The past year has been a unique one. The COVID-19 pandemic caused people to live life differently, and the Norwood Food Bank at Christ in F.O.C.U.S. Church was not exempt. Staff collaborated with many individuals, agencies and volunteers to meet the increased needs. Through generous donations from the Telluride Foundation, paid part-time staff was added.

Angel Baskets, the FRESH Food Hub, Norwood and Telluride Clark’s markets, Blue Grouse Bread, Elevation Ranch, Nancy’s Naturals, Telluride Food Bank, the Colorado State University Extension Office in Norwood, Second Chance Animal Shelter, Norwood Community Garden, Judy Weiss, and Thorneycroft Bakery all provided donations of food, animal food and various toiletry items. Many financial donations were received as well.

Additionally, Care & Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs increased the amount of food delivered each month by adding a second truck delivery, and waived the cost of the food and shipping typically charged to all clients. The True North Program and Tri-County Health Network continue to recruit volunteers to help with delivery and distribution days.

Justin Williams, pastor at Christ in F.O.C.U.S. Church, said he’s grateful for the forms of support.

“We could not do what we do without the volunteers who help every month,” he said. “We send our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those who contributed money, time, food, labor and support throughout this past year. We are honored that you all came alongside us and helped to meet the food insecurity needs of our community.”

The new year now brings the opportunity to add additional services to the local community. Norwood Food Bank plans to add a weekend food program for students who attend Norwood Public Schools. This will be similar to the Backpack Program offered by the West End Family Link Center in Nucla.

The Colorado Health Foundation and the Care and Share Food Bank could fund a pilot program in which food would be provided to kids for the weekend. This program would provide canned items, simple to cook foods, fruits, vegetables and snacks. No income, identification verification or proof of residency would be required. Families are asked to please watch kids’ backpacks and check emails for more information on this upcoming program.

The food bank will continue to offer drive-through distributions for anyone who needs it. They currently offer three programs, and only one program has income requirements.

The Senior Commodity Food Program is for individuals over 60 years of age who meet the income requirements. The other programs do not require income, identification verification or proof of residence in order to receive food.

Deliveries can be offered on a case-by-case basis to homebound seniors, and those who need to quarantine. Distributions are the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 3-6 p.m. For those not able to pick up food during the distribution times, they should call Michele Blunt for more information, or to arrange a pickup time.