Elbert County food banks prepare for holiday season

Religious organizations, local groups work together to help those in need

Chancy J. Gatlin-Anderson
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 10/31/21

As the fall and winter holidays grow closer throughout the country, many people are turning to food banks to either donate or to receive foodstuffs in preparation for Thanksgiving. Elbert County has …

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Elbert County food banks prepare for holiday season

Religious organizations, local groups work together to help those in need

Posted

As the fall and winter holidays grow closer throughout the country, many people are turning to food banks to either donate or to receive foodstuffs in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Elbert County has a plethora of food banks to help those in need during this holiday season. From Elizabeth to Simla, food banks, local organizations and businesses are working hard to bring a food-secure holiday season to the residents of Elbert County.

Janet Stambaugh Malerich, an active volunteer with the Kiowa Creek Food Bank, shared the inner workings of the Kiowa Creek Community Church-run organization. Accompanied by a food bank volunteer, individuals and families can peruse the aisles at their leisure and pick out the foods they need.

Set up much like a grocery store, the Kiowa Creek Food Bank offers both perishable and non-perishable foods to the community of Kiowa. “We try to have fresh fruit and produce available,” said Malerich. “Numerous Master Gardeners in the area brought us produce this summer. We also gladly accept fresh eggs, which our clients love.”

The Kiowa Creek Food Bank is affiliated with Food Bank of the Rockies, a 501(c)(3) organization with over 800 Hunger Relief Partner organizations throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Clients are typically referred to the Kiowa Creek Food Bank from various Colorado social service organizations including Elbert County Coalition Outreach (ECCO), the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Elbert County Victim Assistance Program.

According to their website, in 2020, the Kiowa Creek Food Bank provided 823 clients with roughly 63,304 pounds of food. They are currently on track to deliver over 100,000 pound of food by the end of 2021.

“Today (Oct. 25) we served 17 clients, which is becoming the norm for Mondays,” said Malerich. “We’ve had a steady increase since the start of COVID. We are anticipating more new clients as a result of the struggling economy and predicted shortages.”

In addition to the Kiowa Creek Food Bank, locals in need can also find thriving food banks at Elizabeth Presbyterian Church and Harvest Bible Church in downtown Elizabeth.

Organizations and local businesses are also working to help feed the residents of Elbert County. American Legion Post 82 is holding their annual food drive each Saturday until Thanksgiving from noon to 4 p.m. at the Safeway in Elizabeth. The donations will be distributed among all of the local food banks.

Community group Dads of Elbert County Community Outreach also accepts food donations. Volunteers can pick up non-perishable food donations from your home and then deliver them to local food banks.

Lastly, much like the Little Free Libraries strewn throughout the country, there is a small food donation box located at the corner of Main Street and Broadway in downtown Elizabeth. As a part of the Colorado Blessing Box Project, people can anonymously leave non-perishable foods and others can take what they need.

Elizabeth

• Elizabeth Presbyterian Church

325 S. Banner St., Elizabeth

303-646-4825

Fridays — 12:30 -3 p.m.

Saturdays — 9-11:30 a.m.

• Harvest Bible Church

826 S. Elbert St., Elizabeth

303-646-3699

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays — 9-11 a.m.

Kiowa

• Kiowa Creek Community Church/Kiowa Creek Food Bank

231 Cheyenne St., Kiowa

303-621-2376

Mondays — 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tuesdays — 3-6 p.m.

Second Friday of every month — 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Simla

• Simla Family Thrift Store

303 Caribou St., Simla

Bread donation

For more information on Kiowa Creek Food Bank, visit kiowacreek.org/foodbank

For more information on Food Bank of the Rockies, visit foodbankrockies.org

To contact Dads of Elbert County Community Outreach, visit facebook.com/groups/doecco

To contact the Colorado Blessings Box Project, contact coloradoblessingbox@gmail.com

To contact the Simla Family Thrift Store, visit https://www.facebook.com/SimlaThriftStore

To contact the Elizabeth-based American Legion, visit aml82.org

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