Jefferson County, CO – As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down government, businesses, and schools, Jefferson County took quick action and launched the Integrated Food Task Force to address food insecurity for all Jeffco residents.
Since launch, this task force has established distribution sites for all areas of the county from the mountains to unincorporated South Jeffco. They ensured that food from the Food Bank of the Rockies and fresh pick-up food was available for everyone including homebound households. Each organization scrambled to change their distribution methods and recruit new volunteers (since a vast majority of volunteers are over 60) to serve double, triple, or even quadruple the number of residents in need.
Food pantries across Jeffco are seeing 30-40% new households come for services. Many of these households have never needed food support and asking for help in this way is a difficult thing to do for the first time. To support these families, the task force aimed to destigmatize food pantry use, as the likelihood of food insecurity throughout the region will likely rise in the coming weeks and months.
That’s why our Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign was created. As so many have stepped up to help their neighbors and strangers, we want them to know it’s OK to help themselves as well. There is plenty of food for everyone. Please help us get the word out through our video PSA “Food for Everyone” or “Comidas Para Todos”.
“As a Jefferson County community, we want to ensure that everyone has access to food and nutrition during this time,” Mary Berg, Executive Director of Jefferson County Human Services, said. “I am often wondering what I am going to make my family for dinner, and if you feel the same way, please stop by any of our food banks for some groceries to help put that next meal together. We will have something available for you today, tomorrow and in the future.”
Taskforce Partners Include: All Jeffco City Mayors, Integrated Family Community Services, Child and Youth Leadership Commission, Jeffco Connects, Jeffco Schools Foundation, Jeffco Public Schools, Hunger Free CO, Jeffco Eats, Religious-based pantries throughout Jeffco, Golden Backpack Program, Jefferson County Commissioners Tighe and Dahlkemper, The Action Center, David’s Sober Living, Seniors Resource Center, VOA, Mountain Resource Center, Jeffco Libraries, RTD, Benefits In Action, Boys and Girls Club, Lakewood CAT Team, Jeffco Chambers (Arvada, Conifer, Evergreen, Golden, West Metro and Westminster), Joy’s Kitchen, Community First Foundation, Community Table, Jeffco Human Services, Jeffco Public Health, Centura, Lakewood Hunger, Lakewood Connects, Bondadosa, Echo, Jewish Family Services, FBR, Brown Bag Ministries, Kaizen Food Rescue, Alameda Gateway, Mean Streets Ministry, Open Arms Food Pantry, One Arvada, congressional representatives and caring Jeffco residents.