GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
Third time is a charm for Grand Junction and it’s citizens because the third round of an Emergency Ordinance dispersing half a million dollars to feed Grand Junction people in need was approved by City Council.
The first meeting was held March 23, and the plan was to appropriate 4.2 million from the city’s $29.4 million general fund reserve to support up to 400 jobs, with the remaining funds going to non-profit organizations. City Council voted that package down and a new proposal was planned, and a new meeting was set.
A decision was delayed again a second time at the next meeting on Wednesday, April 1st, due to technical difficulties. It was then decided by City Council members to divide the 4.2 million to 2.7 million, with 2.2 million going to support 200 Grand Junction jobs, and the remaining $500, 000 going to non-profits only with a Grand Junction zip code.
Now, it’s April 6th, and City Council held a special meeting addressing the food assistance needs of the community. Councilmember, Phyllis Norris says, “I think we’ve had 3 of these special meetings. We did not get anything passed, but we did add the $500,000 for non-profits. So, that we can help some of these non-profits take care of people, and they are in a real need today.”
One of the stipulations of this deal is only non-profits with a Grand Junction zip code will be offered any aid from this ordinance excluding a major free food distributor, The Food Bank of the Rockies in Palisade. “We will be helping to get food out on the table, and it needs to be within Grand Junction because that’s who’s distributing it. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s only Grand Junction citizens who receive that help”, says Norris.
Federal funding for Food Bank of the Rockies is a big part of the decision for not awarding the organization any aid from the half million from the Recovery Response Fund. Norris says, “That’s a great food bank. They do wonderful things, but they get a lot of money too, and it’s the little ones that we have to really worry about here in Grand Junction.”
In March of 2020 the Community Food Bank served a total of:
-184 new households (since 3/16)
-567 new individuals (since 3/16)
The Community Food Bank reports serving an average of 57 individuals per distribution period in 2019. Now, it’s an average of 159 individuals per day.
On the last day of March, 113 households for 426 individuals were served by the local food bank in 2.5 hours with 8 volunteers and two staff members. Many people were turned away that day, but many returned the very next day to receive fresh meat and produce from the Food Bank of the Rockies.
Finally, on Friday, April 2nd, 80 households for 231 individuals were served food to feed their families.