GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — According to Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, in Mesa County alone there are 20,000 people who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Our Khira Isaacs got a closer look at how Food Bank of the Rockies fills this need in the community.

“With inflation and with the demands of the needs of our services more than ever we are doing our best to meet the needs of our community,” says, Development Manager, Gabriela Garayar.

Food Bank of the Rockies is the largest hunger-relief organization in the Rocky Mountain Region. Since 1978, this organization has distributed more than 1.5 million meals every week to those in need.

“We have been working diligently hard with our staff, our hunger relief partners, and areas where we source food from to make sure we have enough for the holiday season,” continues Garayar.

Due to inflation, Gabriela, says families in the Western Slope are spending $460 more a month on basic necessities and food than around this time last year.

“On average, we are distributing 24,000 meals a day just out of this warehouse alone,” continues Garayar.

Food Banks like this one are able to solve the hunger problem through partnerships, programs, and through their volunteers.

“Feels good to help folks out,” says, volunteer, Roeman.

“There’s a lot of us who just don’t realize that there are people in need who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. So for the people who donate, for the organizations, the grocery stores that donate their excess product it’s a really excellent way to save some of this stuff and distribute it to those who need it,” says, volunteer, D Plunkett.

This holiday season, Gabriela says they’re working hard to make sure all the families feel included down to the types of food they’re able to get their hands on.

“Because we are such a diverse population here on the Western Slope and across Colorado, we are also looking at other types of holiday commodities and foods that will be applicable to families as well,” continues Garayar.

“These pantry boxes that are being sorted today are going to be made available to our partners across the western slope so they in turn can ensure the families in their neighborhoods are getting the food they need,” says, Director, Sue Elle Rodwick.

It’s clear the Food Bank of the Rockies, Western Slope Distribution Center, is dedicated to serving the communities of Western Colorado. The incredible efforts of the staff and volunteers don’t go unnoticed when it comes to providing food and necessities to more than 13 Colorado counties West of the continental divide.