Garfield County Commissioners unanimously approved a 100 thousand dollar emergency grant Monday to local food assistance non-profit LIFT-UP. KDNK’s Lucas Turner reports on what the funding means for local food access during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, LIFT-UP served 625 meals per week to families from Carbondale to Parachute. Executive Director Angela Mills says the emergency funding from Garfield County will allow the organization to increase that number to 700 per week.
The operation is centered at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle, but Mills says mobile food pantries will make distributions throughout the county on a regular schedule.
ANGELA MILLS: We would be distributing one day a week in Parachute, Rifle we would go up to two days a week with the mobile distribution, New Castle we would go up to 2 days a week, Glenwood 2 days a week, and Carbondale 2 days a week.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky says he doesn’t want anyone in Garfield County to go hungry during the crisis, and offered LIFT-UP additional funding support if needed.
TOM JANKOVSKY: If for some reason you have to go up to 800 or 900 families per week, then do that and come back for additional funding because I don't want any families, individuals, or children going hungry.
LIFT-UP Executive Director Angela Mills says food pantry locations will be drive-up or walk-up for those who do not have vehicles. She says volunteers will take safety precautions while filling out paperwork to avoid unnecessary contact, and explains the types of items people have already been picking up.
ANGELA MILLS: Two very big bags of shelf-stable items and then also through grocery rescue and other donations, a lot of folks got milk and fresh produce and other fresh items. That's how we, at this moment see ourselves moving forward.
LIFT-UP’s Extended Table service is also offering grab-and-go bagged meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Rifle and Glenwood.
They are also seeking donations of reusable grocery bags and non-perishable food items which can be dropped off at Garfield County Fairgrounds Monday-Friday from 1 to 4 pm, or at any of the mobile food pantry locations during distribution.
You can find a list of locations for food pantries and bagged meals at LIFTUP.org