Community Table is launching a community-wide campaign to raise 25,000 pounds of food by December 25. The campaign is needed to help offset the pandemic-related drop in food donations from individuals and “rescued” groceries from local retailers.
“Even though the community has generously supported us and starving families throughout the pandemic and its aftermath, our supply chain has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Food donations and grocery store bailouts are simply not keeping pace with the increased need. And now, with the addition of record inflation, we are feeding more families than ever,” Community Table President and CEO Sandy Martin said. “For example, in September 2021, we provided food for 1,600 people. In September, 3,250 people visited us for food, doubling the number of people we need to feed.
Beginning Monday, November 14, Community Table will place its branded food collection barrels in high-traffic locations in Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Westminster. Households will be encouraged to drop off donations of non-perishable food and personal care products at any keg location. Businesses, churches, government, service organizations and other groups will be encouraged to participate by hosting food drives on their premises. Community Table will track the pounds of food collected each week and report on social media to encourage donations and friendly competition between places, businesses and organizations.
“We are excited about the 25×25 food drive. Last year was the first year of the drive and we collected 25,777 pounds of food. This year, we hope to not only replenish our food inventory, but also raise awareness about hunger in the metro area,” Martin said. “This year, the 25×25 food drive kicks off during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, designed to educate the public, draw attention to the issue of poverty, and build a volunteer base and donors for local organizations like ours. Community Table isn’t the only pantry affected by the pandemic. Many other hunger relief organizations have seen their supply chains decline as the number of hungry families continues to rise.
About the Community Table
Founded in 1982 by a group of concerned citizens, the Arvada Food Bank, now known as the Community Table, began distributing food to starving families from a small house. Now in our 40th year, we have become one of the largest emergency food aid providers in the metro area, serving Arvada, Edgewater, North Denver, Lakeside, Mountain View, Federal Heights, Golden, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge and surrounding communities. Community Table employs nine staff members and 500 volunteers to feed and provide support and resources to thousands of struggling families each year.
While providing food remains our core business, our support for those in need extends far beyond that. In 2014, we added a helping hand by adding programs and resources struggling families need to lift themselves out of poverty, including emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities, assistance with requests for public services, a computer room for customers, etc. In 2019, we started organizing showers for homeless people and opened an on-site health clinic for underinsured and uninsured adults. Our support for those in need continues to grow. We now offer laundry and dental services and even cooking programs for those on a budget. We know we can do even more to help those in need with continued community support. Community Table, a 501(c)(3) public charity, depends on the support of individuals, businesses, foundations, churches and service organizations. For more information, visit cotable.org [cotable.org].