Before the Covid-19 pandemic, many people were taking part in supplemental food assistance programs and now, during the Coronavirus crisis, many others are out of work and also taking part in food assistance to feed their families; but this has placed a great need and great strain on volunteers and the food surplus.

Branch Director for the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, Sue Ellen Rodwick says, “We will serve anyone who comes and says, “I need food.””

That’s what Food Bank of the Rockies has been doing for years, but this time it’s different. During Covid-19 pandemic precautions, the food needs have tripled for Mesa County and the other 11 counties the food bank serves. “We are seeing double the amount of food leaving our warehouse. Probably closer to triple the amount of food that we’re getting out to all our distribution locations, and we’re also delivering to new locations”, says Rodwick.

Local food banks getting their food surplus from Food Bank of the Rockies have seen the strain first hand. On Tuesday, March 31st, the Community Food Bank in Grand Junction saw record-breaking lines while people waited hours in their cars.

People have been using food banks before Covid-19 and now, during Covid-19, many other people are using them for the first time. Sue Ellen says, “People are putting down the facade of I’m too proud to get food, and they’re saying, “You know what, my neighbor needs it, I need it.”” The Food Bank of the Rockies is seeing triple the volume to serve triple the food needs, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of protein, plenty of canned goods, and sorry kids, even plenty of spinach for everyone. “We are not in danger of a food shortage. The food is there it’s just getting the food from locations to where it’s needed. So, that takes manpower, that takes trucks”, says Rodwick.

Speaking of manpower, Colorado Oil and Gas sent President of Shear Incorporated, Quint Shear, to drive food shipments to local food banks, and their pitching in for the community. Shear says, “Took about 8 palettes of food from here to the Community Food Bank in Grand Junction. We’ve raised over $4,000 our goal is 5.

The Coronavirus crisis is one of the worst pandemics in a hundred years, but it’s bringing out the best in people, and these heroes are happy to help serve the needs of their neighbors. Staff member, Christopher Rice with Food Bank of the Rockies says, “Well, we’re just people doing our job. You know, getting stuff out to the community. I don’t think we’re doing anything extremely special. Yes, it’s vital, but it’s not anything anyone else wouldn’t do.”

The other heroes are at home, and staying at home for the good of everyone, and they’re donating money to help the community they live in. The Community Food Bank sent an email to KREX 5 thankful for the press coverage on Tuesday, March 31st because the community was watching, and listening, and donated $8,000 in just a few hours.

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