Interfaith to provide needy families with holiday meals

If you go

What: Interfaith Food Bank Holiday Baskets

When: 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 15

Where: Interfaith Food Bank,

1055 Moffat County Road 7

How to receive a basket: Fill out a request form and return to food bank by noon Friday

For more than two decades, Jeannie Glimidakis has spent a few hours a week in a small room, unpacking thousands of colorful cans of food onto shelves.

Corn, beans, pasta — they all come from donations from around the region, and end up in the pantries of needy families across Moffat County.

Glimidakis, a volunteer with the Interfaith Food Bank, said the organization is primarily used in emergency situations.

“If people are running low, or fall ill, or got laid off,” she said. “We don’t want to see anyone go hungry, especially children.”

But, for as long as she can remember, the food bank has given families a little something extra for the holiday season.

On Dec. 15, the food bank will hand out Christmas baskets filled with all the makings of a festive meal for the whole family.

Forms to request a basket are available at the food bank, at 1055 Moffat County Road 7, and must be turned in by Friday.

The baskets will include a whole chicken, green beans, cake mix and frosting, potatoes, cranberry jelly and other holiday items.

“We want needy people to be able to have a little extra food at Christmas,” Glimidakis said.

In the early 1980s, Glimidakis was recruited to help at the bank temporarily.

She didn’t know she’d still be there more than 20 years later, but she found the experience worthwhile and rewarding.

“Just being able to help and knowing we have helped so many families,” she explained of her longevity.

However, this year, the volunteers said they have helped more people than ever.

Because of the economic recession, Gimikakis said the food bank has been nearly overwhelmed with clients.

“I’d assume it’s because there’s so much unemployment,” she said. “We’ve been really swamped.”

Emma Mascarenas, another volunteer, has been with the food bank since 1983.

She said this year is the first time in her memory the food bank ran out of food and money.

While donations of food and cash declined as residents tightened their belts, demand for aid skyrocketed.

After receiving an unsolicited grant of $7,500 from El Pomar Northwest Regional Council in August, the food bank was back on track to provide services to needy families in Moffat County.

Now, they have enough to provide qualified people with a meal to brighten the holidays during difficult economic times.

“I enjoy it so much,” Mascarenas said. “Because they need it. It’s a good way to get them a good dinner on Christmas Day.”

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