Food banks in Grand County provide meals for hundreds |

Food banks in Grand County provide meals for hundreds

To the Editor:

Mountain Family Center in Grand County, Colorado, would like to extend our thanks to the community for their participation in the September Hunger Action Month Food Drive.

Many bags and boxes of nonperishable food items and grocery cards were collected to help support the local food banks. We also sincerely appreciate the grocery stores that allowed us to hold collections at their locations: Safeway, City Market, Winter Park Market, Kremmling Mercantile, Circle D Foods and Mountain Food Market.

Many of the people visiting the food collection sites were shocked when staff and volunteers shared the number of visitors our food banks in Kremmling and Hot Sulphur Springs serve.

The Kremmling Food Bank opened July 29 and served 217 through Sept. 30.

At the Mountain Family Center’s main food bank in Hot Sulphur Springs, 927 people were provided with food from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30.

The number of visitors for September alone (both Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling) was 284. Each month, over half of the number of people served are children (17 and under).

With the economic downturn, Mountain Family Center’s food banks are getting visited more often. Under normal circumstances, we prepare food boxes for up to five days worth of nutritious meals and snacks based on family size. When the food pantry is lean, we can only provide food for three days.

Through generous grants from the Grand County Commissioners, churches, Summit and Grand Foundation, and our membership in Food Bank of the Rockies (which allows us to purchase food at significant discounts), we are usually able to keep our shelves full.

However, during our low seasons, we still depend on our community for food, cash, and grocery card donations to help fill in the gaps between deliveries and when the Food Bank of the Rockies does not have the items we need. Donations of peanut butter, hearty canned soups, chili and beef stew as well as canned meats and healthy cereal are also always needed at our food banks.

There are no qualifications to receive food from the food banks. We ask that after the third visit in a 12 month period, food bank visitors talk with our general assistance coordinator to determine if there are other types of local assistance available to help the household become and remain self-sufficient. Often, partial assistance with one-month’s rent or utility bill is all that is needed to get the family back on track.

For questions about Mountain Family Center’s food banks, rent, mortgage or utility assistance, prescription assistance, the Thrift Store, Colorado Bright Beginnings, the Grand Lake Preschool, or volunteer opportunities, please call the Center at 725-3257.

Once again, thank you to all the volunteers and grocers who helped make Hunger Action Month Food Drive successful.

Mountain Family Center

Grand County

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