Granby Church, Grand Lake Rotary help needy with holiday baskets |

Granby Church, Grand Lake Rotary help needy with holiday baskets

by Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

With the rising cost of groceries, Grand County families struggling to make ends meet have options for putting traditional food on the table this holiday season.

Food can be a welcome gift, considering the price of the average holiday dinner has gone up $4.16 this year compared to last year, according to the Colorado Farm Bureau. And the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas with gift purchases and meal preparations can put a strain on anyone’s budget.

“The tremendous increase in energy costs for transportation and processing over the past year also is a key factor behind higher retail prices at the grocery store,” said Jim Sartwelle, an American Farm Bureau Federation economist.

For the past four years, Lord of the Valley Lutheran Church in Granby has been providing free holiday meal baskets for families who can use the extra help.

“A holiday meal stretches the budget more than normally purchased food,” said Kris Kuhnel, church secretary. The church is the area host for Share Colorado, a year-round network that provides discounted grocery items to families in need.

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, the church provides entire holiday spreads at no cost to those who request them. Throughout the county this Thanksgiving, 55 families or elderly members of the community are enjoying meals provided by the church program.

The Grand Lake Rotary piggy-backs distribution by providing holiday baskets to people in the Grand Lake and Granby area.

Each year, the Rotary hosts a Pakistani Bowling Tournament, and proceeds are used to purchase the Share Colorado meal baskets at Lord of the Valley. The Rotary chooses families or individuals in the community who’ve been recommended by churches or schools, and includes a grocery store gift certificate in delivered meal baskets to augment the help.

This year, the Rotary gave $75 Mountain Food Market gift certificates in lieu of meal baskets to five recipients for their Thanksgiving meals.

The organization plans to give meal baskets plus $50 gift certificates to at least 20 more families for their Christmas dinners.

Christmas meals will be available for pick-up or delivery on Dec. 15, Kuhnel said, and the church is taking requests for those meals up until 12 p.m., Dec. 3.

An expected 40 holiday meal baskets will go out to families this year through the program, not including the Rotary’s donations.

And the spirit of giving rarely stops there.

“People are real thankful and real appreciative,” said Dave Arnold of the Grand Lake Rotary. “Some people will say, ‘I think someone else might need this worse than I do.'”

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext 19603 or e-mail

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