Monte Vista Food Bank received a makeover

Monte Vista Food Bank Executive Director Jennifer Becker enjoys the changes at the food bank. Courtesy photo

MONTE VISTA — Jennifer Becker, executive director of the Monte Vista Food Bank, was pleased to talk about some changes that have taken place at the food bank.

“We recently underwent a big and much-needed remodel,” Becker said. “We also have a few new board members that have really helped complete my vision for the food bank. Up until this year, we have run under the cap of La Puente. Earlier this year, we began the process of becoming our own 501C3 non-profit individual organization, and that became a reality. I am excited that now we will be able to apply for our own grants and continue with so many of our goals. Our clients deserve a warm welcoming environment, and with all these changes we will be able to better accommodate them.”  

Becker has been the executive director of the Food Bank for 5 years and prior to that she was a board member for 5 years.

Becker remembers the food bank being started when she was just a little girl. She remembers helping her mom bag food with her Girl Scout Troop. Her mother was the leader of the troop at the time. She remembers both of her parents being involved with the food bank for many years.

“They taught me early on the importance of food security,” Becker said. “Food security has always been a big issue in Rio Grande County. We are here to help with that as much as possible. It’s not easy asking for help. We want to make people feel as welcoming and as comfortable as possible. We care about people and want to help feed them.”

Becker said that the bank serves anywhere from 75 to 200 people monthly.

“Our patrons are allowed to come once a month plus Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said.

Becker spoke of the cosmetic changes that the food bank has received.

“We have replaced all the flooring, painted the walls, and replaced the furniture,” Becker said. “We have brand new shelving. I feel this remodel was so needed, to make the food bank as warm and professional as possible.”

Becker said another plus to the remodel has also been their ability to go almost paperless.

“This has also made us much more efficient in serving the citizens of Rio Grande County,” she said.

Becker also talked about some of their upcoming events.

“We will have a booth at the Potato Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9. We will have some giveaways for people who would like to enter,” she said. “To enter just bring any monetary or food donation. We will also be having a bake sale around Halloween time. Bill Metz Elementary will have their annual Monster March. The kiddos dress up and bring donations to the food bank. On Oct. 28, the annual Make a Difference Day will be held at the SLV Regional Landfill. This also helps the food bank with donations.”

Becker said that these events are crucial to the food bank, especially with the holidays coming up as they typically feed around 300 people for Thanksgiving and Christmas through their distributions.

Becker thanked everyone who supports the food bank.

“Without the amazing support of our community and our volunteers, we could never do what we do,” she said.

The hours for the food bank are Tuesdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. Becker said that they also accept donations during these hours as well.

For more information on how to donate, email Becker at [email protected] or send a monetary donation to PO Box 844 in Monte Vista, CO 81144.