LIFT-UP food pantries now accepting donations
Fruits and vegetables can be expensive at grocery stores and farmers markets, so people on limited incomes often cannot afford these nutritious foods.
In recent years, LIFT-UP food bank has been making efforts to provide more fresh produce at its pantries. This summer, LIFT-UP is encouraging area gardeners and farmers to donate surplus fresh produce to its pantries in Garfield County to be distributed to families in need.
People might consider planting an extra row of vegetables in their gardens or harvesting a bushel of fruit specifically for LIFT-UP, which can be a great learning experience for children. LIFT-UP also welcomes donations of farm fresh eggs from those whose hens are laying more than their family needs.
Last year, LiveWell Garfield County began collecting surplus produce from the public to benefit LIFT-UP and the Senior Nutrition Program, resulting in more than 8,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables for people in need from July through October.
Several area organizations are teaming up this season with the shared goal of getting more fresh produce to local families in need. Once again, LiveWell Garfield County is spearheading the effort with its Gleaning Project, along with support from Growing Food Forward and Produce for Pantries.
This year LiveWell Garfield County is teaming up with Produce for Pantries, a collaboration of hunger relief organizations throughout Colorado, to encourage community members to plant extra to donate to LIFT-UP food pantries. Produce for Pantries addresses hunger in Colorado by encouraging community, school and home gardeners to plant, grow and share produce with those in need via food pantries and hunger-relief organizations in their neighborhoods.
People may bring their produce to any Garfield County LIFT-UP food pantry during hours of operation. Please visit http://www.liftup.org for locations and hours. Donors will need to mention that they are donating their produce to the LiveWell Garfield County Gleaning Project. Donations will then be weighed and recorded, and donors will receive a tax receipt from LIFT-UP. Thanks to the Colorado Charitable Crop Donation Act, producers can claim a 25 percent tax credit for the wholesale value of all fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products donated to food banks.
LIFT-UP and LiveWell Garfield County volunteers will also be collecting surplus produce later in the growing season at the following locations and times, where produce donations of all sizes will be collected at market manager’s booths, and the food will be taken directly to the closest LIFT-UP pantry and to the Senior Program kitchens:
• Glenwood Springs Downtown Market: Centennial Park at Ninth and Grand Avenue, 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays, June 9 through Sept. 5.
• Produce Market in Glenwood Springs: Grand Avenue, Rite Aid parking lot, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., from late June through early November.
• Carbondale Farmers Market: Fourth and Main streets, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, June 10 through Sept. 30.
• New Castle Community Market: Burning Mountain Park, 4:30-7 p.m. Thursdays, July 9 through Sept. 24.
• Rifle Farmers Market: Community lot at West Second and Railroad Avenue, 4-8 p.m. Thursdays, June 18 through Sept. 24.
Additional drop-off sites and schedules will be announced closer to the start of the farmers market season.
With these channels of collection and distribution in place, no locally grown food will be wasted, and families in need can get the health-giving benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables.
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