About the Community Food Bank in Grand Junction
The Community Food Bank began operations in 1978 in the basement of a Grand Junction Presbyterian Church. Over the course of 40+ 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 Program effort is the primary program of Community Food Bank. Using a just-in-time order process, the Emergency Food Program provides nutritious food items, assembled upon request and based on the size of the family. Any current resident of Mesa County is eligible to receive a food box. Clients may receive up to nine food boxes per year (twelve if over age 60). Residents of Mesa County are eligible to access the centrally located site of Community Food Bank all weekdays (except Wednesday) during the hours of operation listed at the bottom of this page.
In the over 40 years since the Community Food Bank first responded to the need for emergency food with a box of shelf-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. 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.
The mission of the Community Food Bank is to provide an emergency supply of nutritious food to Mesa County individuals and families in crisis.
Board of Directors
Marsha became the Executive Director for the Community Food Bank in November of 2017. She was previously the Program Manager for the Gray Gourmet – Mesa County’s Senior Nutrition & Meals On Wheels Program. Sponsored by St. Mary’s Hospital, the donation-based program produces over 400 lunchtime meals each weekday. Marsha was at Gray Gourmet for nearly five years. As the Program Manager, she directed day-to-day operations, including food service, fundraising, budgeting, volunteer management, and staff. Previously, she served as the General Manger for the Mesa County Fairgrounds from 2003 to 2011. While there, she ushered in many new shows and events, and was the producer of the annual County Fair.
Marsha lives in downtown Palisade and has been a resident there since 2002. She loves travel, live music and mystery novels. The other big loves in her life are her husband Curtis, and their animals Jackson, an Aussie Shepherd and Nicoletta, a gray tiger.
Prior to moving to Colorado, Marsha lived in San Francisco for over 20 years where she worked in the museum industry as well as broadcasting. She is graduate of San Francisco State University. She is currently a member of the Horizon Sunrise Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors for KAFM Community Radio.
Biff Messinger was born in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1948 where his father was an Army Officer stationed as an advisor for the Costa Rican National Guard. As a military dependent and as a career Army Officer himself, Biff and his family lived in six foreign countries and ten states.
Following his army career, Biff held leadership positions with, Fork Union Military Academy in VA, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) San Antonio, TX and TriWest Healthcare Alliance in Phoenix, AZ. His interest in community service really began in the army where he participated in Catholic Outreach, International Rotary Club in Highland Falls NY, Habitat for Humanity in NY, TX, and AZ, USO volunteer and Veteran’s Outreach in TX and AZ. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Columbus College, GA in 1981 on the Boot Strap Program, after which, he went on to complete his military career as the Chief of Operations at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.
Prior to retiring from TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Biff was the Director of that organization’s Community Outreach Program where he was instrumental in distributing $17M annually to various Regional and National Non-Profits which supported wounded military veterans and their families. Upon retiring in 2013, Biff and his wife, Kathleen, moved to Grand Junction to be near their children and grand children, who all live in the Grand Valley.
Gordon P. Gallagher
Gordon P. Gallagher, United States Magistrate Judge
Gordon was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota (B.A., 1991) followed by the University of Denver College of Law (J.D., 1996). After practicing for a short time with a civil business firm in Denver, Colorado, Gordon moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where he served as a Deputy District Attorney for the 21st Judicial District (Mesa County) from 1997-2000. In 2000, Gordon began a criminal defense practice focusing on state court litigation in Western Colorado. Gordon was appointed to the position of United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado in October, 2012 and was unanimously re-appointed in 2016. Gordon enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, reading, biking and hiking in the red rock canyons and high mountains of Western Colorado.
Travis moved to Grand Junction in 2004 to attend Colorado Mesa University. He works with Edward Jones as a Financial Advisor. Travis is married with two young daughters. In his free time, Travis and his family thoroughly enjoy the outdoors in this Grand Valley which we live. Travis also makes time to be involved with his Church and the Horizon Rotary. He feels so fortunate to live in this terrific community and is humbled to be allowed to get involved in our local community food bank.
Barbara A. Firth
Barb had over 20 years experience in Quality Assurance in a variety of medical device and computer related companies in the Boulder, CO area, before moving to Grand Junction where she performed Quality Audits and worked with Health & Safety professionals at Rust Geotech. An active volunteer for over 20 years in the Grand Valley, Barb is a Past President of the Grand Junction Gem & Mineral Club, continues to hold various offices in the Sons of Norway, Vestafjell Lodge, provides a voice to a child as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer, and has been a Community Food Bank interviewer since 2008. She has been a member of the Community Food Bank Board since 2013.
Mara relocated from Denver to the Grand Valley in 2018. She is currently the Business Development Manager at the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) - the economic development organization for the Grand Valley. At GJEP, Mara supports businesses that want to relocate or expand to the Grand Valley. Her primary focus is on the tech, aviation/aerospace, and healthcare industries. In Denver, Mara had her own consulting company, Inland Planning. Prior to that, she worked at the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. She received her Master of Urban and Regional Planning at CU Denver and her B.A. in Environmental Studies at CU Boulder. Growing up in Colorado, Mara spent time exploring the outdoors and developing an appetite for adventure. So, the Grand Valley is the perfect place for her to call home.
Peter and his wife Janine are originally from the New England area, migrating to the Grand Valley for the great quality of life. They currently live in Grand Junction with their children Ella and Thomas. Peter is an Adviser with High Point Financial Group.
Cole Sjoholm (pronounced Show-Home) was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He moved to Colorado in 2002 and landed in Grand Junction in 2014. Having worked at Bank of Colorado for 13+ years – he is excited to work along side all of the volunteers at the Community Food Bank and be able to give back to the community. Cole is a Mortgage Loan Originator and Area Sales Manager with Bank of Colorado Mortgage. He is also a Board Member of the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association, representing the Western Slope and enjoys skiing and golfing whenever possible.
Christopher is a true Colorado native. Born in Colorado Springs, but raised in Wisconsin, he followed his wife back to Grand Junction to get married after graduating college in 2011. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services from Minnesota State University and worked closely with the City of Grand Junction for a number of years helping coordinate youth sports and activities. In early 2019, Christopher took a new position at Alpine Bank as a Maintenance Technician.
Volunteering has always been a part of Christopher’s life, through church, community events, fund raisers and donations. He is very excited to be on the Board of Community Food Bank and to be a part of an organization that makes such an impact on the local community.
Christopher and his wife, Samantha, have two young daughters who keep them active and always laughing. When he is not working, Christopher enjoys mountain biking, cross country skiing, camping, hunting, and enjoying time with his family.