Donate food to help locals through the off-season |

Donate food to help locals through the off-season

SUMMIT COUNTY – With the May Summit County Cares Food Drive nearly done, the Family and Intercultural Resource Center still needs help stocking its food-bank shelves. FIRC – in conjunction with Vail Resorts – kicked off its second annual Summit County Cares Food Drive May 1 to ensure no one goes hungry during the off-season.

“We are trying to reach 7,000 pounds of food to help the local food banks get through the next two months,” said FIRC development director Anita Overmyer. “Everything we’ve raised so far is almost gone as demand is at its highest in this seasonal job transition period. As an example, FIRC has been seeing between 80-100 people a week since May 1.”

Mike Kermode, director of the food bank at Dillon Community Church, said he’s also seen a rise in demand for food in the county.

“If you compare this year to last year at this time, the demand is up I believe about 40 percent,” Kermode said. “Demand is, howeve,r down from its peak in December and January.”

To further paint a picture of need, Overmyer noted FIRC is giving out more than 2,000 pounds of food a month, and local food-bank use has nearly tripled since April.

According to Overmyer, this year’s Cares collection has so far raised about 2,650 pounds of food. FIRC is less than 1,000 pounds away from surpassing last year’s total, but it still has a long ways to go before it reaches the 7,000-pound goal.

“With the increase in demand, it would be frightening to think of how empty our shelves would be without this food drive,” Overmyer said. “The timing was absolutely perfect.”

Collection bins will be at the grocery stores and post offices until May 31. There will also be volunteers collecting at City Market May 28. Other food banks to benefit from the drive include Dillon Community Church and Father Dyer Church.

“People use the food bank for a variety of reasons,” Kermode said. “Most have lost hours or lost their jobs all together, and the food bank is the only way they can eat. Others have left an abusive situation and are starting over from scratch. Some have experienced an unexpected situation, which caused them to use their savings, and now their paychecks can only cover the rent and electric bills. Most importantly, the food bank allows parents to keep nutritional food on the table for their children.”

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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