#HangryFashion takes over The Joe to help unplug Reno food swamp

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Photo courtesy of On Common Ground.
Armani Knight poses on the runway at OCG’s first fashion show on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. The fashion show sports the saying #HangryFashion, in support of ending food insecurity in Reno.

For the benefit of reducing hunger and food waste, ASUN will be teaming up with local non-profit organization On Common Ground to host their second annual fashion show fundraiser at The Joe.

ASUN and OCG invite our Wolf Pack to feast their eyes on #HangryFashion, created by trending designers and well-known fashion labels. Local designer, Taylor Uchytil, will be showcasing her collection of high-fashion and eclectic designs. The young fashionista will also be attending New York’s Fashion Week next year as a designer. Other labels like Zozobee Beekini and Flexwear will be featuring their signature Battleborn beachwear that night. Banana Republic and GAP plan to also walk the runway.

During the event, there will be a silent auction with items donated by local companies and community sponsors. Attendees should plan to pull an all-nighter since the show will transition into a dance after-party, with DJ Nikki Smiles providing music. All net proceeds will go to OCG’s mission of providing a downtown community grocery store, mobile markets, and a food processing plant.

This is not just another charity event — it’s even better. The goal is to drain downtown Reno’s Food Swamp.

Food swamps can be described as areas that don’t have access to grocery stores and healthy food choices. This occurred in Reno as more casinos, banks and businesses began establishing roots downtown, causing more people to move to the suburbs. Grocery stores also joined the exodus, depriving residents of places to buy fruits, vegetables and other food staple necessities.

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Photo courtesy of On Common Ground.
Byrdie Gail Swindells struts in a red dress during OCG’s first fashion show.

As a result, downtown neighborhoods are inundated with unhealthy food options. Folks are trapped in a quagmire of diabetes-inducing, pressure-elevating and heart-stopping fast food chains and corner stores. Their only option for groceries is a quick stop at a convenience store for a cup of instant noodles with a side of processed chips.

Michelle and Shannon Dobbs’, OCG’s co-founders, plan to offer local farm-to-table produce and shelf-stable products that would have otherwise been discarded. The OCG community food center will provide cooking classes, community events, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. Michelle and Shannon, along with other businesses and UNR, are hoping to unplug the Reno Food Swamp because healthy eating should not be just for those who can afford the retail price

— it should be for everyone. Their business model demonstrates to Reno that entrepreneurs can support and sustain the community they serve, not simply provide charity.

So dress up for the show, and plan to stay for the after-party. The event will be held on November 10 in the Glick Ballrooms at the Joe Crowley Student Union. Ticket prices for the event vary from $25 if bought in advance to $30 at the door. After-party admission is free for fashion show participants. Otherwise, the cost is $8, but discounts are available by showing your student ID or donating two non-perishable items. To further help with this cause, follow the link below to sign.

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