Mountain Family Center is a community-based 501 c 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building strength and developing self-reliance for individuals and families through responsive and collaborative services.
Building strength and developing self-reliance for individuals and families through responsive and collaborative services.
In 2013, MFC was able to address an overcome several significant challenges. First, previous years proved to be a financial struggle for the organization. The economic downturn affected MFC's annual budget for several years forcing the organization to pull from reserves in order to not cut services and programs for indigent individuals and families. Hiring a new executive director in February of 2013 along with a 40% board turnover, MFC began climbing out of its dormant period. Annual solicitations, marketing, and introducing new special events and programs, MFC began gaining public awareness and new funding. MFC finished 2013 in the black and managed to rebuild a portion of its 3-5 month operating reserve. MFC also relocated its main office from Hot Sulphur Springs to Granby creating a more central accessible location for residents. Our recorded statistics show a dramatic increase in numbers served jumping from 2,851 in 2012 to 3,803 in 2013. Staff and board dedicated 2013 to building community awareness and establishing stronger collaborations with other service organizations and county departments. These accomplishments have positioned MFC to become a vital player in addressing the needs of our community.
For 2014 and 2015, MFC is focusing on streamlining current programs, expanding funding sources, and recognizing networking opportunities to create more wrap around services with other agencies versus creating any duplication.
In 2016, MFC moved its in-house Thrift Store to its own location on main street Granby. This huge move is the organization's way of streamlining a positive revenue stream from the Thrift Store to help cover the some $45,000 to $50,000 cost for groceries that the organization spends each year. In addition, the Thrift Store will continue to serve the community by focusing on lower prices so lower-income households can find affordable clothing in the County. The Thrift Store receives all of its donations from community members who also provide a loyal customer base.
The five most pressing needs of MFC are:
1. Financial support to continue to operate two food pantries while offering nutritional health classes, rent/utility assistance, and living support (auto, household, health - if applicable).
2. Donated food. Canned goods: tuna, spam, ready to eat meals, chili, soups, vegetables, fruits, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter & jelly, toiletries, laundry detergent, etc. Standard staple grocery items.
3. Donated clothing or our coat closet and thrift store.
4. Donated vehicle AWD or 4WD.
5. Metal shelving.
MFC continues to make significant impacts in Grand County. From the Totes Weekend Food Program for children to operating two of the County's largest food pantries, MFC counts over 5175 visits an on annual basis bringing to light that hunger is still prevalent in our community. While current unemployment rates show less than 3% our school districts have 40- 53% of their student base eligible for free and reduced meals. This percentage is more reflective of our county indicating that as a resort community we have a growing "working poor" population. Hunger relief, nutritional education, financial assistance for housing and utilities, and clothing are currently our main areas of focus. Any support is greatly appreciated to help us better serve our community.
"I don't know what I would have done if Mountain Family Center had not been there for me and my family when I lost my job, health insurance and had no money to buy groceries for my family and diapers for my family. As soon as I get back on my feet, I will pay it forward by giving back to Mountain Family Center." Rebecca
Mountain Family Center (MFC) began in 1979 as the Fraser Valley Women's Resource Center as a grass root volunteer service organization. The founding mothers met frequently to combat the isolation of living in rural remote Grand County. Throughout their visits, they recognized many problems the entire community was facing: the difficulty making ends meet in a seasonal resort economy; lack of public transportation; limited access to services; hunger; the hardship of losing utilities to keep homes warm; or worse, losing current living situations because rent could not be paid during low seasons. Helping Grand County families and individuals became the new role for organization and the name changed to Grand County Resource Center in order to better mirror the services provided at that time. MFCreceived its official 501(c) 3 status on February 5, 1987.
During the 1990s, the organization gathered more resources and funding and began a women's job training program, expanded the basic needs program, and implemented programs and projects that would provide and refer individuals and families to services in Grand County.
In 2000, the organization met the requirements for becoming one of the 24 members of the Family Resource Center Association (FRCA) in Colorado. The name of the organization also changed to Mountain Family Center (MFC). While the focus of the evidenced based programs are for families the structure still meets individual needs as well. Assistance with one-time rent, mortgage and utility assistance were added to the basic needs program services.
In 2011, MFC introduced the Weekend Totes Food Program in West Grand Elementary school providing 55-65 children with food for the weekend during the 37 week school year. Children facing food insecurities at home could sign up at school to receive a complimentary tote filled with non-perishable food. Grand County has a three day school weekend and many children are on the free and reduced meal programs at school and most of those children receive their main meals at school. The weekend totes ensure that children have access to food. Grand Foundation, SPROUT and many generous individual and corporate sponsors ensured the early success of the Totes Program. MFC quickly introduced Nutrition and Exercise Classes, two Community Gardens and Cooking Matters classes. Each program focuses on developing self-reliance and furthering education centered on fulfilling one's basic needs. MFC continues to work closely with other nonprofit and service agencies in Grand County to provide clients with assistance where needed. Mountain Parks Electric Charitable Trust, Summit Foundation, Anschutz, The Fraser Foundation and Energy Outreach Colorado provide funding to assist with rent, mortgage, and utility assistance.
In 2013, MFC hired a new executive director and introduced a summer food program in Grand County operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Hot Sulphur Springs and Tuesdays and Thursdays in Fraser. The summer food program provides meals to children facing food insecurities during the summer months. For the 2013-14 school year, MFC secured funding to expand its Totes food program to include all four elementary schools in Grand County to serve approximately 285 children each week. Mid-year, a new mission and logo were developed to better align MFC's image with services offered within Grand County. In October 2013, MFC relocated its main office to main street Granby, CO. The new location provides a central more accessible location proven by the continued increase of visits each month. For the summer of 2014, MFC expanded its summer lunch program to serve not only Fraser but Granby and Kremmling providing lunches to over 175 children. Starting in September 2014, the Totes program will expand to include both East and West Grand middle schools. The program will serve grades K-8 increasing the weekly numbers to 350+ children. This fall MFC will also start its free after-school Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Program in Kremmling for children K-5. MFC will be working closely with the West Grand School District to implement this program.
Since moving the main office to Granby, MFC has seen rapid growth. MFC operates two food pantries: one in Kremmling and one in Granby. Between January and July of this year, these two locations have provided food to 2,640 individuals. Huge growth considering for the entire year of 2012, MFCprovided food to 2,851 and for 2013 the number served was 3,803. While Grand County recently showed an unemployment rate of 4.6%, in contrast, the food pantry visits continue to climb indicating that perhaps Grand County has a higher "working poor" population.
MFC staff is currently trained on the Principles and Practices of Family Support established by Family Support America and utilizes the Strengthening Family Model adopted by FRCA and recognized by the National Registry of Evidence Based Practices. Assuring the well-being of all families and individuals in a community is the cornerstone of a health society and requires universal access to support programs and services. MFC provides comprehensive, collaborative services with local referrals to help individuals and families connect with resources in their community.
In 2017, Executive Director, Helen Sedlar, received the local Rotary's Service Above Self Award. Assistant Director, Mandi Schott, expanded her credentials becoming a certified Train the Trainer in Motivational Interviewing, CSFA 2.0, Eat Play Grow, Exploring Foods, and Cooking Matters. In 2017, MFC took 1st place, in the Sky Hi Daily News for the best local non-profit and placed 2nd in the best Thrift Store category.
In 2018, MFC received a USDA Rural Development Loan which secured a 9,000 square foot building for the organizational programs, Thrift Store and food pantry. MFC embarked on a capital improvement campaign in August and hope to raise $375,000 for the project. MFC also celebrated expansion of services with Grand Angels and Grand County Council on Aging both merging under its umbrella of collaborative community services.
Mountain Family Center (MFC) has been serving Grand County for 38 years. Starting out as a grass root volunteer group organized by local women to provide valuable resources, MFC has grown into one of the County's largest organizations serving over 2000 people annually.
MFC prides itself on offering services and programs that would not otherwise be available in our community:
Resources and Referrals
Rent & Mortgage Assistance
Hunger Relief: Summer Lunch Program for children, Weekend Food Totes for K-8 graders during the school year, Cooking Classes, 2 food pantries, Easter Turkeys, Thanksgiving Baskets, and Community Gardens
Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) in Kremmling
Eat, Play, Grow and Exploring Foods Together
Family Development - strength based model
Free Backpack School Supply Program
MFC is able to operate successful programs because of the community collaborations with other human service agencies and nonprofit organizations.
East & West Grand School Districts
Grand County Rural Health Network
Home Health & Public Health
Local Churches and Civic Organizations
Grand County Council on Aging (merged with MFC in 2018)
Grand Angels (merged with MFC in February 2018)
Currently, we are focusing a large part of our efforts on hunger relief and childhood obesity. In addition, we work directly with individuals and families providing tools to build self-reliance and foster the growth and overall well-being of our community.