need food banks are seeing during this catastrophe. That led to us coming up with Incline Serves.  It just seemed like a natural win-win, if you could help restaurants generate some income while helping those in our community worried about being able to provide food for themselves or their families." Photo at right: Courtesy Incline Serves.Line of meals being prepared for delivery

The organization is accepting financial donations toward this goal, and the organizers note that a full 100% of the donations are used to pay local restaurants for the meals, meaning that the entire amount re-enters the local economy. Additionally, all of the meals purchased go to community members in need. The Incline Serves website has more information, including instructions on how community members can contribute toward the goal of 9,000 meals provided to local residents. Photo at left: Courtesy Incline Serves.

About the Author R. Keith Rugg
Veteran journalist R. Keith Rugg has worked with several area publications, including a number of years on staff at the Tahoe Daily Tribune and the Reno Gazette-Journal.