By Adriene Doray | Restoration Fellowship Food Pantry
The Restoration Fellowship Food Pantry is excited to announce that we have moved to a new location.
Our move was necessitated by reaching critical mass at the former location; patrons were waiting in line for over 45 minutes at peak periods to go through our 250-square-foot food pantry.
The move to the new location could not have become a reality if not for the very charitable actions of Stephen and Yvonne Giesen, owners of the new location. We are now thrilled to be located in the old Sears building, 2800 Cornerstone Drive, A1. The Giesens are allowing us to rent this space at a significantly reduced rate.
At this new location, our expansion will be twofold, substantially increasing our shopping square footage area while adding increased operational hours. Our operational hours are listed below.
The Restoration Pantry is a “choice” pantry, which means the patron is able shop the pantry as one would shop in a grocery store. They choose what foods they like to consume instead of being given a box of food they may or may not like. This helps cut down on food waste as the consumer has a say in what they eat. We try hard to provide local fresh foods and organic items whenever possible.
Currently, we are feeding 2,600 patrons monthly. We expect those numbers to double as food insecurity becomes a factor in more people’s lives. Seniors from Arboles are being bused up to our food pantry weekly, as well as people from our neighboring counties.
The following are factors in the expanding dependency of our patrons on our pantry:
• The COVID emergency food stamp program has been extensively reduced. Families who received $450 a month are now getting roughly $56 a month.
• Rent in Archuleta County is astronomically high and families are spending more than 65 percent of their income just for rent.
• Food costs at the grocery store are exponentially higher than ever and out of reach for many. When bills can’t be met, their food budget is the first to be cut.
The Restoration Pantry runs the The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) as well as the Federal senior box program. Fifty prepackaged boxes of food are delivered to seniors and shut-ins. Seniors over 60 years old who applied for the senior box program also can pick up their boxes from our location during operating hours.
Currently, the Restoration Pantry receives donations from Colorado Care and Share, Walmart, Healthy Archuleta and GrassRoots Meats here in town to help us with our meat needs. Once every seven weeks, we also receive a donation from Natural Grocers. We apply for as many grants as we are eligible for, but those grants are sought by a mass of organizations helping with food insecurities throughout southwest Colorado. Currently, we are distributing roughly 40,000 pounds of food monthly.
When food security becomes a reality, it makes for a healthier, safer and vibrant community for everyone. Life is challenging enough, but the physical pain of hunger and the emotional strain of not knowing where your next meal is coming from is a consideration no one should have. We can do great things to make sure all can eat.
We have many amazing volunteers from churches all over our community and varied walks of life. If you would like to join us in this effort, please email Katherine Solbert at email@example.com. If you would like to donate funds to this effort, a check can be mailed to Restoration Fellowship (memo line “food pantry,” 264 Village Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
The hours of operation are: Monday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to noon.