Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the RISE and Dine project?
What is the Free Market?
What inspired you to start the project?
What makes RISE and Dine different (why should I volunteer)?
Why serve food at the shelter where the hungry and homeless are already taken care of?
Are you affiliated with any church or religious organization? 
Can anyone volunteer? 
I’m just one person, how can I help?
I’d like to volunteer with a group, how do I do that? 
Can I bring my little ones? 
Do I have to sign up and commit?
Will you be there?
Why don’t you feed the homeless on the second Saturday of the month? 
I can’t volunteer on Saturdays. Are there any other volunteer opportunities throughout the week?
What else are you planning?

 

What is the RISE and Dine project?

RISE and Dine is community-run potluck project that started in January of 2012. The idea is simple: gather with friends, family, and neighbors to make a home-cooked meal and serve it directly to locals in need. We encourage you to join in, bring food, and eat food too! To get involved and sign up, visit the RISE and Dine page.

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What is the Free Market?

While cooking and serving food, RISE also distributes comfort items such as clothes, toiletries, blankets, and toys! To contribute to the Free Market, contact us at info@renoinitiative.org or find us at the Community Assistance Center (see our calendar here).

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What inspired you to start the project?

Poverty in Northern Nevada is a reality that we can no longer ignore. After all, hunger is experienced 365 days a year – not just on Thanksgiving and Christmas. People without homes are still part of the community, so it is imperative that we take care of eachother throughout the year.

The Biggest Little City is a thriving, resilient, beautiful and rugged place to live, and yet there is so much potential here to build our future. Potential to connect neighbor-to-neighbor and tackle the local issues we face. Potential to create, elevate, and participate in this place we call home, even when no one is watching.

To make an impact, we must think globally, act locally. We hope that RISE and Dine will inspire you to not only join us, but to start your own local projects, as well. You don’t need a lot of money or resources to make a difference. After all, we started with only a few friends, a tough, old cooking pot, and a desire to feed our neighbors in need. No one asked us to do this, and no one told us how. We are just people feeding people, and we didn’t ask for permission.

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What makes RISE and Dine different (why should I volunteer)?

1) While many charitable opportunities separate you from the population in-need, the RISE and Dine project is a human experience that allows you to connect and interact with the people and families you are providing for.

2) You get to cook Grandma’s recipe – and share it with love – to those who desperately need a warm meal and a kind smile.

3) RISE and Dine is a do-it-yourself project. There are no specific set of rules and you don’t need our permission to get behind the table, pick up a dish, and serve! We hope that everyone can participate organically, work together, and have fun!

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Why serve food at the shelter where the hungry and homeless are already taken care of?

Because the Community Assistance Center on Record Street is full on most nights, many of the people we feed will not get to stay there. Instead, they will sleep in their vehicles, at weekly motels, or on the cold concrete. For locals that are hurting and exhausted, the shelter is a still very much a lighthouse. It is their only hope of securing a safe place to sleep or a plate of food. For us, it is the best place to feed as many people as possible.

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Are you affiliated with any church or religious organization?

RISE is not a church, and we are not religiously affiliated. We are just people who feel passionate about sharing food! Our volunteers form an awesome melting pot of backgrounds and beliefs, and include both the religious and nonreligious alike. At the end of the day, we love working with people who can roll up their sleeves and practice what they preach.

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Can anyone volunteer?

Yes! Everyone is welcome. Children under the age of 18 should be supervised.

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I’m just one person, how can I help?

You can do so much to help us! Click here to learn how you can participate and contribute.

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I’d like to volunteer with a group, how do I do that?

Enlisting your family, friends, coworkers, workout buddies, organization, or club is a great way to volunteer for RISE and Dine. Together you can cook, transport, and serve food. If you want to volunteer as a group, please sign up and let us know who you are and how many people are coming.

While you’re at it, take a look at our Volunteers page where we spotlight the groups and organizations who’ve made a difference!

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Can I bring my little ones?

Absolutely! We’ve had many children volunteer and serve food. The easiest task for very small children is handing out pre-poured drinks. Please chaperone your children at all times and keep them behind the serving area.

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Do I have to sign up and commit?

It’s more important that you participate than fill out a form, so feel free to stop by the RISE and Dine event without signing up! However, signing up helps everyone volunteer on a day where they are needed most, and determine what/how much food to bring.

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Will you be there?

Of course! We will be there from beginning to end, side by side with our volunteers. Just like you, we cook and serve food. And don’t worry, we will take care of setting up the serving area.

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Why don’t you feed the homeless on the second Saturday of the month?

On the second Saturday of every month, the Hope Community Church visits the shelter to feed the homeless. To save our food supply and recharge our “batteries”, RISE excludes this date from our schedule.

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I can’t volunteer on Saturdays. Are there any other volunteer opportunities throughout the week?

Yes! In fact, there are several groups that cook, transport, and serve food at the Community Assistance Center and other locations throughout the week. Check out our growing directory of hunger relief efforts in Reno/Sparks here.

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What else are you planning?

We are currently seeking resources to expand our Living Room projectLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates!

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Still have questions? Email us at info@renoinitiative.org and ask away!