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Community Food Share Let’s Bag Hunger drive returns for 35th year

Goal is to collect enough donations, food for 65,000 meals for Boulder, Broomfield county needy families

  • Allison, who asked that her last name not be used, smiles after receiving food at the Community Food Share “Mobile Pantry” on Oct. 23 at Centennial Elementary School in Broomfield.

  • Community Food Share volunteer Tom Callaway carries empty boxes to a truck during a visit to Centennial Elementary School on Wednesday in Broomfield.

  • Lorena Jorge, right, and her daughter Stephanie, 14, shop for food at the Community Food Share “Mobile Pantry” during a visit to Centennial Elementary School on Wednesday in Broomfield.

  • Community Food Share volunteer David Massy, left, and driver Charlene Pyne gather food for recipients during a visit to Centennial Elementary School on Wednesday in Broomfield.

  • Community Food Share Driver Grant Marsh, at center, stocks milk on a table during a “Mobile Pantry” visit to Centennial Elementary School on Wednesday in Broomfield.

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The annual Let’s Bag Hunger Fund & Food Drive returns this weekend for its 35th year.

The Community Food Share event will run Friday through Sunday at three area King Soopers stores. Donations will help stock the pantries of more than 40 nonprofit organizations in Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Some of the most needed food items include nut butters, soups and stews, cereal and oatmeal, beans, pasta and rice.

While donating food is one way for people to help, the drive also accepts monetary donations. Whether donations are made at King Soopers locations or on the Community Food Share website, the money can go a long way. 

Hemp-based health supplement creator Charlotte’s Web is sponsoring the event and is matching donations dollar for dollar up to $7,500. 

“This is Charlotte’s Web’s first time matching donors’ gifts to Community Food Share; in fact, it’s their first financial gift to our food bank. What a great way to launch their investment in local hunger relief!” Julia McGee, Community Food Share director of communications, said in e-mail.

Monetary donations can help Community Food Share feed more families, too, with each dollar donating providing six meals, McGee said.

The drive, also sponsored by the Daily Camera, has been shortened in recent years for strategic purposes. Community Food Share has found when the event is held over fewer days, it is easier to staff volunteers at the front doors of the stores.

“We made that change because we know that volunteer greeters make a significant impact on the amount of funds and food that shoppers donate at the entrance of the stores,” McGee said.

King Soopers is a longtime partner in the event, and Jessica Trowbridge, manager of corporate affairs for King Soopers, said with 1 in 9 people struggling with hunger in the United States, the grocer wants to be a part of the solution.

“The big thing is we know how much every meal matters really, that’s why we feel fortunate to partner with Community Food Share each year,” she said.

Last year, the food drive’s goal for donations was 60,000 meals, and it garnered enough food and monetary donations to provide 95,000. The goal this year is to surpass enough donations to provide 65,000 meals.

For the past 14 years, Justin Livingston has organized a small group to help with the food drive. The group is able to volunteer at a specific King Soopers store for an entire day.

“Community Food Share, without asking questions, just offers food and that’s an incredible thing and we just wanted to do our part to help,” Livingston said.

Over the years, Livingston’s volunteering has evolved from spending a day with his wife to spending his shift at the door of King Soopers with his entire family.

“It’s such a good family moment, and teaching moment, for our kids and for them to be a part of it, and understand why it’s good to do it,” Livingston said.

How to give or volunteer

Donations will be collected from 3:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the following King Soopers locations:

  • 3600 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder
  • 6550 Lookout Road, Gunbarrel
  • 1375 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville

Monetary donations can be made at any of the locations or via the Let’s Bag Hunger website

Volunteers also can sign up on the site to be greeters at one of the three locations. Volunteers can sign up in advance or during the drive.

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