Showing Colorado Cares |

Showing Colorado Cares

Interfaith Food Bank gets donation through state initiative

Dan Olsen

A van loaded with food and delivered to the Interfaith Food Bank on Friday was a welcome sight for the volunteers helping to unload the products.

“It helps a lot, you bet,” said Jan Rinker, president of the food bank. “We get donations through the year, and we have drives, but this is great having the food available.”

Workers are quick to credit the United Way for all the help they provide throughout the year, but this delivery is different.

Eight years ago, Gov. Bill Owens was looking for a creative way to celebrate the anniversary of Colorado statehood.

The result was the Colorado Cares initiative, where thousands of people volunteer in communities across the state to make Colorado a better place to live.

This year’s theme is “Communities Working To-

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gether,” and volunteers were urged to work on, or otherwise help non-profit organizations across the state.

At the Colorado Department of Human Services in Denver, Ron Huston and Steve Swanson in information technology, set up a competition where the group of employees who collect the most food items will win an ice cream party.

“Steve and I are senior managers in the office, and we have staff all over the state,” Huston said. “This year we decided to help rural communities in this part of the state.”

They collected food and filled the delivery van completely to the top, they said.

On Thursday, the two managers dropped off food in Meeker and Rangely. On Friday, they came to Craig.

“All of our staff may be behind the scenes, but we know who we are supporting,” Huston said. “It’s a great feeling to help out people in Colorado’s rural communities.”

Volunteers on this end of the process unloaded the food into the food bank, where the items were sorted and put on the shelves.

“We bring it in, and the ladies sort it out.” Max Snare said, wheeling his handcart up a ramp.

“The number of people involved is amazing,” said Marie Peer, director of Moffat County Department of Social Services. “They collected 6,000 items in Denver, now it will be delivered on a local level to those finding themselves in emergency situations.”

The Interfaith Food Bank works out of the American Legion Post, 1055 Moffat County Road 7, and their hours are 11 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Social Services, Love INC and local churches refer many people there in need of assistance.

The food donated during Friday’s delivery reached 1,658 pounds, an amount that Rinker said was happily accepted.

“It’s good because there are times when the shelves are pretty sparse,” Rinker said. “We filled 12 orders the other day. That was food for about 50 people.”

Colorado became the 38th state on Aug. 1, 1876. This year, Colorado turns 130 years old.

“The governor wants us to celebrate by helping people,” Rinker said.

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