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Mesa County Food Pantry Survey Results   arrow

Survey Overview

Person with clipboard

Thank you

In the summer of 2021, I conducted a survey at 6 Mesa County food pantries. Many of you told me you wanted to know the results. This website was created for you! We are so grateful for your participation in this survey. This wouldn’t have been possible without your help.

-Rachel Seidner (CSU Extension Intern)

About the Survey

Hi! My name is Rachel. This past summer, I worked with Colorado State University (CSU) Extension and the Mesa County Hunger Alliance as a part of the Mesa County Blueprint to End Hunger.

You may remember me – I was the student in the green CSU hat giving out surveys at food pantries. A total of 623 people completed the survey! I am so grateful for your feedback and the stories you shared with me.

This website presents the results of the survey that was distributed at 6 food pantries in Mesa County between June-July 2021. The survey was distributed at the following locations in Grand Junction and Fruita:

  • Community Food Bank
  • Clifton Christian Food Pantry
  • Salvation Army
  • Downtown Vineyard Church
  • Grand Junction High School
  • Canyon West Church (Fruita)

Exploring the Results

The tabs at the top of this page contain survey results and additional resources that might be useful to you.

The recommendations tab includes a description of how results are being used and our recommendations based on the results.

We also have a feedback tab that gives you the opportunity to tell us what you think. Providing feedback is not required, but we would love to hear if we missed anything or if you disagree with any results.

How are we doing?

We Asked – How well are food pantries meeting people’s needs?

Overall, food pantries appear to be meeting most people’s needs. We compared the foods you wanted with the foods that were available at food pantries. We found that most of you are getting the foods you want.

We found that 69% of people are getting all the foods they wanted that day, and 21% of people are getting some of the foods they wanted that day.

If you were not getting the foods you wanted, it was usually when meat, cheese, or milk were not available. Some people also wanted specific types of meat that were not available.

We Asked – Is there something you use often that you cannot get from a food pantry?

Over half of you didn’t answer this question or said you were getting everything you needed.

Most people who answered wanted fresh produce or household items.

Household items were difficult to get at all food pantries.

  • Household items include:
    • Laundry detergent
    • Hygiene items
    • Paper products
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Other household items

Fresh produce was hardest to get at mobile food pantries.

  • Fresh produce includes:
    • Meat
    • Dairy
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables

Choosing a Food Pantry

We Asked – What is most important to you when choosing a food pantry?

Top 5 most important factors when choosing a food pantry:
1. Location
2. I like the amount of food
3. I feel comfortable
4. I like curbside pickup
5. I like the food
Other factors that people identified as less important:
  • The hours work best for me
  • I get to choose my food
  • The people speak my language
  • They have food from my culture
Please see the “Food Pantries” tab for more information about available services.

Food Choice

We Asked – What foods do you like to get from a food pantry?

We found out that most people prefer fresh foods, such as meat, dairy, vegetables, fruit, and eggs.

Survey participants prefer fresh foods over pantry items 87% of the time

We Learned – Top 5 Foods You Like

Infographic of top five foods people want, including meat, vegetables, dairy, and fruit.
Canned fruit, pasta, ready-to-eat meals, peanut butter, canned vegetables, beans, breakfast cereal, canned meat

We Asked – What foods are important to your culture?

Word cloud with foods that are most important to people's culture

Very few people answered this question. People who answered said meat, vegetables, grains, dairy, fruit, and beans are important to their culture.

People also named the foods that are shown in this word cloud. The bigger the word, the more people said it.

Food Use

We Asked – Are you able to use all of the food you get from food pantries?

Most of you said you can’t use some of the food you get from food pantries. The top three reasons are:

  • I can’t cook it
  • I have dietary restrictions
  • I don’t like it
Infographic about people's ability to use food from food pantries

We Learned – Many people cannot use the food because they can’t cook it.

One out of three people who took this survey cannot cook some of the food.

We Asked – If you couldn’t cook the food, please tell us why.

Most of you said you need additional cooking supplies, such as oils, spices, or seasonings. Some people said they didn’t have access to a kitchen, and others said they do not know how to cook the food.

Pie chart showing what percentages of people couldn't cook the food for various reasons

Other reasons include:

  • I do not like to cook
  • I do not have time to cook
  • I do not have kitchen tools

We Learned – Many people cannot use the food because they have dietary restrictions.

The most common dietary restrictions or preferences you mentioned include:

  • Diabetes
  • Gluten-free
  • Celiac disease
  • Dairy-free / lactose intolerance
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
  • Soy-free
4 out of 10 people at mobile food pantries can't use food because of dietary restrictions

Additional Resources

American Diabetes Association:

Best Foods for You: Healthy Food Choices for People with Diabetes

Looking for healthy recipes and food tips? Sign up for the American Diabetes Association’s free online resource

Recipe Substitutions and Helpful Cooking Tips:

Please see this resource from Cooking Matters for some helpful cooking tips and recipe substitutions.

This resource includes:

  • Recipe substitutions: fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices
  • Instructions for cooking vegetables on the stove top, in the oven, or in the microwave
  • Food storage tips
  • Easy recipes for beans, soups, casseroles, smoothies, and more!
Food Safety:
  • Expiration date handout from Community Food Bank (link coming soon)

Food Pantries

We Learned – There are so many food pantries in Mesa County that it is hard to keep track of all of them.

Here are the different types of services available in Mesa County:

Food Pantries – permanent, physical locations with regular hours

  • Clifton Christian Food Pantry
  • Community Food Bank
  • Grand Valley Catholic Outreach
  • Grand Junction Mutual Aid Partners
  • Orchard Mesa Baptist Church
  • Nazarene Church
  • Palisade Senior Pantry
  • Connection Church
  • Victory Life Church
  • Junction Community Church
  • Jubilee Church
  • Assembly of God (Collbran)
  • Bethel Church
  • The Rock Church
  • De Beque Church
  • Gateway Church
  • New Day Ministries
  • The Mustard Seed
  • Canyon View Food Pantry
  • Seventh-Day Adventist
  • Lutheran Church and School of the Messiah
  • Grand Valley Peace and Justice

Mobile Pantries – in a location like a parking lot or school (1-2 times per month)

  • Grand Junction
    • Salvation Army
    • Downtown Vineyard Church
    • Grand Junction High School
    • Bookcliff Middle School
    • Central High School
  • Clifton
    • Clifton Christian Food Pantry
    • Clifton Elementary School
  • Nazarene Church (Palisade)
  • Canyon West Church (Fruita)

Meal programs – serve meals to people

  • Grand Valley Catholic Outreach
  • Homeward Bound
  • Lunch Lizard
  • Meals on Wheels
  • The Feed – Solidarity not charity

Where can I get more information about pantry locations, hours, and days?

For more information about the locations, hours, and days of food pantries in Mesa County, please see the 2-1-1 brochure.

The 2-1-1 brochure is available online and at some food pantries. It is updated quarterly by Food Bank of the Rockies. This brochure provides information about food services located in Grand Junction, Clifton, Palisade, Collbran, De Beque, and Fruita. Please contact each organization directly for the most up-to-date information about location, hours, and days.

For additional information about food services and programs in Delta, San Miguel, Ouray, Montrose, and Gunnison Counties, please see the attached brochure.

Map of food services from the Mesa County 2-1-1 brochure
Purple stars show the locations of food pantries and food services listed in the 2-1-1 brochure.

(Please note: this map is a picture and is not interactive)

For additional resources near you and an interactive map, please see Hunger Free Colorado’s Food Finder Page.


Our Recommendations Based on Your Feedback

  1. Extend the reach of the Mesa County food pantry system to De Beque, Whitewater, and Collbran through additional food pantries or food delivery services.
  2. Consider dietary restrictions (diabetes, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, etc.) and provide recommendations on food items to meet dietary needs.
  3. Increase availability of oils, spices, seasonings, and other cooking supplies at food pantries.
  4. Provide more accessible, up-to-date information about other resources in the area, including location, hours, contact information, and what types of food or services are available.
  5. Increase availability of fresh produce (meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruit), especially at mobile food pantries.
Who is using this information?
Comprehensive report coming soon

The link to the report will be posted here. The report will include all survey data and key limitations of this study.


Thank you!

What’s missing? Did we get anything wrong?

Thank you so much for your participation in this survey and for taking the time to look at the results! This project wouldn’t have been possible without your help. We are so grateful for your time.

We’d like to give you an opportunity to provide further feedback if there’s more you want to tell us (although providing feedback is not required). Please click any of the buttons below if you want to provide more feedback about this website, the survey, or survey results.