Our Future Summit hunger roundtable reports its findings
When the Our Future Summit Hunger in the High Country Roundtable met earlier this month, 32 people engaged in a conversation food issues in the community.Topics discussed included identifying agencies that provide access to food in Summit and neighboring communities, describing food-assistance trends, explaining demographic changes in the area, reviewing grant opportunities and other sources of funding, and discussing proper nutrition.According to the event’s scribe Charly Ellis, numerous reports were made about community need for food. Ellis’ report included the following facts:- Rob Murphy of FIRC said the food bank is full and stocked, and that 50 percent of visitors to the food bank are first-time users. – It was also reported that the Tuesday evening Community Dinner in Silverthorne has served 5,000 meals in six months. – Community dinners at Father Dyer’s Church serve singles, couples, “woodsies” and the ski population. Nancy Shockey reports 100 visitors per month at the church’s food bank. – The Dillon Community Church food bank received 2,400 visits since August and can rescue 700-1,000 pounds of food per month, primarily meat. – Ali Lufkin of St. George Episcopal Church in Leadville reports the same increase of need. – Mike Hammes, the food and beverage manager at Keystone, Vail Resorts, serves 3,000 employees as well as tourists. As a large business, they want to contribute to the welfare of the community, but their concern is liability. Anytime prepared foods leave the door, there is risk. Good Samaritan legislation and due diligence would aid their ability to participate in larger scale food programs. Vail Resorts is emphasizing the hiring of local residents in this economy. – Joanne Sprouse of Summit County Social Services reported that the caseload for food assistance is up 80 percent over the previous quarter in 2008.Vision: Kathryn Grohusky of SC Community & Senior Center presented the Mountain Meals program, an expansion of home delivered meals for the homebound enabled by the coordination of several organizations, including Bristlecone (Centura Health). – Kathy Underhill of the Daniels Fund in Denver encouraged forum participants to apply for grants – the Daniels Fund provides $35 million in grants each year. It helps fund food pantries, onsite eating programs, nutritional education programs, and administrative/general operating costs. – Forum participants also said they want to continue to create ideas about alleviating food waste, expanding nutritional education and continuing the dialogue. Steve Hill said the CARE Council has the structure and organizational support to initiate a county- or region-wide food consortium if there’s an interest. A straw vote indicated that most people in attendance would like to move the conversation forward through such a consortium-Daily News staff report
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