Nov 172010
 
Authors: Courtney Riley

The Food Bank for Larimer County is full of food ready to be donated to people in need for Thanksgiving.

Donations from Colorado State University’s Cans Around the Oval food drive helped equip the Food Bank for this holiday season.

“Cans Around the Oval gets us started into the food drive season,” said Chuck Gill, the assistant director of the Food Bank for Larimer County. “It restocks our shelves.”

Gill said Cans Around the Oval gave the Food Bank less food this year than last year, but it contributed quite a bit more money. Cans Around the Oval collected 90,000 pounds of food and $27,000 last year.

This year, the food drive brought in 61,000 pounds of food and $37,000.

Every dollar the Food Bank receives provides four meals, Gill said. The money the organization receives is used for transportation of food.

“We encourage donations of both food and money, and Cans Around the Oval has progressed along those same lines,” he said.
However, he said the monetary donations help move more regional food donations from state to state.

The Food Bank has accumulated about 1,500 turkeys so far for Thanksgiving, mostly coming from the Poudre School District.
“Fall is a season for a lot of giving,” Gill said.

Starting today, different agencies, such as the Salvation Army and churches throughout Fort Collins, will receive turkeys from the Food Bank to give to those in need.

The Food Bank receives its food from myriad places including:

  • small companies,
  • wholesalers,
  • grocery stores,
  • local donors,
  • the government, and
  • Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks.

Gill said about 80 percent of the food they receive will not be given to agencies, but will be put in the Food Bank’s two food pantries ­­­­–– one in Fort Collins and one in Loveland.

People who are registered with the food bank and meet a monthly salary requirement –– which ranges between $1,107 and $5,000, depending on the size of the household –– can get groceries at the food pantry.

Community members can make donations Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Hannah Schumacher, a senior nutrition and food science major, has volunteered at the Food Bank of Larimer County since the beginning of the semester for her Community Nutrition class.

Schumacher works with one of the Food Bank’s agencies, the Kid’s Cafe. The program has seven sites in Larimer County, such as the Boys and Girls Club, where it provides food for kids who qualify for free meals.

“I love volunteering here because I get to work with the community I live and study in, and I get hands-on experience with the people I’ll probably be working with when I graduate,” she said.

Staff writer Courtney Riley can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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