By Susan Gibson
TARA Center Food Pantry
The TARA Center Food Pantry announced that January 2021 marks the first anniversary for the new community service.
Susan Halkin, food pantry director, said that the need for the pantry has incrementally increased over the course of the year.
“We have witnessed a steady increase each month of families accessing the pantry. When we went to the COVID protocol, closing the building and utilizing preorder forms and Monday/Saturday pickups, we really thought we might see usage decline, but that has not been the case,” she said.
Halkin stated that part of the increase is from individuals or families impacted financially by COVID, stating that, “people out of work as a direct or indirect result of COVID over recent months have brought more people to TARA to take advantage of our food supply and service.”
The Pagosa Outreach Center recently asked the TARA Food Pantry to do delivery of food to families in Arboles who have COVID, and Halkin and her associate, Cheri Melichar, have been filling and delivering those orders, locally, in addition to fulfilling orders from regular pantry patrons.
“The Archuleta County Food Coalition has been a regular partner for us, said Halkin. “Food is now available for pick up for Archuleta County food pantries each Friday at the Pagosa Springs Distribution Center. We are grateful for this partnership.”