Demand for LIFT-UP services continues to increase |

Demand for LIFT-UP services continues to increase

Heidi Rice
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – Despite some signs of improvement in the national economy, things locally haven’t yet changed much, and LIFT-UP of Garfield County is still seeing an increase in the need for services.

Locally, LIFT-UP served nearly 7,800 clients, including families and individuals, through the first quarter of 2010 and gave out more than 9,500 bags of food – 33 percent more than last year at this time, according to Mike Powell, executive director of LIFT-UP.

“We’re hanging in there, but we’re starting to slip a little,” Powell said. “It’s a matter of getting the word out to people that we need food. People are hurting. The demand hasn’t let up and is still rising slowly.”

Although services increased 300 percent in 2009 over 2008, in March 2010, LIFT-UP saw more people than in any month last year, with nearly 3,000 clients served and 980 of those clients from Rifle. The Extended Table Soup Kitchen in Glenwood Springs continues to see about a third more people than before the downturn in the economy, serving an average of about 1,200 meals per month.

Yet, despite the ailing economy that is affecting everyone, the community continues to give.

“We have a very generous community, which never ceases to amaze me,” Powell said.

Right now, LIFT-UP is in need of nonperishable food items, including canned vegetables and fruit, dry goods, pasta, cereal, peanut butter and pasta sauce – things that store well. There is also a need for volunteers.

“The community is still being very responsive to the needs, but stock turnover at our food pantries is extremely high right now,” Powell said. “Nonperishable food items are always needed, but financial contributions really help, too. We can buy food at Food Banks of the Rockies (in Grand Junction) for much less than folks would spend at the grocery stores, so their money goes a little further that way. We go over every two weeks and bring back a truckload of food.”

LIFT-UP is also participating in the annual Spring Challenge to Fight Hunger, so all contributions of food and money made through April 30 will qualify for additional funding from the Feinstein Foundation. Donations may be made online at or mailed to P.O. Box 1213, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602 and food may be dropped off at any LIFT-UP office.

The Rifle LIFT-UP office at 800 Railroad Ave. is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

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