Food drives honor World Hunger Day on Sunday | SteamboatToday.com

Food drives honor World Hunger Day on Sunday

Margaret Hair

— World Hunger Day is Sunday, and local organizations are working to raise awareness and collect nonperishable food donations.

“We wanted to not only bring awareness to world hunger, but also do something about it on a local level,” said Kevin King, whose Anchor Way Baptist Church will host the Bootin’ Word Hunger Community Fest on Sunday. The food drive/block party is from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on the Routt County Courthouse lawn, and will include barbecue, live gospel music and games for children.

“We have an ever-increasing need of food for people that we rub shoulders with here in the community, so we’re glad that we can take part in helping to meet a real need,” King said.

LIFT-UP of Routt County has three food drives on its calendar: The Steamboat Springs High School cheerleading team will collect food before today’s Homecoming football game at Gardner Field, Anchor Way Baptist Church throws its party Sunday, and the high school honor society will go door to door Wednesday.

All food collected at the drives will go to LIFT-UP’s distribution centers in Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek and Hayden.

Compared to the period from January to September 2006, LIFT-UP has seen an increased need for food for local families.

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“More people are struggling and coming to us for food in particular,” said Pamela Graham, food bank and case manager for LIFT-UP.

People need assistance for different reasons – reduced hours, lack of work and high cost of living among them, Graham said.

In the first three fiscal quarters of 2007, LIFT-UP gave out about 4,000 bags of food with an estimated value of $80,000.

Donations for the food bank come from local drives and regular pickups at Safeway and City Market. LIFT-UP also buys food locally and from the Food Bank of the Rockies.

LIFT-UP has been preparing for the winter, but it always needs more, Graham said.

“I have a storeroom that was so packed 10 days ago you could hardly walk through there, and now there’s holes in the shelves,” she said.

“By Nov. 1, half of it could be gone.”

If you go

What: Bootin’ World Hunger Community Fest

When: 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Routt County Courthouse lawn

Cost: Free; nonperishable food donations accepted

Call: 870-8804