“We Love the People”: How Las Animas Helping Hands is Serving our Neighbors in Bent County

For more than 18 years, Las Animas Helping Hands has been serving Bent County by providing food and other resources to families and individuals in need. What started as a small operation that assisted two to three families a month has grown into a well-oiled machine that serves over 1,000 families in a single month.

“We think about, ‘What does someone really need?’, and we try to meet those needs,” Sharon Barber, Executive Director at Las Animas Helping Hands, told us. Sharon and her team of volunteers work to meet people where they are and ensure those they serve can thrive. This includes working with Care and Share to acquire food to stock their food pantry.

Along with providing food, they’ve also helped people learn new recipes to share with their families. One example: Tortillas! “[We had people] who didn’t know how to make tortillas, but now they have the flour and the baking powder and the oil, so they were able to make them,” Sharon explained.

While the organization continues to grow, so does the need in Las Animas and Bent County. Inflation and the cost of food have caused more people to visit the food pantry, and while there is a lot of generational poverty in the area, “All the time we see people who are coming in for the first time,” said Sharon. “And they need a variety of things.”

Despite the increase in demand, Las Animas Helping Hands is ready and eager to rise to the challenge and bring their neighbors food. “[We’re] grateful for the opportunity to serve the community. We love the people.”

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