Where to donate
Three King Soopers are accepting donations from 4-8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Boulder: 1650 30th St. and 3600 Table Mesa Drive
Louisville: 1375 E. South Boulder Road
Donations are also accepted online at communityfoodshare.org.
Community Food Share, a charity that works with multiple nonprofits to collect food for needy families, is kicking off a three-day food drive Friday, a condensed version of the event it's held for more than 30 years.
"It's a similar model as past years," said Community Food Share spokeswoman Julia McGee . "We will be stationed at three King Soopers, collecting both funds and food."
The event, which is sponsored by the Daily Camera, runs from Friday to Sunday. Donations benefit people in Boulder and Broomfield counties.
The charity has narrowed down the "Let's Bag Hunger Food Drive" during the past two years. In 2017, the drive was shortened to five days, and it's now down to three. McGee said that the condensed version helps ensure the stores are staffed with enough volunteers from the nonprofit.
"We've consistently improved the model for even the last two years," she said. "Through our testing, we've come to learn having a shorter event, it's more impactful, and more efficient for our organizations and our volunteers."
Although warmer than usual weather has hampered the drive before, McGee said Community Food Share met and exceeded its goal last year, even with the shortened time frame.
"Our goal this year is 60,000 meals," she said. "We want to have realistic but exciting expectations. We hope the community will help us meet and exceed this goal."
She added that private donors and King Soopers are matching cash donations dollar for dollar, up to $7,000 this year. For people who want to donate food, she said nut butters and canned tuna and chicken are always in demand because they are protein-rich.
"We are looking for both (food and cash donations)," she said. "Cash donations are especially exciting this year because of the match. Normally, for every dollar, we can provide three meals, but with the match that increases to six meals."
Louisville resident Bonnie Strand has volunteered at the drive for the past four or five years and said the event helps Community Food Share keep costs down and allows the organization to better meet the needs of the community.
Strand said that she generally stands in front of a store to pass out food bags to customers going in to shop.
"Some people were very familiar with the drive," she said, referring to last year's event. "As soon as they saw us with the bags, they took the bags and smiled and went in. Others were interested in what we had to say, and there's always some who don't want to participate. But that's OK."
King Soopers spokesman Adam Williamson said donations his company collects are distributed to local organizations, so people know they are helping out people in their own communities.
The stores have "virtual food" boxes, essentially cash donations that people can pick up and pay for at the register, and customers can also buy actual food, if they wish, Williamson said.
The stores, Williamson said, have also started rounding up grocery bills to the nearest dollar if customers prefer to donate that way.
"We are excited, truly," he said. "It's the right thing to do for the community. For some of these food banks, it brings them through the rest of the year. We are glad to be a part of it."
For more information or to donate online, go to communityfoodshare.org.