Care and Share hosts Recipe for Hope luncheon

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Photos by Marie Mccolm Care and Share President and CEO of Care and Share Nate Springer speaks at the Recipe for Hope luncheon on May 16 in Monte Vista. Nearly 100 people attended the first Recipe for Hope luncheon the San Luis Valley. It was held on May 16 in Monte Vista.

MONTE VISTA – Care and Share Food Bank hosted its first Recipe for Hope luncheon on May 16 at the Outcalt Event and Conference Center at SLV Ski-Hi Complex. Approximately 80 people attended the event.

Southwest Colorado, including Alamosa, has 54 pantries and this past year, Care and Share gave out 3.6 million pounds of food to Southwest Colorado. In the San Luis Valley, Care and Share has 24 partners, and put 1.3 million pounds of food out the door. It was explained that the facility in Alamosa, 5858 Produce Place, has grown from having some food, to being completely full.

President and CEO of Care and Share Nate Springer said, “This is really neat for this to be our first ever Recipe for Hope luncheon held here in the San Luis Valley. This is our 50th year being a food bank in Southern Colorado. Recipe for Hope is a tradition started in Colorado Springs about 20 years ago. It’s the first-year anniversary of our distribution center being opened here in Alamosa, and our 50th year here. This is pretty special to do this, and what an amazing turn out for the first time.”

Springer explained that before the distribution center was open in Alamosa, Care and Share partnered with food pantries, but drove much longer distances from Colorado Springs and Pueblo, to distribute the food.

“So, when you think of the San Luis Valley and then more broadly Southwest Colorado it would take 8 hours one direction to get food to the southwest part of the state. So now that we're here, ... in Alamosa, we can cut that transportation time down in half. What that means is we serve our food pantries, and our partner agencies better today than we had before, and that's exciting,” he said.

Care and Share was founded in 1972 by Sister Dominique Pisciotta. Pisciotta began the Food Bank in Colorado Springs. Pisciotta partnered with a few local churches and the Pikes Peak Food Bank and began the food bank in basements and garages of volunteers with the local churches, and in the community, before putting the food bank into its first warehouse.

A short movie shown at the luncheon featured Pisciotta, who stated that Care and Share was her greatest life accomplishment.

“Care and Share without a doubt,” she stated with tears in her voice. “What I see happening with Care and Share is my greatest accomplishment. Because of how important it is to feed hungry people and children. I would do anything for the children.”

Mary Lowers, the coordinator for Care and Share in Crestone, also spoke at the meeting regarding Care and Share.

“I am often referred to as the Care and Share lady,” she said. “As an avid supporter of food security and Care and Share, that is the title I wear with pride. I am here to today to tell you about what food insecurity looks like in the San Luis Valley, and how our partnership with Care and Share has helped my community have access to food that they need to thrive.  We are a small tight nit community home to less than 3000 people. We are home to people from all walks of life including seniors with fixed income and families struggling to keep food on the table.”

Lowers explained that Crestone discovered Care and Share about 20 years ago. Lowers stated that much of what was given out at the Crestone Food Bank was only non-perishable items of canned goods, but upon discovering Care and Share, fresh produce was added to the Crestone Food Bank.

“We are so grateful to join the Care and Share family,” she said.

Lowers explained that once a month the Care and Share mobile food market visits Crestone and gives out delicious nutritional food to folks in the community.

“The Care and Share mobile food market has made it possible for us to provide food, for our neighbors who are in need of food. It truly does feel like we are in a good spot for fighting food insecurity in Crestone and surrounding communities. We would not have been in this position without Care and Share,” she said.

Lowers stated that when people support Care and Share, they support food that provides stability and hope to families and individuals in the San Luis Valley.

Springer said they are proud to have the distribution center open in Alamosa, and the first luncheon went well.

“It’s neat when you come to a thing like this and see the kindness and generosity of our community because people are all so busy, so to come out and spend an hour with us in the middle of the day on a Thursday. Everyone here is awesome,” he said.

Springer thanked everyone who attended and donated at the luncheon and all the sponsors who contributed to the luncheon.

The Sunflour Café catered the lunch, serving rotisserie chicken salad, and delicious handmade pies for dessert.

For more information on Care and Share, visit online https://careandshare.org.


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