The Community Food Bank (CFB) began operations in 1978 in the basement of a Grand Junction Presbyterian Church. Over the course of 36 years, the locations and partnerships have changed, expanded and evolved, but the core mission has remained the same throughout the years: to provide emergency food boxes to any and all hungry Mesa County individuals and families, without exclusion, while maintaining or enhancing client dignity.
The Emergency Food Box effort is the primary program of CFB. Using a just-in-time order process, the Emergency Food Box provides a three day supply (nine meals per person) of nutritious food items, assembled upon request and based on the size of the family. Any current resident of
In the fall of 2012 the Board of Directors opted to make the paid position of Program Coordinator a full time one. This expansion afforded the Program Coordinator time to analyze spending and purchases. Through data analysis and savvy purchasing in less than 18 months CFB has been able to reduce the average per person cost of an emergency food box from $13.82 to $2.96. With a full time paid staff in place board members have begun the transition from grass roots involvement to governance and strategic planning, a natural step for a mature organization.
In the 36 years since the Community Food Bank first responded to the need for emergency food with a box of staple grocery items, many programs to distribute food or offer prepared meals to feed the hungry have begun. The Community Food Bank remains the ONLY program to provide unrestricted access to food 52 weeks per year. No one is turned away. The new collaboration with the Mesa County Health Department reinforces the pivotal role the Community Food Bank plays as a primary source of supplemental food in the Grand Valley. Without the Community Food Bank the patchwork quilt of local food pantries would be rapidly depleted and the hungry working poor families of Mesa County would find themselves chasing food from elusive sources.