Inter-Faith Food Bank in Craig provides Christmas baskets to almost 200 families | CraigDailyPress.com

Inter-Faith Food Bank in Craig provides Christmas baskets to almost 200 families

Volunteers Virginia Elliott, left, and Bennie Otero are surrounded by Christmas gift bags filled with food from the Inter-Faith Food Bank.

— This year, the Inter-Faith Food Bank in Craig provided almost 200 families with Christmas baskets filled with food items to help them through the holidays.

"Every winter, we have more people due to lack of work in winter. We've had more people in from out of town. And we have had bigger families with five, six and seven people," said volunteer Virginia Elliott.

In total, the groups gives out about 1,500 pounds of food, costing more than $1,000, said Inter-Faith Food Bank purchaser Bennie Otero.

Bags are filled with staple food items, including green beans and corn, fruit cocktail, mashed potatoes and gravy, cake mix with frosting, rolls, a dozen eggs, a pound of butter, extra items chosen by the family and a $10 meat voucher for City Market.

The food goes to "anyone who fills out an application," said Inter-Faith Food Bank Secretary/Treasurer Bonnie Hampton. "We don't question need."

The Inter-Faith Food Bank currently operates out of the old American Legion building, and volunteers are concerned about where they might operate once their agreement with Moffat County ends May 31.

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"The future is murky, as the county commissioners are not sure what to do," Otero said. "But we'd like them to keep things the way they are."

The space offers room for food storage, sorting and space for busy pick-up days.

"It has everything we need: parking, handicap parking and ramps," Elliot said.

The group could use more volunteers, however.

"We are grateful for the volunteers we do have, but we are all getting a little older, and so we are always looking for volunteers," Otero said.

Volunteer perks include helping others and making new friends.

"I am just tying to make friends; before I started helping, I had a few friends," said Liz Daniels, who moved to Craig earlier this year when her husband, Andrew Daniels, accepted the position of CEO at The Memorial Hospital in Craig. "I'm expanding my base of friends."

As holiday donations fill the shelves, and Christmas baskets are in the hands of people in need, the group had one more important message for the community.

"We wish everyone a blessed, Merry Christmas and happy New Year," Hampton said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.