Kremmling Food Bank celebrates opening on Saturday
July 24, 2008
Nearly 40 percent of Mountain Family Center food bank clients live in Kremmling but drive to Hot Sulphur Springs to fill their pantries at the food bank.
Starting next week, they’ll be spending a lot less time on the road.
The Kremmling Food Bank Grand Opening Celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 304 12th Street, in the former administrative offices behind West Grand High School.
“It’s been put together pretty fast thanks to the volunteers,” said Jill Korkowski, executive director of the Mountain Family Center. “It was just all of the Kremmling good energy coming together.”
Mountain Family Center, Kremmling Community Church, West Grand School District and Kremmling residents were able to start the food bank with just four months of planning.
Monika Cary, Kremmling Food Bank Volunteer Coordinator and a member of Kremmling Community Church, said church members’ prayers have been answered.
“The members have been praying for this for quite some time,” Cary said. “Everyone pitched in from the church … Many of the volunteers are from outside of the church and are just local people.”
Mountain Family Center contacted the Kremmling Community Church about adding a food bank in Kremmling. Cary has been coordinating volunteers, stocking shelves, cleaning and painting since. The food bank has 20 volunteers, including herself.
“(Monika) just has a big heart for the food bank and feeding people,” Korkowski said. “If it wasn’t for her and her volunteers … it would have taken a lot longer. They were really key in getting it open.”
Sue Perkins, Food Bank coordinator for Mountain Family Center, also has made the food bank possible, Korkowski added.
At the Grand Opening, visitors can tour the food bank, meet staff and volunteers, drop off donations, eat hot dogs and drink lemonade. The open house is intended to make people feel comfortable and let them know where the food bank is, Korkowski said.
“It’s so important for people to come to food banks if they’re hungry,” she said, adding that they don’t deny anyone food. “You don’t need to be hungry. You can go to the food bank ” especially families with kids.”
The food bank will start distributing food on Tuesday, July 29. Its hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Mountain Family staff will work with volunteers Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it will be run only by volunteers on Saturdays.
On Thursday, the food bank’s shelves were stocked with enough food to feed hungry families for at least two weeks, Korkowski said. Some of the food came from Mountain Family Center and the rest from a Kremmling food drive.
“The community’s just embraced this, obviously from the look of our shelves,” she said.
West Grand School District Superintendent Jeff Perry helped provide a location for the food bank.
“We’re so grateful that they could find space for us over here,” Korkowski added.
Recipients receive enough food for meals and snacks to last for five days, Korkowski said.
“Most people are really embarrassed when they have to go to the food bank,” she said, noting that staff and volunteers do their best to make them feel welcome and comfortable. “We want to make sure that they leave with their dignity intact.”
It usually takes about 15 minutes for families to receive food when they come to the food bank. They also can call ahead if they have any special needs, she said.
Everyone who gets food is “gracious” and “grateful,” Korkowski said. “Nobody ever leaves without saying thank you, shaking our hand or giving us a hug, not because it’s required, but that’s how they express their feelings.”