By Lucas Vader
With barely more than a month left in the year, the Cedaredge Food Bank is once again in full preparation of the yearly Christmas boxes, which deliver a full Christmas dinner to families in need within the Surface Creek area.
The Christmas boxes include an option of a turkey or a ham and side dishes, and they cost $38 per box. That goal is to put together 250 boxes. For that reason, the food bank is seeking donations to make its goal possible.
They will be distributed on Dec. 19, according to Donna Christenson, volunteer of the Cedaredge Food Bank, and it will be almost completely unaffected by COVID-19, with the exception of the pickup process.
“That’s why we’re lining people up in cars now,” Christenson said, “it’s because we don’t let them in the food bank anymore. They just drive up in their cars, we take their name and process their information and take the boxes out to them and put them in their cars.”
Even normal operations at the food bank have been that way since March or April, Christenson said, so the Christmas box pickup process won’t look too special to them at this point.
According to Christenson, the people who get the Christmas boxes are generally its regular clients. Qualifying clients of the Cedaredge Food Bank are individuals or families who fall below the federal poverty line and who have an address within the Surface Creek Valley, of Cedaredge, Eckert or Austin.
The Cedaredge Food Bank sees about 200 regular families a month.
“People who are not regular clients here can also come, but they have to come and sign up for [a Christmas box],” Christenson said. Eligibility for the Christmas boxes is the same eligibility standards as regular food bank clientele.
The Christmas boxes are put together at a good value, as the donations go toward ordering food in bulk. With that, the Christmas boxes are designed to properly feed an entire household.
As of Thursday afternoon, Christenson reported that they had already received $1,000 in donations, putting them ahead of this time last year, by which point they had received nothing.
In order to pull off its goal of creating 250 Christmas boxes, the Cedaredge Food Bank is seeking a total of $9,500.
The Cedaredge Food Bank is open from 1-3 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m.- noon on Fridays. Donations can be made at the food bank location during these hours, directly behind the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce on Main Street. They can also be mailed in to PO Box 963, Cedaredge, CO. The food bank asks that any written checks be made out to Surface Creek Community Services and that they say “Christmas boxes” on the memo line so that they know the purpose of the check. Tax letters will be mailed back to donors for tax deductions. Anyone with further questions for the Cedaredge Food Bank can call 970-856-1125 during the previously mentioned business hours.