Livewell Northwest Colorado: Adopt a Shelf | SteamboatToday.com

Livewell Northwest Colorado: Adopt a Shelf

Jeff Modesitt/For Steamboat Today

Adopting a shelf of food or personal items at LiftUp is a great way for you, or your organization, to get involved in our community in a meaningful way. Simply pick what you'd like to adopt, then decide whether you'd like to donate that item or the money it takes to purchase that item. LiftUp will acknowledge your generosity on the shelf you adopt-or you can adopt anonymously, if you prefer.

LiftUp introduced the Adopt a Shelf program in 2017, and the response from our community has been tremendous. LiftUp would love to raise $40,000 toward the purchase of food in 2017. So far this year, our generous community has donated more than $9,600 toward Adopt a Shelf.

Food distributed through LiftUp is either purchased or donated. Food is donated by our local grocery stores, local restaurants and schools and local gardeners and farmers. Food is also donated through churches, political groups, schools, neighborhoods and others through food drives. More than 25 percent is purchased by LiftUp to lessen food insecurity in our community.

LiftUp purchases a tremendous amount of food every year. Due to bulk pricing, LiftUp can purchase about four times as much food as an individual dollar-for-dollar. It makes sense to maximize each dollar to help those in need by taking advantage of LiftUp's buying power. Adopt a Shelf is a way for individuals, families, businesses, church groups, schools and others to support LiftUp's three food banks, in Oak Creek, Hayden and Steamboat Springs.

Adopt a Shelf donations are tax deductible. Donations to the program can be directed to purchase a specific food for a month, half a year or fund the entire budget for an item for a year. These items cost anywhere from $10 per month to $4,800 per year. Anyone can participate with a small or large donation. 

One of LiftUp's primary missions is to address food insecurity in our community. In 2014 in Routt County, the Department of Human Services estimated 3,030 residents were food insecure. That is almost 15 percent of our local population.

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Food insecurity is a serious problem. When faced with the choice between buying high-quality, fresh fruits and vegetables or paying the rent in a food insecure situation, many will choose the cheaper, lower quality meal and pay the rent. Food insecurity puts stress on the health of an individual and/or family and affects work readiness and productivity, adding to the stress of an already stressful situation. If left unaddressed, food insecurity and the quality food choices facing many in our community will manifest in higher medical costs, lost work productivity, lost focus in school, decreased income and family issues brought on by the daily stress of, "Will I have enough to eat today?" 

LiftUp's Food Banks distribute hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to about 10 percent of Routt County's population, annually.  These are our neighbors, many of whom work multiple jobs. Last year, LiftUp distributed more than 276,000 pounds of food. This total does not include the 386 children's snacks per day (now more than 500 snacks per day) distributed through LiftUp's Rocket Pack program or the free food available to non-clients who come into the food bank each day looking for milk, bread, vegetables and protein. 

To find out how you can help LiftUp lessen food insecurity in Routt County, visit liftuprc.org/adoptashelf, and click on the hypertext to see a wish list of nonperishable, fresh fruits and vegetables or personal items regularly distributed to the community, or call 970-870-8804, and ask us about Adopt a Shelf. Thank you for supporting LiftUp and, in turn, your neighbors.

Jeff Modesitt is LiftUp of Routt County's community support manager.  LiftUp is a member of the Northwest Colorado Food Coalition.

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