Garfield County grants $100,000 to LIFT-UP

Funds set to help with food assistance in the area

March 23, 2020

Garfield County has approved a $100,000 grant to LIFT-UP to help with emergency food assistance in wake of economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 virus in Colorado. LIFT-UP provides free food for people in need, without need for documentation or proof of income.

The grant, which comes from the county’s Emergency Reserve 125 fund, will help bolster food resources, further assisting LIFT-UP’s ability to provide for the citizens. Food deliveries are now operated out of the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle, with the North and South halls utilized as a staging area.

In 2019, LIFT-UP served an average of 625 families per month. Under a new plan, the nonprofit believes it can serve 700 families per week during the current crisis.

“We can do this due to the financial support presented here today,” said Angela Mills, LIFT-UP executive director, to the Board of County Commissioners. “By moving to the fairgrounds, it’s easier to store more food and set up two emergency food box production lines.”

Mills added that LIFT-UP drive-thru food pantries will make distributions one day a week in Parachute (Thursday, 2 p.m.), and two days a week in Rifle, New Castle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. All volunteers take safety precautions, and customers drive or walk up to the distribution site and a volunteer performs some paperwork.

“It’s simple paperwork and only the volunteer handles it, so no pens are passed back and forth,” Mills explained. “Last week’s boxes of food consisted of two very large bags of shelf-stable items, and also fresh dairy and produce as available thanks to the generosity of our grocery rescue partners.”

The mobile food pantries are being held in:
• Parachute, LIFT-UP food pantry, 201 E. First Street, Thursdays at 2 p.m.
• Rifle, Garfield County Fairgrounds, Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m.
• New Castle, Elk Creek Elementary School parking lot, 804 W. Main Street, Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m.
• Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Springs High School, south parking lot, 1521 Grand Ave., Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m.
• Carbondale, Third Street Center parking lot, 520 S. 3rd Street, Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m.

LIFT-UP’s Extended Table service is offering grab-and-go bagged meals from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Rifle at the Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church, Lovell Building, 200 E. 4th Street. Food services are also taking place in Glenwood Springs; stop by the First United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper Ave., for updates on Monday through Friday meal distribution.

“I don’t want anyone going hungry in Garfield County,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “If we need to increase to serve 800 or 900 families a week, then do that and come back for additional funding.”

The grant was approved unanimously, 3-0. If anyone wants to help volunteer with food distribution, they can contact Garfield County Public Health WIC Program Manager Christine Dolan at (970) 945-1377, ext. 2020.

LIFT-UP is also seeking new reusable grocery bags and nonperishable food items. These can be dropped off at the Garfield County Fairgrounds, Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., or at any of the above locations during food distribution. Contact LIFT-UP for more information.