The Food Program: EVCF operates The Community Market. The Community Market serves the people of Eagle County through 1) A warehouse and market in Gypsum, 2) 6 Pop-up Markets in vulnerable neighborhoods, and 3) Partner distribution relationships with the Magic Bus, the Salvation Army (which is providing food to about 100 people per week), and several church pantries or other community programs.
What is Happening Now: The Community Market opened its doors in late 2018 and demand has grown consistently each quarter. By February 2019 the market was serving 1,050 people per week on average, but that number surged to 1,900 in the past week. We are quickly depleting both our supply of food and our financial resources, with funding in place for only about 30 days of operations at these crisis levels.
Scope of Need: In 2019, Feeding America estimated that 8,700 people in Eagle County were food insecure. That number is increasing due to the crisis. While The Community Market is the largest food recovery and distribution program in the valley, we are addressing only a fraction of the significant and increasing need for food.
Updated 2020 Community Market Budget: The 2020 budget for operating The Community Market did not provide for a surge in demand caused by the virus, and the program is funded by periodic donations through the year. Given the crisis and related dramatic increase in demand, the 2020 budget has been revised. The revised budget for April – December 2020 is $950,000. This funding will allow The Community Market to scale up to serve 4,200 people per week, 10 pounds of food per family, at a cost of $6.25/person/week. While volunteers and canned food donation are helpful in ordinary times, in this time of crisis, only significant financial support will allow this plan to be executed.
EVCF Funding of the COVID-19 Response Fund: EVCF was established by a handful of families to address the needs of the most vulnerable local residents. Currently, 35 local families provide the majority of program funding, 13 citizens serve on the Board of Directors, and 5 residents serve as advisors. The raising of funding for pre-crisis-level food services was in process when the virus hit the valley. With the increase in demand, the cash reserves funded from normal donations have been drawn down to $125,000 which are sufficient to operate The Community Market for only about one more month. EVCF is reaching out to our Founding Families this week, and has raised $100,000 from four early commitments to the EVCF COVID-19 Response Fund.
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