LIFT-UP President Kathy Conlon got a momentary scare when she checked the stock on the Steamboat Springs food bank's shelves the day after Christmas. After an initial inspection, she declared it was a "grim situation" and the food supply had run nearly dry.
But thanks to one of Conlon's trusty volunteers who steered her to the food bank's new storage room brimming with December contributions, she is happy to report the food supply is "looking good right now."
Boy Scouts, Bud Werner Memorial Library, schools and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. all made significant food donations during December, Conlon said. The contributions bolstered food bank supplies for the busy holiday season.
The holidays are often one of the neediest seasons because people are new to town and trying to get established, Conlon said. She said layoffs that come with the spring mud season bring a similar spike in demand for the food bank's services.
"Seasonal ebb and flow is significant," Conlon said.
Although the food bank has ample supplies right now, it is not something to get too comfortable with, Conlon said.
LIFT-UP supplements donations with food purchased from the Food Bank of the Rockies in to meet increasing local demand, Conlon said -- and she said it is difficult to rely on them during the winter. The nonprofit is always in need of basic, non-perishable staples such as cereal, tuna, pasta and spaghetti sauce, she said.
Although the food bank usually is open to accept donations from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays at 325 Seventh St., it and LIFT-UP's other branches -- the LIFT-UP Community Thrift Store, Donation Center, South Routt Food Bank and Hayden Emergency Assistance Office -- will be closed for the holidays through Thursday. The Steamboat food bank will be open only from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Conlon suggested leaving food donations with churches during the weekend or on holidays when the food bank is closed.
All LIFT-UP sites will be open on their usual schedules beginning Jan. 2.