Food pantry clients moving from emergency to monthly use
If you go
What: The Food Bank of the Rockies mobile food pantry
When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: The Boys & Girls Club of Craig, 1324 U.S. Highway 40
Food recipients should bring boxes or bags to carry their food.
Craig — The Food Bank of the Rockies mobile pantry unit will roll into Craig on Tuesday on one of its monthly stops in the Western Slope area.
As usual, there most likely will be a long line of people waiting for food at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig.
Although not having enough to eat usually isn’t associated with the American culture of super-sized fast food, the Food Bank of the Rockies reports 1 in 7 Coloradans go hungry.
As the economy continues to make life difficult for some, Feeding America has identified a transition from using the food pantry as an emergency resource to a more long-term strategy to meet monthly food needs.
In the 2010 Hunger in America survey, 54 percent of pantry clients were found to have visited a food pantry in six or more months during the past year.
The survey also found that seniors disproportionately represent clients visiting pantries in six or more months during the past year, with 56 percent of senior clients 65 years or older being returning clients.
But it’s not only the elderly experiencing hunger. Forty-two percent of people served by the Food Bank of the Rockies are children younger than 18, and 10 percent are children ages 0 to 5 years old.
The Food Bank of the Rockies found that almost half of households visiting pantries, 43 percent, include at least one employed adult.
The Food Bank of the Rockies also found their resources save clients from having to make tough decisions when it comes time to decide where to spend limited monthly incomes.
Forty-nine percent of clients reported having to choose between paying for food or utilities or heating fuel, 44 percent have to choose between food and their rent or mortgage and 36 percent had to choose between food and medicine or medical care, according to Food Bank of the Rockies.
With 71 percent of clients below the official federal poverty level and poverty levels rising, pantries rely on local volunteers and donations to continue serving the hungry.
For more information on the Food Bank of the Rockies, as well as a calendar of stops in Craig and surrounding areas visit http://www.foodbankrockies.org.
Darian Warden can be reached at 970-875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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