Low Donations Cause Hard Times For Care and Share Staff

We all saw just how much Care and Share Food Bank did to help victims and firefighters during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

And it’s donations that keep them going, but Friday we’re learning donations have been so low, they’ve had to lay off several people.

Three full time employees have been let go and two others had their hours cut to part-time. Also, three open positions won’t be filled.

“We had to say goodbye to good friends. We think this sets us up really well for the future, but it was a hard day at Care and Share,” said Lynne Telford, President and CEO of Care and Share Food Bank.

Telford says donations were on target in December, but dropped even more than usual after the first of the year.

They say they always see a seasonal drop in donations every January and February, after the holidays. But this year they saw a surprising drop. They are down about 10% of their budget, or around $125,000 less than they expected.

With no indication it would get better, they felt it was necessary to align expenses

“Our goal is to feed the people of Southern Colorado. These cuts were painful, but we think it’s the right thing to do so we can continue to feed people,” said Telford.

The non-profit agency says they think donors are hesitant because they’re taking home less pay after the tax law changes, and concerns of sequestration. The agency, is also seeing a small cut in government funding as well, because of the sequestration.

By making the changes, they expect to save $150,000 by the end of June, and $500,000 in savings next year.

"We hope the community will remember that people are hungry all year round and continue to support us. We really depend on our local community,” said Telford.

They are also saving money by scaling back some programs, such as their recycling program, and educational program for partner agencies.

Telford says they pride themselves on the fact that only 5% of donations go to the agency’s overhead; all the rest goes to feeding people. So they want to continue to be good stewards of the community’s money.

If you would like to help Care and Share Food Bank feed Southern Colorado, you can donate here.