Glenwood gets a LIFT for Christmas
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Approximately 500 holiday baskets were given away yesterday as part of the LIFT-UP organization’s annual effort to bring a little extra cheer into the lives of their clientele.
The “Christmas Pantry,” as LIFT-UP Director Mike Powell called it, was held at the Church of Christ in West Glenwood, where volunteers handed out food baskets from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
It was part of the organization’s broader Holiday Baskets program, which Powell estimated will have distributed “probably 1,300 to 1,400 baskets countywide” for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas this year.
“The strength of LIFT-UP really is the individual donors,” Powell said of the program, which relies on year-round philanthropy in its mission to help those who need it, in the form of donated foods as well as money.
“A few people in the county, and we certainly appreciate them, can write a check for a thousand dollars, and we get checks of up to $5,000,” he continued, explaining that LIFT-UP receives grants from area thrift stores and other nonprofits, as well as corporate assistance from the City Market grocery chain, which is part of the Kroger Company.
City Market, he said, donates through the Food Bank of the Rockies.
“They give us hundreds of pounds of meat,” Powell said, “and that’s huge, absolutely huge. They’re supporting us very well.”
LIFT-UP uses some of the cash donations from people up and down the valley to buy some foods, including basic items from the Food Bank and City Market vouchers for the turkeys that are the centerpiece of holiday meals.
In the baskets, Powell said, are other items to make up “the basics for a good meal” – canned vegetables and fruit, dessert mixes and bread mixes, and “we’re giving away a lot of beans and rice these days” as area Latino families find themselves in need of assistance.
He said the number of people helped by LIFT-UP has not risen for the holiday times, “but the numbers that we’re helping on a day-to-day basis certainly are up significantly – around 300 percent across the county.”
In Carbondale, he said, the number of clients has grown by 800 percent this year, possibly because a higher percentage of Carbondale residents work in Aspen, which has been hit hard by the ongoing recession.
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