Holidays bring volunteering, donating opportunities to help those in need

Katy Mueller

With Thanksgiving and the winter holidays quickly approaching, it is easy to forget about those in the community who don’t even have food to eat during these months, let alone gifts to buy or activities to partake in.

For Thanksgiving, places like the Larimer County Food Bank are in the midst of gathering turkeys and other holiday treats to distribute through partner organizations, such as the Family Center or the Vineyard.

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The Food Bank receives donations, and then their partnering non-profit centers decide how to distribute the food to families in need. The communications manager for the Food Bank, Lauren Mingus, said they are about 800 turkeys short from what they need to reach all of the people needing food this year.

“About 2,900 turkeys have been requested by our deadline. We are actually facing a shortage this year,” Mingus said. “All of our food gets donated. The meat sources of protein are the hardest things for us to get donated because they are more costly — not as abundant. So when there is a shortage, it is even harder for us to get people to donate those things.”

The Larimer County Food Bank will be able to supply enough food for Thanksgiving if their projections are correct, Mingus said. However, she expressed concern over whether or not there will be enough food for everyone during their Christmas distributions.

“The Christmas requests are looking like we will be a bit shorter, but we are trying,” Mingus said. “We are still putting the word out to donate and that we will take other meats besides turkeys. We are trying to message that other things will be great.”

Mingus said that donating food is more than just providing a meal to someone.

“One of the things that people don’t necessarily understand is that when we are providing a meal, we are doing so much more than just nourishing their bodies,” she said. “It also gives people hope. When you don’t have to worry so much about having something to eat, you know there is a place you can go to get food, it’s a little less stressful.”

The Colorado State University’s SLiCE office is raising money to help the Food Bank buy turkeys to distribute. It will be held now through Nov. 21 and is an online-only drive. To make a donation, follow this link.

There are many other ways to get involved with helping others within the city. At the CSU Rec Center, there is a large board in the lobby covered in snowflakes that list gift wishes from students on campus who do not have homes and families to visit for the winter holidays. All that is needed to help them is to pick a snowflake and anonymously buy the corresponding gift for that student.

Other ways to get involved include contacting the Fort Collins Salvation Army to volunteer with serving Thanksgiving meals or donating food supplies, as well as helping many other organizations around the city who are putting on meals, such as the Fort Collins Rescue Mission.

Collegian Reporter Katy Mueller can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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