Food bank sees dividends

LIFT-UP seeing more south Routt clients

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— The LIFT-UP food bank in Oak Creek has gained clients and is beginning to fill some of the need that officials recognized when the bank opened.

"We have gotten new people who didn't know about us and people who were driving to Steamboat" to go to the food bank, south Routt food bank staffer Lisa Bohlmann said. "It's becoming a lot more regular."

Most recently, the food bank changed its hours to try to provide a more flexible schedule.

Now, the food bank will be open on Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m., instead of Monday morning. Thursday's hours, from 9 a.m. to noon, will stay the same.

Bohlmann said some people in the community said they wanted to have an opportunity to visit the store in the evening, so the hours were changed.

The south Routt food bank opened its doors on Oct. 2, after the town of Oak Creek agreed to rent the front of the Old Town Hall building for $1 a year to house the facility.

Since then, patronage has been rising, along with community food donations.

"The community has been real generous," Bohlmann said.

Donations from the school and Select Super Market have been helpful, she said.

"Every now and then people will just come in an drop off a bag of groceries," Bohlmann said.

Along with providing south Routt residents with assistance with food, Bohlmann said the food bank has connected four residents with grant money collected by LIFT-UP to assist in paying energy bills.

"There really is a need out there to get that assistance," Bohlmann said.

LIFT-UP is receiving a $5,000 grant from the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation in three increments.

The first increment of $1,700 came on March 5. That money was used by five households in the county, four in south Routt, LIFT-UP Executive Director David Freseman said.

"Lisa has just done a bang-up job with this down there," Freseman said.

LIFT-UP will receive the second portion of the money on May 1 and the last portion in August.

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