Daily food requests rise for Glenwood Springs nonprofit LIFT-UP
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” Each year around the holidays Mike Powell is overwhelmed with the generosity of Garfield County residents.
As the executive director of LIFT-UP, Powell knows the generosity that comes from the communities in a very personal way.
“So many people love to help LIFT-UP, that I don’t even know about them all,” Powell said.
That is why Powell says that it’s not LIFT-UP that helps people, but rather the community that helps people.
“LIFT-UP doesn’t help people, and we never will,” Powell said. “It’s the community that deserves the credit, they are the ones that are helping. We are just the tool they use to do it with.”
Just like the carpenter uses a hammer to build a house, that is the analogy Powell uses.
LIFT-UP is a local nonprofit organization serving the communities from Parachute to Carbondale, sometimes reaching all the way into Aspen. During the holidays, LIFT-UP collects food donations from multiple schools, groups, clubs and individuals throughout the county and distributes the food to those who need it.
“We love to do it, and we really appreciate the support for LIFT-UP,” Powell said. “It’s really a blessing to work for an organization that is respected and supported like this by its community.”
Especially working in a community where their help is needed.
LIFT-UP typically sees about 1,500 people sign up for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals each year. This year is down just slightly with only about 1,300 signed up for holiday meals. However, Powell said, that number always fluctuates from how many people sign up and how many actually show up for the food.
Monday was the final day for folks to pick up the LIFT-UP Thanksgiving meals, and Powell said that the crowds were similar to years past. The biggest difference he’s seen this year was leading up to the holiday season.
“I don’t know that the requests for help for the holidays is going to be any higher than it usually is, but just everyday people coming in for food, the demand is up significantly,” Powell said.
Since August, Powell estimated a 20 to 30 percent increase in demand at all of LIFT-UP’s food pantries causing the organization to shell out more money to keep up the food bank.
“We’ve found ourselves having to purchase more food, in the past three months or so, than in past years,” Powell said. “Where we used to have to purchase less due to the amount of donations.”
But the donations have still been coming in. And Powell isn’t surprised at the amount of donations they’ve received.
“It’s pretty common,” he said. “People are in the giving mood this time of year, and LIFT-UP has been around a long time and has a good reputation for trying to help people.”
Monday, Powell had a donation of 30 frozen turkeys, but had no place to store them because all the freezer space he had was full, and he had no other place to store them.
“I’m reluctant to say no to food, but 30 turkeys is a lot of food,” Powell said. “The reality is, I don’t know what to do with 30 turkeys.”
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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