By John Finefrock
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, most food pantries and related services still remain open.
Some services have changed how they distribute food, with some switching to drive-up only options.
The most common advice to help those in need from the local food pantries: Donate food.
Many of the food pantries are running low on supplies due to excess demand, and food can be dropped off at various donation sites around the county.
• St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. is operating its food pantry on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will receive curbside service.
Representatives from St. Patrick’s explained that the food they have available to give out is much less than normal and encourage local residents to donate food to barrels on the side of St. Patrick’s Parish Hall.
Food donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday except for Thursday.
• Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. is running its food pantry on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Representatives from the church explained that they will most likely run out of food rations for this week, they guessed around Wednesday afternoon, due to increased demand.
A community fund that will aid multiple food pantries has also been created to bolster offerings at Amazing Grace Community Church, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and Community United Methodist Church.
Both monetary donations to the fund and food donations can be made at 434 Lewis St.
Church representatives recommend donating food, money or sanitary supplies to help those in need.
• Amazing Grace Community Church at 77 Navajo Circle in Aspen Springs has operates its food pantry on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday during the same hours.
Pastor Mark Disbrow explained that food disbursements will occur as normal and if someone feels sick or has flu-like symptoms to stay in their car and either call or flag someone down to receive curbside service.
• Loaves and Fishes at 451 Lewis St. offers free lunch on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Because of COVID-19, the lunch is now carryout only.
• John Paul II Catholic Church at 353 S. Pagosa Blvd. has canceled its food assistance program until March 31, though is still accepting food donations just inside the church.
• Restoration Fellowship Church at 264 Village Drive is listed on Archuleta County’s website as having a food pantry on Sundays at noon and on the third Monday of the month from noon to 2 p.m.
The SUN could not confirm the pantry is still in operation by press time Wednesday.
Diapers and baby formula
Aspire Medical Services and Education at 602 S. 8th St. has diapers and formula to give to those in need.
While the giveaway is marketed to participants who take classes at the facility, anyone can stop by to receive diapers and formula if they are in need.
Aspire is also accepting donations of diapers, as well as formula that is not expired.