Summit County food bank needs spike in off-season
summit daily news
SUMMIT COUNTY – With Summit County entering its off-season, temporary unemployment is on the rise and food banks are seeing an uptick in demand. To ensure no one goes hungry, the Family and Intercultural Resource Center – in conjunction with Vail Resorts – is prepping for its second annual Summit County Cares Food Drive to kick off May 1.
“Currently we’re seeing a 40 percent increase (in food bank attendance) over last year, and last year was a 150 percent increase,” said FIRC development director Anita Overmyer. “So, the demand is still very high, and May is one of our busiest months.”
With an almost 200 percent increase in food-bank use over the past two years, Overmyer said “it means we’re giving out over 2,000 pounds of food a month, just at FIRC.”
“In the off-seasons, we definitely see a lot of people who are in between jobs,” she said. “People are using the food bank so they can pay rent and keep the electricity on. It’s just a great way to ensure that people can have food on the table for their families.”
Overmyer also asks that community members, groups and businesses consider hosting their own food collection for the Cares drive, and interested parties should contact her for food bins, signs and information.
“Last year we raised 3,515 pounds of food, and we also raised $2,200 in financial donations to the food bank,” Overmyer said. “Our goal this year is to double that.”
Vail Resorts to pitch in
As part of this year’s kick-off, Vail Resorts will have trucks and volunteers at the Dillon and Breckenridge City Markets on May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’re happy to help out where we can,” said Vail Resorts’ senior charitable contributions manager Nicky DeFord.
Though Vail employees volunteer to help with FIRC initiatives around the holidays, this is the first year the ski company will pitch in for the May Summit County Cares food drive and fundraiser.
“We have a pretty extensive partnership with FIRC,” DeFord said.
Bins will be set up at local post offices and grocery stores to be used by those interested in donating food to benefit not only FIRC, but the food banks at Dillon Community Church and Father Dyer Church as well.
Current needs for local food banks include rice, beans, baby food, baby diapers, pasta sauce and pasta, cereal and canned tuna.
For more information about FIRC or to get involved in the Summit County Cares Food Drive, call Overmyer at (970) 262-3888 or visit http://www.summitfirc.org.
Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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