Food bank raising funds to pay rent

The Community Food Bank is traveling a different path than it has ever had to take, embarking on its first major fundraiser this month.

The food bank, now 39 years old, this year lost its $120-per-month lease of space at the Mesa County Central Services building, 200 S. Spruce St. and had to move to new quarters at 562 W. Crete Circle, where the organization is paying $2,000 a month, plus utilities.

The food bank — which is separate from Food Bank of the Rockies, but which receives food from that organization — is sponsoring its first event, the Black and White benefit on Saturday at The Avalon Theatre.

The benefit will feature appetizers, cocktails, live music and a silent auction with all proceeds to go to the Community Food Bank. Admission is $50.

The food bank never before has had to run a fundraiser, said Biff Messinger, president of the volunteer board of directors.

Directors also now have fundraising requirements they never have had before, Messinger said.

Food bank officials were unable to replicate the advantages they had in the county building, Messinger said, noting that it wasn’t for lack of trying.

“I looked at 78 buildings” around the Grand Valley, without success, until the owner of the Crete Circle building agreed to accept rent of $2,000 a month and the food bank pays its own utilities, Messinger said.

The change posed a problem in that some of the people who use the food bank weren’t immediately aware of the change and some had difficulty finding the new location, especially if they hadn’t visited in a while.

“We don’t have a lot of repeats,” Messinger said, “and that’s by design.”

Clients can get food from the food bank a maximum of nine times per year. Individuals get three meals for a total of three days.

The idea is to tide them over so clients don’t have to choose between, say, rent, and food, Messinger said.

“They come to us about four times a year on average,” he said, adding that it says something that many of the food bank’s clients have become volunteers there.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $50 and more information or to RSVP is available by calling 640-0336.


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