Food bank expands its hours
Working people who need occasional food assistance often can’t make it to the Community Food Bank during the workday.
To better meet people’s schedules, the emergency food bank will offer food pickups from 5-7 p.m. on Thursdays, starting July 1.
“We do get the phone calls from people who say I can’t get to you during the day,” Community Food Bank Executive Director Darcy Johnson said. “They say, ‘I can’t get back home to put the food in my fridge and get back to work.’ ”
Mesa County residents in need of food assistance can utilize the food bank up to nine times a year.
Hours also are expanded on Tuesdays, as Tuesdays and Thursdays are the busiest days, Johnson said.
Food pickup is available from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays.
Numbers of people who use food assistance dipped somewhat since Community Food Bank reopened more than a year ago, just north of Sam’s Club, Johnson said.
The food bank generally serves about 1,300 individuals a month, but the numbers are down about 12 percent probably because of the new, less centrally located facility, she said.
Johnson said up to about 75 percent of recipients had a vehicle or access to a vehicle to pick up food at the former location, which was the south side of Mesa County Central Services, 200 S. Spruce St.
Now, about 90 percent of food recipients arrive by vehicle, she said.
A Grand Valley Transit bus created a stop at the food bank to help people more easily access the service.
Johnson said the food bank accepts donations of cash and food, even extra food from local gardens.
Fresh produce and vegetables are the No. 1 requested items.
“People show up with food from their backyard, like sacks of tomatoes,” she said. “It’s a huge help. People can’t afford fruits and vegetables.”