May is a challenging month for many living year-round in Summit County. The fifth annual Summit County Cares May Food Drive is working to assist the four local food banks in keeping their shelves stocked during the mud season. County residents who work seasonal jobs often struggle between the end of winter and June, the start of summer, to provide food for themselves and their families.
“Over 120 people have used the FIRC Food Bank so far in May and we’re expecting to surpass last year’s numbers by the end of the month,” Robert Murphy, FIRC community support manager, stated in a news release. “The shelves are literally cleared out after each food bank session, but thanks to the food drive, we have been able to re-stock.”
The food drive started May 1 and has brought in 5,200 pounds of food so far to the four food banks — Church of Christ, Dillon Community Church, Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) and Father Dyer. Volunteers from each of the food banks have been collecting food on Saturdays at the Breckenridge and Dillon City Market stores. Donations also are collected in bins at City Market, the post offices in Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne, Natural Grocers and the FIRC office in Dillon.
“It’s amazing to see people’s generosity,” said Irene Moyer, manager of Father Dyer’s Food Bank. “Even people who are visiting Summit County still want to help because the thought of a child going hungry is unbearable.”
Moyer added that those living outside of Summit County don’t always realize the need that exists in the community.
“Many out-of-towners see the signs of wealth around them and find it hard to believe that we need a food bank,” she said in an email.
Throughout the food drive, Moyer, who has been volunteering at City Market on Saturdays, has learned of the many individuals who give to the cause, from people who buy every item on the list to those who give what they can, even if it’s just a single item of canned food.
“It’s always great to see young people/individuals who appear to be struggling (possibly a previous client of ours) buy a can of tuna as an expression of support,” she wrote. “I spoke with one person who said he wished he could help but that he needed food and had no money. I told him about our food pantry location and the hours of operation.”
According to FIRC, the most essential items needed for the food banks are pasta, pasta sauce, dried beans, rice, cereal, peanut butter, canned fruit, baby diapers and toiletries. Financial donations are always welcomed.
Food donations are accepted year-round at each of the food banks, but the Summit County Cares donation bins will be in their current locations only until May 31. The goal is to raise 8,000 pounds of food and $2,000 to purchase food by the end of May.