Moffat County Locals: Interfaith Food Bank knows ‘it takes a village’

Volunteers and officers from Interfaith Food Bank show a portion of the 3,500 pounds of nonperishable food donated by the Craig Community during the 19th annual 93.7/102.3 KRAI Holiday Drive. Pictured, from left, are volunteers Ione Woog and Virginia Elliott; President Karen Bunk; Vice-President Jeannie Glimidakis; and volunteer Rocky Thompson.
Jim Patterson/staff

There is hardly any cause more noble that helping to feed the hungry, and in Moffat County, there’s no shortage of people willing the step up and lend a hand in that effort.

Interfaith Food Bank — which started as an outreach program of the local Episcopal Church — has since branched out to include other local congregations and has now been in operation about 35 years.

Functioning primarily as an emergency food bank, its services are available to any Moffat County resident in need.

Stocked mainly with nonperishable food items, the bank also distributes meat, eggs, milk and, to a smaller degree, personal items, such as toiletries and coffee. Recently, it also began distributing pet food donation on behalf of the Moffat County Humane Society.

“They handle the administration and do the stocking … so it’s really not part of the food bank, but it’s another service we’ve taken on on behalf of the community,” said Interfaith Food Bank President Karen Bunk.

Bunk and other food bank volunteers were out in force recently at Centennial Mall for the 19th annual 93.7/102.3 KRAI Holiday Drive, one of the organization’s biggest annual food drives. This year, Bunk said, the Holiday Drive’s contribution — about 3,500 pounds of nonperishable food — came at a particularly good time.

“We needed that this year, because we’re down on our inventory,” Bunk said. “This will last us about two months.”

The group’s biggest source of monetary funding comes from Moffat County United Way, which is a vitally important part of the equation.

“There’s a lot that we purchase,” Bunk said. “… things like eggs and bread and orange juice, you know, the fresh items. The things that come in here (at the Holiday Drive) are non-perishable.”

But the group is also buoyed by individual acts of giving.

“Our big donor is United Way, but we get … other private donations,” Bunk said. “… We get people who leave in the winter and come back in the summer, and they donate like 50-pound bags of beans and rice. And, we also have people who come in regularly and donate food items.”

Volunteer Virginia Elliott added the group is also helped along by smaller drives conducted by other groups. She mentioned specifically the Post Office’s Mother’s Day Drive and Craig Middle School’s annual Christmas Drive, as well as drives hosted by Hayden Power Plant and local realtors.

“It’s not that we get a lot, but it’s just really nice that they think of us,” Bunk said.

Asked why they choose to be involved with the food bank, the volunteers offered a variety of responses, but all were centered around the desire to help others in a spirit of community.

“For me, it’s about helping and being involved in the community,” Bunk said. “And, our organization is a very needed entity in this community. Everybody has their stories, and they’re all different.”

“And our meetings are so cordial,” added Glimidakis. “We’re more cordial than a lot of church organizations. We really just all get along so very well.”

The volunteers also agreed that, at the heart of the food bank’s efforts is the extraordinarily giving nature of Moffat County residents.

“It takes a village,” Glimidakis said. “Honestly, Craig really is a very giving community.”

The Interfaith Food Bank is open from 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is located at 2450 W. Third St.

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