GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an increase in food insecurity across the Western Slope, but fortunately, Food Bank of the Rockies has delivered as those demands have surged.
In 2020, the hunger-relief organization says it distributed about 12.6 million lbs of food across the Western Slope, which is a 54% increase. In addition, Food Bank of the Rockies has partners throughout the community to assist with the growing need. For instance, it has partnered with Central High School to distribute meals twice a month to over 500 families, and the high school students may be young, but they understand the COVID-19 pandemic has been a troubling time for many families. Alexa Linakis, a sophomore at CHS, says, “especially for our community, I can see how necessary it is to get a monthly package of food just to help them get by for the month.”
Typically during the holiday season, Food Bank of the Rockies sees record meal distribution numbers. However, those record numbers are still soaring high in 2021. Sue Ellen Rodwick from the hunger-relief organization says, “so far we are not seeing those numbers going down, so there is still quite a strong need.” Rodwick adds she expects the increased demand to continue for approximately another two years.
Therefore, in order to feed every family until they are full, Food Bank of the Rockies needs more donations and volunteers. Just $1 is able to translate into 4 meals, and Rodwick says some people have been generous enough to donate their recent stimulus check, making 2,400 meals.