Grand County food bank shelves get sparse during off season as demand rises |

Grand County food bank shelves get sparse during off season as demand rises

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Off-season closing of ski resorts, restaurants and retail stores has had an impact on workforce incomes, creating demand on the area’s food banks.

So far in April, the Mountain Family Center in Hot Sulphur Springs has served 121 people, and 11 people stopped in to the center by noon on Thursday alone, according to Executive Director Jill Korkowski.

Reduced hours during the shoulder season coupled with the high cost of groceries has led people to seek help, which the center encourages, Korkowski said.

But the center’s shelves went bare recently, prompting a major food drive to rebuild supplies. The drive starts Saturday and continues through May 1.

Desirable items such as juices, cereals, canned meats and tuna are running especially low at the center, according to Mountain Family Center Food Coordinator Sue Perkins.

Protein foods such as meats and tuna create entire meals for families and are greatly needed on the shelves.

The charity pantry could also use “quick meals, such as cans of ravioli, and canned soups, canned fruits, peanut butter, rice, crackers, canned beans and healthy snacks for children,” Perkins said.

But something the pantry has plenty of are canned vegetables.

“Please, no vegetables,” she said.

Around the holidays, the El Pomar Youth in Community Service group of Kremmling supplied the center with two tons of food, and the supply was sustained by subsequent donations such as 700 pounds of food from Curves in March and from the Grand Kids daycare center.

But, “it’s gone,” Korkowski said. “I’m surprised we went though all that food.”

The center has been keeping shelves stocked with discounted groceries bought with grant money through the Food Bank of the Rockies and the Emergency Assistance Program through the Colorado Department of Human Services.

“We rely on community donations,” Perkins said.

And Korkowski stressed that families in need should not be discouraged from getting groceries, that the Mountain Family Center makes sure supplies are available.

“It sure keeps some kids from going hungry, and adults too,” Korkowski said.

To donate food to the Mountain Family Center, simply drop items in donation boxes available at the Mountain Family Center in Hot Sulphur Springs, City Market in Granby, the Mountain Food Market in Grand Lake and Circle D Foods in Grand Lake.

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

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