Vail Valley refreshes its food banks |

Vail Valley refreshes its food banks

Chris Outcalt
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVail Valley resident Cindy Allard donates non-perishable food items for the Food Drive Challenge on Friday at The Village Market in Edwards.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” The sidewalk outside the Village Market in Edwards Friday evening looked kind of like a Vail Valley, Colorado campaign event. The county commissioners greeted residents at the door, shaking hands and smiling.

They weren’t asking for votes, though. The commissioners were asking for donations of nonperishable food.

County and town officials spent three hours Friday evening standing outside grocery stores in Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum doing their best to explain how the need for food in the county has outpaced resources at the food banks.

In an hour, county officials had already filled four grocery carts with items ranging from canned goods to toilet paper and diapers.

“We’ve got the all-star team,” said John Fay, who works with the county’s foster care program.

The commissioners agreed to match every five donations from one person with five similar items.

“The goal is to get as much as possible,” said Kris Friel, the county’s communications director.

As the country dipped into a recession, the county’s Health and Human Services Department and other local organizations like the Salvation Army have had dramatic increases in the amount of people in need of help with things like food, rent and utility bills.

“People don’t think about it as a year-round need,” said Friel, who noted donations are often more common around the holidays.

Elaine Turnbull, an Edwards resident, didn’t know about the county food drive when she made a trip to the Village Market Friday.

She left with two bags of groceries ” one for herself and one for the food drive.

“It’s an appreciation for the blessings I have,” Turnbull said.

Grettel Cortes and her family, who live in Eagle River Village, needed help with food and rent after her husband lost his job.

“It was very important,” said Cortes, whose husband has been out of work for four months.

Cortes and her family have decided to start volunteering at the Salvation Army.

For more information about donating to a county food bank contact Friel at 970-328-8617.

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