12:31pm

Wed November 23, 2011
Human Services

Colorado Food Banks Struggle to Meet Demand

Colorado food banks and other safety net organizations say they’re feeling a pinch this holiday.  Many are facing a rise in demand for services, even as donations are slumping.

The non-profit Action Center in Jefferson County has seen a forty percent rise in demand over the past three years of the economic downturn. 

The center’s main service is its food bank which distributes about four to five tons a day to people in need. 

Executive director Mag Strittmatter says until recently, the center was getting enough private cash and food donations to meet the increase.  She says the problem has been exacerbated by recent cuts to public aid programs for the poor.

"We are seeing an increase in our numbers because of the severe funding cuts to county governments, human services offices across the state," Strittmatter says.

Strittmatter says the Action Center just barely got enough donations to meet its annual food box distribution for families who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal this week, something she says hadn’t been a problem even at the height of the recession.  The Action Center and other safety net non-profits are worried about what the donation trend will mean should it continue through Christmas.