Demand at Grand Junction Food Banks Skyrocketing

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

The Food Bank of the Rockies says its doling out 40 percent more food across the state and in Grand Junction, the Western Slope warehouse says demand has doubled in the past six months.

With a slowing economy and rising unemployment rate, local food pantries say they're seeing more and more people come through the doors asking for help.

The manager of the Western Slope Food Bank for the Rockies says it's the busiest she's seen in a decade.

Diane Kolden is a mother of two and after she was laid off last year, she struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over her head.

"I was so closed to losing where I was living, it was hard," Kolden told 11 News on Wednesday.

She says she didn't want to come to the Clifton Christian Church food pantry but she says she had to.

"Places like this really help a person be able to make it, survive, I mean I don't know I'd probably be on the street if it weren't for places like this," said Kolden.

And workers at the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies are counting up the orders.

Warehouse Manager Starlene Collins says more and more people like Diane Holden are having to reach out for help.

"From the different pantries they're saying there are a lot of first timers, people who have never accessed a food pantry before," Collins told 11 News on Wednesday.

Collins says load after load has piled up on the forklift and
demand has doubled.

"I mean it just does not slow down from the time we get in here in the morning until the time we leave at night," said Collins.

And although she loves to help she hopes the demand won't last because it's evidence that people are really struggling.

"So many people are just a paycheck away from homelessness," Collins said on Wednesday.

But for Diane Holden, that struggle is coming to an end and a paycheck is now coming every week thanks to a new job.

"Im thanking god everyday because he's brought the job to me and he works miracles he really does."

The manager of the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies warehouse says the noon-profit anticipated the need and has been stocking extra food over the last six months so right now supplies are good but they are always accepting donations.

The warehouse says more than food donations, right now it can use cash because it's had to add more workers and trucks to bring in all of the food.

To donate or contact the food bank, click on the link below.

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