Summer is Coming; Where Can I Get Low-Cost Food?

By: Members of the Routt County Food Security Watchdogs

Who Are Routt County Food Security Watchdogs & What Do They Do?

Representatives from LiftUp of Routt County, Routt County Department of Human Services, Routt County United Way, The Health Partnership, Routt County Council on Aging, Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church, Routt County Public Health, Northwest Colorado Health, Integrated Community and Yampa Valley Community Foundation come together every other month to discuss how to solve food security gaps in Routt County and work to communicate low-cost food options to our community. The Watchdogs welcome community members to help us achieve our 2024 goals targeting the reduction of food insecurity in Routt County (email director@liftuprc.org for more info).

Where is Free or Reduced Cost Food Available this Summer in Routt County?

Below is a list of agencies that provide ways to reduce your food costs this summer:

Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church heartofsteamboat.com 970-879-1290

The Heart of Steamboat United Methodist Church has a Food Blessing Box that can be accessed 24/7 by anyone in need. It is filled with non-perishable, grab & go snack food. It is located at 736 Oak St. under the awning at the door closest to 7th Street.

Integrated Community www.ciiccolorado.org 970-871-4599

Integrated Communities can connect and refer clients to appropriate resources and provide professional interpretation/translation services to non-English-speaking communities. They can aid with food assistance applications and more. resource@ciiccolorado.org

LiftUp of Routt County liftuprc.org 970-870-8804

Food Banks located in Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek are available to Routt County Residents with an income of 300% or lower of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Residents can shop once per month or twice per month for fresh produce. You may be surprised to learn that you qualify for free food: individual 300% FPL is $3,765 per month, and 300% FPL for a family of four is $7,800 per month. The Grab ‘N Go section in each Food Bank is available to anyone who walks in during our open hours. Rocket Pack Summer Lunch program is available for school-aged children. Please visit one of LiftUp’s Food Bank locations to sign up, or visit liftuprc.org for application and more information.

The hours are as follows:

  • Steamboat: 2095 Curve Court 970-870-8804 Monday – Friday 11:00-5:00 pm, 1st & 3rd Saturday each month 11:00-3:00
  • Oak Creek: 227 Dodge Ave. 970-736-1047 Tues 9:30-11:30, Wed. 1:00-3:00, Thurs. 9:30-11:30

Routt County Department of Human Services www.co.routt.co.us/187/Public/Assistance/Programs 970-870-5280

Sign up for SNAP benefits! Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides supplemental assistance to help low-income individuals and families purchase food. Benefits are based on household composition, income, and the combined resources of all household members. We are located at 135 6th St in Steamboat Springs.

SNAP benefits can be used at the Steamboat Farmer’s Market, Between 5th-8th Streets on Yampa Street, June 8th-Sept 21st 9:00 am-2:00 pm

Hayden Congregational Church, haydencongoffice.wixsite.com, 970-276-3510

Stop by to get a Blessing Box of food outside of church which is regularly stocked at 202 E. Jefferson, Hayden.

Northwest Colorado Health Northwest Colorado Health Steamboat Springs, CO and Craig, CO 970-879-1362

WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN (WIC)

WIC is a free nutrition program for women, children, and families. Services include nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and supplemental healthy foods. Qualified women receive four nutrition education appointments with a WIC educator per year. Women who participate in the sessions receive eWIC cards to buy wholesome foods. Pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who live in Colorado must meet certain income requirements . For more information or to see if your family qualifies, call 970-871-7653.

Sign up for WIC: WIC Family Sign Up – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Routt County Council on Aging www.rccoaging.org 970-879-0633

Eat and Greet! Join us at one of our three dining sites! The recommended donation for meals is $3.00 for those 60 and better. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance at 970-879-0633 Ext. 4. Lunch is served at noon at the following locations and days.

  • Steamboat Springs Community Center: M, T, Th, F
  • Oak Creek Community Center: M, W, F
  • Hayden @ The Haven Community Center: T, Th

Meals on Wheels

Any senior 60 years and better can receive a hot, delicious meal delivered to their door. The recommended donation for meals is $3.00 for those 60 and better. Reservations are required 1 week in advance at 970-879-0633. Frozen meals are also available. Meals are delivered around noon on the following days.

  • Steamboat Springs: M, T, Th, F
  • Oak Creek: M, W, F
  • Hayden: T, Th
  • North Routt: Tuesday (frozen meals)

Routt County Extension http://routt.extension.colostate.edu 970-879-0825

The following Food Classes are offered this summer:

  • Fermenting workshop (June 8)
  • Pressure canning: Salsa (July TBD)
  • Charcuterie Charm: All about Cheese (July TBD)
  • Cakes for Fair: Workshop (July TBD)
  • Learn more at Routt County Extension – Providing trusted, practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a better future.

Tips for Stretching Your Food Dollars

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables are often just as healthy as fresh and cost less.
  • Plan meals, write a list of the foods that you will need and stick to the list when grocery shopping.
  • Get creative with foods you already have in the house, like freezing overripe bananas to use later in banana bread or smoothies.
  • Purchase foods that are sold in bulk as they can be cheaper than packaged foods.
  • Use coupons, flyers and sales when you shop, and check the clearance section.
  • Look at price labels to see the unit price per item and find the lowest unit price per ounce or pound when comparing the same items by different brands.
  • Purchase foods that are not brand name.
  • Use plant-based proteins like beans or tofu instead of meat, or use half the meat in a recipe and substitute plant-based proteins for the rest.
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