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Gilpin County Food Bank Christmas


The spirit of Christmas includes giving

By Jaclyn Schrock

Over 150 volunteer hours helped provide a drive-through pick up of Christmas breakfast and dinner, on Tuesday, December 22nd. Gilpin Food Bank is so very thankful to their helpful, revolving team of volunteers.  The young and not so young giving of time, energy, compassion and holiday cheer donated so many hours of help coordinated by the Gilpin Food Bank.

The Gilpin Human Services team, where the food bank is housed, also worked tirelessly to receive donations and with kindness, serve our community in need.

With the hardship on many from COVID, the Gilpin Food Bank continues to provide for those with needs. The extra needs from these challenging times allows for food to be distributed both in and near Gilpin.

Beginning at 1:30 pm Tuesday, in front of the Gilpin County Courthouse (by the Sheriff’s Department), folks lined up their cars and were shuttled through two lanes to pick up their food they had requested by last week. There were 25 cars lined up along Dory Hill Road and Hwy 46 waiting to get into the parking lot even before 1:30.

In the first 11 minutes of food distribution, 10 cars had moved on with their free food. Able to deliver it to a neighbor or friend in need, some took an extra household their food when previously requested.

Even those who did not sign-up and still came to the Food Bank in need of food, were welcomed and provided for.

Beginning Monday, the boxes of canned and dry goods, and even pumpkins were assembled into boxes, by eight volunteers.

Three of Monday’s volunteers returned Tuesday for a total of 12 amazing helpers to assemble the other five stations of food: refrigerated fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, frozen meats, breads and pastries – even pies, and all the fix’ens.

The volunteers say that it is relaxing to do this. It is a pleasure to work together to help others. Sandy said there is a song bird among them who helps all “whistle” while they work.

One volunteer said “When things are the worst, Gilpin is at its best.

Gracie, another volunteer on break from Gilpin School, demonstrated much experience. She comes on weekends and helps as often as she can. She enjoys running the loaded carts outdoors to the drive-thru food distribution, and returning the empty carts to start reloading for the next family.

Some others working at various stations included: Sandy, Rhonda, Milly, Rachael, Jan, and Roxy. Thanks for doing your part to make Gilpin a great place to live!

Sandy has volunteered with the Food Bank for a few years. She and other volunteers grew 280 pounds of food donated to the Food Bank this year. They have used plots in the community garden to grow fresh vegetable for the Food Bank for a couple of years now, supported in a small part by a grant, but completely sustained by volunteers.

Rachael was excited to be able to use her trained chef talents to make the dinner for her family, including her grown brothers. Even though grandma and grandpa struggle to understand why they cannot come as usual to their house for Christmas, the youngest is stepping up to take on the task others have done before her.

Jen Lomeli helped put stuff into boxes for Thanksgiving dinner last month. She also delivered some families their food boxes for Thanksgiving since it snowed just before and some were stranded. Jen loaded up once again and headed out for more deliveries of the Christmas meals.

The Gilpin County Food Bank receives donations and grants to bring food to homes in the area. With Covid’s impact on lives, county lines may not restrict the areas food in need or received.

This year the Gilpin Food Bank received 225 requests for Christmas dinner. That is more than double previous years for Christmas meals. Some are for single member households, but most are for families. There are 16 large families with more than six members receiving food this Christmas.

Saturday there were 10 volunteers who helped distribute the gifts for children requested by area families. The secret “elves” giggled and chattered through the fun of making happy surprises.

70 smoke and Co2 detectors where donated, and all were taken home this week from the Food Bank. Our community is acutely aware of the need for these detectors as we mourn the loss of our two young Central City fire fighters, Cody and Shelby Allen who passed away recently, likely because of a failed Co2 detector.

24 more detectors were donated for Tuesday’s Christmas distribution.

Gilpin County thrives well with the help of gracious, kind, diligent and dedicated volunteers. We all thank you for your willingness to serve our community!

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