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Need persists at food pantries

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Work to sustain food assistance becomes even harder without active food drives post-holidays

By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — The needs of local food pantries don’t stop after the holidays. Representatives of a number of local food pantries say they’re in need of food and cash donations throughout the year.

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Ruth King, pastor of Chapel Hill, said although people are more aware during the holidays and may be more inclined to give at that time, the churches food pantry accept donations throughout the year because they’re providing food to those in need year-round.

 

“Hunger knows no season, so it’s all year long that we have financial and, obviously, food needs. It’s ongoing,” she said. 

Each month, local food pantries distribute several tons of food to hundreds of families in need throughout the greater Brighton area. The food pantries at Calvary Chapel Brighton and Chapel Hill serve just under 100 families a month each and distribute a substantial amount of food to patrons, who range from single adults to families of four to six, to seniors. 

The food pantry at Calvary Chapel Brighton will distribute food to about 92 families a month and the pantry at Chapel Hill will serve between 65 to 75 families a month. 

King said it takes about 4,000 pounds of food to create boxes of food which get distributed to those 65 to 75 families. She said their pantry is not able to meet all of their patrons needs but that the donations are intended to supplement their food.

“I know that the box is not going to last two weeks,” she said. “We, as a food pantry, just don’t have the funds available to do that... It’s simply a supplemental program where it just gives them a little bit more to help them through, so they’re not starving.” 

Nelson Ferguson, director of St. Augustine’s food pantry, said the the number of people served has increased since the pantry opened in 2009 and that they distribute food to about 350 families per month. 

Ferguson said the most-challenging times for the pantry is between the major food drives of the year, which occur in June and November. Cindy Schoepp, of Calvary Chapel’s Food Pantry, said it’s the months without a food dives that are hardest.

Of all the donations they receive, Schoepp said it’s the donation of money that stretch the furthest, because they are able to purchase food from Food Bank of the Rockies at a better rate.

“The food that we get from the food drives will last one day that we’re open if we’re lucky,” she said. To us, the cash is more important. Not that we don’t want the food, it’s just the cash gives us money to buy more food because we can buy more with the cash donation.” 

To make donations to the Chapel Hill, Calvary Chapel or St. Augustine food pantries, contact Pastor Ruth King at 303-659-0745, Cindy Schoepp at 303-654-1040 or Nelson Ferguson at 303-654-1040.