LIFT-UP’s Loving leaves legacy of healthy eating
After starting two of Garfield County’s most beneficial and wide-ranging programs, LIFT-UP’s Kim Loving will soon finish her final week as executive director.
“Helping people is what I will miss the most,” she said. “LIFT-UP will continue to push for fresh and healthy foods for all of its clients.”
With 35 years of service and 53,827 clients served last year alone, the nonprofit organization is in the process of finding her replacement.
Loving was quick to identify her proudest accomplishment at LIFT-UP: helping to bring the Gleaning Project and Meal Monkey to Garfield County.
The Gleaning Project, a countywide program to collect surplus produce from the public to be donated to LIFT-UP, began in 2014. Nearly 50,000 pounds of produce has been donated to LIFT-UP and put on the plates of those who need it most.
A year later, Loving helped start Meal Monkey, Rifle’s Friday mobile lunch program, which provides lunches to Rifle, Silt and New Castle students on Fridays. Loving said that 3,100 meals have been provided to students this year.
“These programs are really in place and ingrained and will continue to build and expand,” Loving added.
LIFT-UP board President Jody Wilson expects both programs to continue and thrive after Loving leaves, but added that she really helped promote and bring a lot more healthy eating and awareness to the community.
“We are hoping to make these programs better and stronger from what she started,” Wilson said. “We wish Kim the best. She will be missed.”
LIFT-UP is interviewing potential replacements for Loving, and the search has narrowed to seven candidates. Loving will be moving to Florida to semi-retire.
Wilson hopes to have somebody in place by the end of October.
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