Children of meth users often end up with grandparent, aunts or uncles, whose resources are often strained, especially around the holidays.
For the second year, the Montrose Meth Coalition trying to help these families by collecting nonperishable food items to create holiday meal baskets.
Eight drop boxes have been set up around town, said Lance Michaels, market president of U.S. Bank and chair of the Awareness and Prevention Committee of the meth coalition.
The boxes are located at U.S. Bank, Alpine Bank, Genesis Christian Market Place, Montrose Regional Library, Murdock’s Ranch, and Home Supply, and Bealls Department Store.
Non-perishable foods can be put in the drop boxes, Michaels said. Cash donations are also needed, and those who want to contribute can call the coalition at 240-8784.
The recipients of the holiday food baskets are selfless people who take in the children of people who are caught up in meth addiction, said Theresa Harris of the meth coalition.
“These gallant people receive little or no compensation for their generosity in opening their homes, which naturally results in financial strain or real hardship,” she said.
Collections are going well, Michaels said, and Safeway recently donated turkeys.
The hope is to collect enough food and donations to create holiday meals for 30 families, he said, but the need could be higher this year.
“We can’t really tell at this time, but there’s always a great need,” Michaels said.
The food drive began Dec. 5, he said, and holiday dinner fixings will be distributed to the families on Dec. 19 at Hilltop Resource Center, he said.
The Montrose Meth Coalition is made up of 80 community stakeholders who represent law enforcement, schools, private citizens, health care providers, medical providers and Montrose County Health and Human Services.
Five committees of the coalition are working on public safety, treatment, data collection, awareness and prevention, and drug endangered children.
According to the coalition’s webpage at www.cityofmontrose.org, meth use in Montrose County increased by 137 percent from 2002 to 2008. The average age of meth users is 24, but children as young as 12 have admitted to using the drug.