LIFT-UP provides Thanksgiving dinners to 1,500 families |

LIFT-UP provides Thanksgiving dinners to 1,500 families

Staff Report
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Contributed photoCasey Hampton, left, and his brother Waylon Hampton, worked on Monday to organize food stockpiles for holiday meal assistance in the storage area beneath the LIFT-UP Rifle Thrift Store. The groceries were distributed to more than 1,500 families this week.

LIFT-UP, the valleywide nonprofit, distributed Thanksgiving Day dinner groceries and store vouchers to more than 1,500 families from Parachute to Aspen this past week. The outreach effort helped about 10 percent of the total population in the region.

The help means that more than 6,000 people will be able to enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving Day meal today, all thanks to the generosity of the community.

“About half of the food distributed was donated by the community from food drives and items brought into the food pantries,” said Jeffrene Fowler, LIFT-UP services manager.

LIFT-UP purchased the other half of the food at Food Bank of the Rockies and local grocery stores using cash donations, Fowler said.

The help with the holiday meal marks a 30 percent increase over 2010. LIFT-Up reported that 1,484 families registered in advance to receive holiday meal groceries. A few dozen other families that weren’t registered also showed up at the eight distribution sites, putting the total number of families helped at more than 1,500.

Town-by-town registration numbers were:

Parachute: 135 families

Rifle: 403 families

Silt: 59 families

New Castle: 100 families

Glenwood Springs: 360 families

Carbondale: 185 families

Basalt: 190 families

Aspen: 52 families

The holiday meal assistance includes traditional Thanksgiving menu items such as stuffing, potatoes, corn and green beans, and a $10 meat voucher that families could use at local City Markets and Clark’s Market in Battlement Mesa.

“I’m amazed and grateful to see how our community responds to the needs in our region, and I’m happy that LIFT-UP can serve as a channel of assistance to brighten the holiday season for neighbors in need,” said LIFT-UP executive director Mike Powell.

“It’s been a rough year for many of these folks. I want to thank all of the supporters and volunteers that help make this tremendous outreach possible,” Powell said.

LIFT-UP will also distribute holiday meals in December in time for Christmas.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meal assistance is provided in addition to year-round operations at LIFT-UP’s seven area food pantries.

The pantries serve an average of more than 2,000 people per month, and The Extended Table Soup Kitchen in Glenwood Springs serves more than 1,100 meals per month.

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