“This is truly a blessing,” said Virgin Valley Food Bank Director Leslee Montgomery. “I simply cannot thank this community enough for all they do for us!”

Those were the words spoken shortly after 879 pounds of food and a $520 check were given to the VVFB on Feb. 4 when McDonald’s owners Dave, Collette and Andrea Price and their employees and families collected donations from a food drive at Smith’s Food & Drug on Sandhill Boulevard that morning.

The money had been collected over the past month from employees who work at McDonald’s. “Our employees are able to wear jeans to work on Fridays,” Andrea said. “But they wanted to wear them on Saturdays too and proposed to pay into the fund to be able to do that. It’s a win-win for both sides,” she said.

Employees with Smith’s were also pleased with the support of the community, citing the many times each year that food drives and special events to help people in need often see success. They also pointed out that this particular function was possible because of the persistence of Dave and Collette, who urged the Las Vegas Ronald McDonald House Charities to allow them to do this event in Mesquite, even though the closest house is in Las Vegas. “We’re glad that we could make this happen,” said Dave. “We are excited to be able to give back to the community in whatever way we can, and this is just the start of another great year in Mesquite!”

In addition to the food collected at Smith’s, money was donated to the RMHC fund that will go to Las Vegas and help with families whose children are being treated at area hospitals for long periods of time. According to their website, “since opening in July of 1998, the House has served 4,146 families for a total of 49,638 nights. In 2015, the House served 443 adults and 232 children for a total of 3,592 nights. The average length of stay was 12 days, and the House saved families over $434,600 in lodging costs in 2015 (based on 2015 average nightly lodging rates in Las Vegas of $117.63).”

Anyone wishing to donate to the RMHC can drop off donations at either of the two McDonald’s locations in Mesquite or the one in Overton. Inside each restaurant are donation ‘bins’ that will hold the donations.