In Crestone, Colorado, a town of about 141 people, everybody knows everybody. This much is clear when visiting Care and Share’s Mobile Food Pantry.
On the first Tuesday of every month, Care and Share delivers food to the Town Hall, where a lively group of volunteers is ready to unload and sort the food for distribution. The food, which can include anything from fresh produce to nonperishables to bread products, is set up so neighbors can simply walk up and take the food items they need.
“This supplemental food program is just the best. It really helps a lot of people, and we are so appreciative,” a lead volunteer, Enid, told us. “We really are.”
Neighbors who both utilize and volunteer at the Mobile Food Pantry say that it’s more than a distribution. It’s an opportunity to take advantage of the monthly event to catch up with friends in the community, while also supplementing the groceries they get from the store. For many people who pick up food from the Mobile Food Pantry, it is their main source of food.
Crestone is located in Saguache County on the northern edge of the San Luis Valley. Tucked along the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, it is considered one of the most rural parts of the state, with limited access to large grocery stores and retailers. In 2020, it was reported that 18.6% of neighbors in the county fall below the poverty line.
Our Mobile Food Pantry partnership with Crestone began more than a decade ago. We are so fortunate to be able to work alongside this community to ensure neighbors have nutritious food to thrive. Hearing neighbors, like Cathy, describe their experience at each distribution is always a great reminder of why we do what we do.
“People can choose what they’re really going to use, rather than being given something that they then have to figure out [how to use],” said Cathy. “It’s empowering and it’s freeing in a lot of ways when you can choose what you want.”