Where and when food can be donated
Between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Food Bank for Larimer County
Items the food bank needs the most
Personal hygiene products (shampoo, diapers)
As the holiday season approaches, the Food Bank for Larimer County is preparing for one of the busiest years it has ever seen.
"We are busier this season because of recent layoffs and other economic factors," said Scott Burnworth, development director of the food bank.
Because the holidays are such a trying time of the year for many, the food bank is expecting to distribute hundreds of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
"We will be distributing 700 baskets on Saturday, Nov. 20 and again before Christmas on Dec. 19," Burnworth said. "We are still looking for 1,300 more frozen turkeys."
The food bank will use the turkeys it collects to put together holiday baskets complete with everything needed for a holiday meal.
"I think it is especially important to donate food this time of year. Around Christmas and Thanksgiving people expect a bigger feast and they don't always have the resources to do it," said Derek Lowstuter, a freshman forestry major.
In addition to turkey, the food bank also needs any kind of nonperishable food.
"We can always use canned goods. There are a few items that we go through quickly like peanut butter, cereal, canned dinners and diapers. We also need any canned foods with protein in them, like beef stew," said Sabrina Arch, volunteer and special events manager for the food bank.
In addition to food, monetary donations are always welcomed.
"For every dollar donated, we can turn it into $10 of food," Burnworth said.
Burnworth is optimistic about the way the season is progressing.
"We are on pace to distribute 5 million pounds of food this year. A record 6,500 families come each month to the food pantry," Burnworth said.
The food bank collects most of its food through community food drives.
"Our biggest food drive this year was Cans Around the Oval, which brought in over 100,000 pounds of food in one day. We just did the 9 Cares food drive on Saturday where we also got lots of food," Arch said.
Lowstuter recognizes the community need and has done everything he can to contribute to the effort.
"I participated in Cans Around the Oval, but since I don't have a car this semester I probably won't be able to donate any more food because I have no way to get it there," Lowstuter said.
Still, for those who are able to contribute, donations can be dropped off at the food bank 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"The cumulative effect of donations, both food and monetary, helps out and really makes a difference. This is a hard time of year for lots of people," Burnworth said.
Arch agreed. She pointed out a misconception she said most people have about the Fort Collins area.
"The need is pretty big in the community. The community has an affluent feel to it, but it is important to remember that there are people in need. We serve over 40,000 individuals in Larimer County, which equates to one in five people," Arch said.