Meeting the Needs of Hungry Southern Coloradans
At Care and Share Food Bank, we have always known that it takes a robust community of support to address hunger in Southern Colorado. As we navigate the new reality of life with COVID-19, we have been especially inspired by all the ways our community is coming together to support each other.
Volunteers Stepping Up
Our daily operation relies on volunteers who dedicate significant hours to making sure food gets to our neighbors in need. As the number of COVID cases rose across Colorado, many of our regular volunteers decided to stay home for personal safety. We were concerned about managing the increased workload without them, so we put out a call for volunteers. The community answered and new volunteers came forward. It was not only individuals who stepped up. We’ve also received an outpouring of support from partners and community groups, like The Y and The Switchbacks FC, to fill the gaps. Thank you to everyone who has given and continues to give their time to support our work.
Launching New Programs
In the early days of the Stay at Home order, it was apparent that there were adults age 60+ in our community who needed food but didn’t have access. A community collaboration was formed between Care and Share, The Salvation Army, Crossfire Ministries, Silver Key, COSILoveYou, and Pikes Peak United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline to meet the needs of this vulnerable population. The program started delivering bags of shelf-stable food in El Paso County on April 1st. Care and Share acquired the food and our volunteers packed the bags; then volunteers from Salvation Army and COSILoveYou delivered the groceries directly to the homes of our hungry neighbors.
Another way we are serving our neighbors is our new Mobile Market. The Mobile Market is like a grocer on wheels, designed to take food directly into neighborhoods that have high concentrations of need. Early stops included a mobile home park on May 5th where the residents were incredibly grateful to get shelf-stable food, produce, and bread. The Mobile Market is scheduled for 17 stops in June across the Colorado Springs and Pueblo region.
While we all hope for a speedy rebound, the unfortunate truth is that we expect to see the economic impact of COVID-19 last much longer than the virus crisis. People who had to miss paychecks will be recovering economically for a long time. We are planning for many months of increased need and Care and Share is prepared for a marathon response.
All of us at Care and Share wish to extend a big, heartfelt thank you to all the partners and volunteers who are standing arm in arm with us on the front lines of this pandemic. We couldn’t do it without you!