Palisade: Our Home in the Western Slope

The Western Slope region of Colorado lies west of the Continental Divide. And since 2012, Food Bank of the Rockies’ Western Slope Branch has operated from Palisade.

From distributing grocery boxes to older adults in town with support from Palisade Sunrise Rotary to hosting events as members of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, we have worked hard to ensure we are actively nourishing the community we call home.

wstern slope view

“We feel very connected to the Town of Palisade, and we couldn’t fight hunger without the town’s support. Our guests stay at the Wine Country Inn, our trucks fuel up at Golden Gate Petroleum, and we buy supplies from local businesses,” said Sue Ellen Rodwick, Western Slope Director at Food Bank of the Rockies.

Sue Ellen Rodwick and Food Bank Staff wearing masks

COVID-19 and Western Slope wildfires have heightened the need for food since mid-March, and we have met this increased demand head-on. Figuring out how to double down on our distribution efforts during the pandemic was a challenge, but with community support, we have charted a new course. In the past few months, we:

  • Secured additional storage for produce at Talbott Farms.
  • Worked hand-in-hand with local partners and volunteers to meet the demand.
  • Served Farmers to Families Food Boxes as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

All in all, we have served more than 5 million pounds of food in the Western Slope since mid-March. That’s a 50 percent increase over the same period last year!

Since 2012 we have gone from receiving two trucks of food products per week to ten trucks some of which are directly provided by the USDA.

Supporting a community that helps us fulfill our mission is essential. We distribute up to 100 Older Adult Grocery Boxes per month in Palisade. “I appreciate the help during the time of COVID, because I was laid off,” said Debra S.

“I enjoy serving the older adults and their appreciative responses to the healthy food that we provide,” said Angie M., a member of the Palisade Sunrise Rotary Club.

During these difficult times, being in a community like Palisade has helped. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we relied on restaurants like the 13 Brix Cider Bistro to feed staff every day for over two months. I am grateful to the community and proud to be based in Palisade,” said Rodwick.

Originally published by Food Bank of the Rockies: Source