Food – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 23 Jul 2020 18:25:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg Food – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Colorado families with school-aged students to begin receiving Pandemic-EBT food benefits http://www.pagosasun.com/colorado-families-with-school-aged-students-to-begin-receiving-pandemic-ebt-food-benefits/ Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:00:40 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207796 By Madlynn Ruble
Colorado Department of Human Services

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), is pleased to announce that Coloradans with school-enrolled children will begin to receive food benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This effort will help support Colorado’s families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 360,000 Colorado children are eligible for P-EBT benefits, which will reimburse families for the free and reduced-price meals that students missed while schools were closed in March, April and May because of COVID-19. 

Families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as SNAP or food stamps) and whose children attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program, can expect to have benefits automatically loaded onto their EBT cards between July 22 and July 31. Eligible families who don’t receive an automatic payment will need to apply for P-EBT funds.

“We know many Colorado families are struggling to pay bills and feed their children and this is one way we can help provide access to nutritious food and meet the needs of Coloradans during this difficult time,” said CDHS Food and Energy Assistance Director Karla Maraccini. “When used in conjunction with grab-and-go meals, these P-EBT benefits will be a great tool in ensuring Colorado’s children receive healthy meals.”

The P-EBT program is designed to reimburse households for meals missed during school closures for those who are enrolled in or eligible for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program (FRLP). Benefits are calculated in the amount of $5.70 per student per day of school closure. Households with students who are already enrolled in FRLP will receive a lump sum of $279 per eligible child (49 days of closure at $5.70 a day). A child newly eligible but not previously enrolled will receive the appropriate amount for the days they are determined eligible for P-EBT.

Eligible families include those with children in preschool, early childhood education and pre-K through grade 12 who are enrolled in a school that participates in the NSLP. This includes public, private and charter schools. Students who attend some online schools are also eligible, as are special needs students aged 18 to 22.

Some families may need to apply for P-EBT benefits and the application will be made available in the last week of July on the CDHS website. Those instances can include:

• If families do not automatically receive P-EBT funds on their current EBT card or if they did not get SNAP for all three months (March, April and May), they may qualify for more P-EBT benefits and should apply. 

• Eligible students who were not receiving food assistance in March, April and May will need to apply for the P-EBT benefit.

• If families can’t find or don’t have their EBT card, they will need to submit an application and then request a new card at PEBT2020@state.co.us. In this email, they will need to include the applicant’s name, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, State Issued ID Number and P-EBT application reference number.

All applicants will need their student’s State Issued ID number (also referred to as a SASID), which should have been provided to them by their school or school district.

In addition to supporting healthy and wholesome meals for Colorado’s eligible school-age children, P-EBT is expected to bring more than $110 million of federal money into the state’s economy through food retailers.

P-EBT was created under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) as an important opportunity to provide nutritional resources to families who are losing or lost access to free or reduced-priced school meals as schools across Colorado closed in response to COVID-19.

More information can be found at www.colorado.gov/cdhs/p-ebt.

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Pagosa Farmers Market sells out early http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-farmers-market-sells-out-early/ Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207667

Photo courtesy Pagosa Farmers Market
In its first four weeks of offering locally grown and produced items, the Pagosa Farmers Market had 950 attendees, and sold out early last weekend. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the east end of town at the East Side Market.

By Pauline Benetti
Southwest Organization for Sustainability

The Pagosa Farmers Market closed early last Saturday. Our customers have gotten the message — arrive early for the best selection. By noon, our vendors were sold out and the crowd had disappeared, so we closed up shop and went home an hour early. Apologies to anyone who might have arrived after noon.

This year as part of our COVID-19 precautions, we have an entrance to the market, allowing us to offer hand sanitizer and masks to those who wish to take advantage of either or both. At the opening market on June 27, we gave away 50 masks, but since then we have seen a dramatic decrease and an increase in the use of hand sanitizer. For that, our vendors are grateful since they wear face coverings for the entire four hours as they greet a hundred or so customers each market. 

Clearly, the population we see is increasingly more conscious of the responsibility we all share in the pandemic and thanks to the Pagosa Springs Town Council for highlighting that responsibility with increased signage and a commanding full-page ad in The Pagosa Springs SUN last week.

The market entrance also allows us to accurately count attendance with an additional breakdown — locals, part-timers and visitors including home state. We hope that the brief moment it takes to answer the question does not inconvenience folks since it is extremely valuable information for market management. 

The town council and the Pagosa Springs Area Tourism Board (PSATB) are major supporters of the Pagosa Farmers Market and both are interested in a return on investment which we can now provide in very specific terms for the first time.

Just in these first four markets, an amazing 950 attendees have passed through the entrance with just over half being tourists, a figure of special interest to the PSATB. Of course, locals and part-timers account for the vast majority of sales, increasing local economic activity to the general benefit and sales tax collection ultimately benefiting the town. 

The numbers also give market management an idea of how desirable is our product — locally grown and produced. Finally, these large numbers might possibly convince someone who is on the fence about whether to invest in growing local produce for sale or creating a local product such as jams and jellies or offering USDA-approved meat for sale, to go forward with their projects, increasing economic activity and the local food supply — both to the general benefit. The market is there waiting to be tapped. We ask for your patience then for the brief interruption as we ask “Are you local?”

We continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out a $20 value of Double up Bucks for the first $20 SNAP purchase, essentially doubling purchasing power. In addition, we will be redeeming coupons from the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging which have been distributed to local seniors to encourage shopping at the Pagosa Farmers Market and buying nutritious, local food. These coupons are supported by funding from the CARES COVID-19 Stimulus Act. For more information, call 403-2164. 

The market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the east end of town at the East Side Market.

Hope to see you at the market Saturday — but early.

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Pagosa Farmers Market bulking up http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-farmers-market-bulking-up/ Fri, 17 Jul 2020 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207255

Photo courtesy Pauline Benetti

By Pauline Benetti
Southwest Organization for Sustainability

Our third market is coming up this Saturday and the season is ramping up. At the last market, we had growers displaying a wide range of fresh locally grown vegetables: tomatoes, microgreens, carrots, broccoli, beets, lettuce, herbs, spinach, kale, cucumbers, peas, radishes, turnips, peppers and chard. In addition, we had nine dozen eggs and a variety of plants, including basil, rosemary, peppers, oregano and comfrey. In the category of essential specialty items, we had hand-tailored face coverings, water bottles and hand-made scented hand soap for those frequent hand washings. 

Those of you who arrived late to the market are probably wondering why you did not see this cornucopia of plenty. Well, it is precisely because you arrived late. You have to remember that our growers do not mass produce in the manner of a commercial grower. Their greenhouses and hoop houses and row covers are a family project, so they plant only what they can care for and harvest and have water to support, and this year water may be a limiting factor.

The market does look different with all our vendors wearing face coverings, but, perhaps, the biggest difference and the one most sadly missed is the lack of opportunity for community gathering, for meeting up with friends, for sitting down to talk and listen to some music. Instead, we are asking our friends to enter the market through the east entrance, where they will be given a mask if without one, make their purchases while maintaining distance and leave through the west exit with, perhaps, a wave to a friend here and there or a short conversation. We can only hope that by next season the market can return to normal.

There is no change to our SNAP policy, however. We continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out free a $20 value of Double up Bucks for the first $20 SNAP purchase, essentially doubling purchasing power. In addition, we will be redeeming coupons from the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging which have been distributed to local seniors to encourage shopping at the Pagosa Farmers Market and buying nutritious local food. These coupons are supported by funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. For more information, call 403-2164. 

The market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at the east end of town at the East Side Market.

Hope to see you at the market Saturday -— but early.

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Pagosa Mountain Rotary Club http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-mountain-rotary-club/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:00:58 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=206616

Photo courtesy Cyndy Secrist

The Pagosa Mountain Rotary Club was pleased to donate $1,000 to the Archuleta Food Coaltion. This was made possible with matching funds from Rotary District 5470. The donation was used to help purchase a commercial-grade refrigerator to increase capacity for cold food storage at the primary food pantry. Pictured, left to right: Pauline Benetti, representative of the growers group of the Archuleta Food Coalition; Rod Hubbard, Pagosa Springs Senior Center; Michelle Huck, Food Coalition treasurer; Ken Rogers, Pagosa Mountain Rotary Club treasurer.

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Pagosa Farmers Market to open June 27 http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-farmers-market-to-open-june-27/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:00:32 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205863

Photo courtesy Pauline Benetti

By Pauline Benetti
Southwest Organization for Sustainability

The familiar old adage — “The best laid plans often go astray” — well, it happened here. The Pagosa Farmers Market has had to move its opening date forward a week to Saturday, June 27. 

A very cool spring and a couple of bad frosts in the last month have delayed production. We can work around obstacles like COVID-19, but we cannot control the weather. 

The time will be the same — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — and the location is the same — east end of town at the East Side Market.

We invite you to participate with your purchasing power to support our local growers and provide yourself with fresh local produce which we know tastes better and is far superior nutritionally to produce shipped in from somewhere. 

The market will be different this year as we struggle to incorporate the COVID-19 precautions developed by the Colorado Farmers Market Association and endorsed by San Juan Basin Public Health.

Perhaps the biggest difference and the most lamentable one is that we will not be a community gathering place for meeting up with friends, sitting down to talk and listening to our local musicians. As with all other places where the public gathers, here we are asking our friends to make their purchase and leave. 

Regular clients will also notice a difference in layout of the market. As usual, the Pagosa Farmers Market occupies the back row at the East Side Market; however, we will have a single entrance and exit. We are asking our clients to use the entrance to the market row on the east side and leave by the exit on the west. Entrance and exit will be clearly marked. In addition, we ask that our clients respect the social distancing signs and wear face coverings. And a reminder about why face coverings are important: All of our vendors will sport face coverings as a protection for you. You are protecting our vendors with your face covering. It’s a win/win.

Only essential products will be on sale. Next week, we will tell you about our vendors. There will be no change to our SNAP policy, however; we continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out $20 worth of free Double up Bucks for the first $20 of purchase, increasing purchasing power by 100 percent.

Plant now and plant more 

This is for all you vendors, potential and experienced. Then you can sell at the market and still have something to give to the food pantries. 

For an application, please go to the Pagosa Farmers Market page on the Southwest Organization for Sustainability website, sospagosa.org. Learn there about greatly reduced fees, new rules and contact numbers. 

A warning: Your market manager must receive your application by the Monday before the Saturday that you want a booth. And a plug for our Small Growers Co-op which was created for the backyard grower who has, on occasion, too much of something and would like to sell it. 

Let’s increase the food supply in Archuleta County and shorten the supply chain — the pathway to a resilient community.

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Meals, other supplies offered through school district program http://www.pagosasun.com/meals-other-supplies-offered-through-school-district-program-2/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205466 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

Archuleta School District (ASD) is continuing to deliver food, as well as other items, to Archuleta County youth through a summer meal program.

The district began delivering and making meals available to children up to age 18 the week of March 15 when the schools went to distance learning due to COVID-19.

Through the week of June 1, ASD had delivered 21,573 meals, reaching a high of 2,304 meals the week of April 6.

“It is an amazing feat” that’s been pulled together, Assistant Superintendent Laura Mijares told the ASD Board of Education Tuesday evening, adding that she is pleased ASD’s staff has “rallied around” the program.

“The Summer Food Service Program works with USDA support to provide meals to eligible children in Colorado,” Mijares’ written report to the board states. “ASD has elected to participate in this program and has received additional financial support from DHS and Colorado’s COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund. During this time Archuleta School District committed to feeding all children ages 0-18, following USDA guidelines for summer feeding programs.”

Monday through Friday, Mijares reported, meals (sack meals comprising breakfast and lunch) are delivered by school drivers in ASD buses or mini-buses on six different routes. Meals can also be picked up at Pagosa Springs High School or Pagosa Peak Open School between 9 a.m. and noon.

Mijares also told the board the program has grown to include collaborations with other community partners: the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County Department of Human Services (DHS).

The library, she wrote, “has made available age appropriate reading materials for both delivery and pick up.”

That, she told the board, includes materials for the library’s popular Summer Reading Program.

The Rotary Club, she explained, has committed to continuing its backpack program through the summer and creates weekend packages of nonperishable food that are delivered to identified families via the bus routes.

DHS received a grant of diapers/Pull-Ups, baby wipes and formula, Mijares indicated, with families of infants and toddlers able to pick up a week’s worth of supplies.

“Incredible work, Laura,” board chair Brooks Lindner stated at the meeting.

For more on the bus stops and times, see www.mypagosaschools.com.

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BWI teens restock local food pantries http://www.pagosasun.com/bwi-teens-restock-local-food-pantries/ Sun, 14 Jun 2020 11:00:06 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205563

Lauren Peart

By Rachel Ophoff
Beyond Words International

You may have seen them grocery shopping, or maybe not: they can be hard to spot behind their overloaded carts. They’ve learned a thing or two about finding the sales and specials. These young women, with their mothers’ assistance, are helping to feed Pagosa. 

Meet Lauren Peart, Nell Taylor and Olivia Craig. Sophomores at Pagosa Springs High School, they were typically busy with their studies, as well as extracurricular and community activities. Then COVID-19 brought life to a screeching halt. All the time they had invested in theater, music, sports and volunteer work dissipated into thin air. Their families were all significantly impacted in one way or another. 

They could have let disappointment drag them down.

But they didn’t.

Working together, they launched a GoFundMe effort to resupply our local food banks. All three are student ambassadors with Beyond Words International (BWI). BWI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Pagosa Springs, offering humanitarian aid and healing arts both locally and globally. As soon as the crisis hit, Craig launched a social media blitz to raise funds for the Methodist

Nell Taylor

Church’s food pantry. Peart and Taylor, who had been saving money to travel with BWI on a humanitarian mission, donated their funds to the cause. But raising money was just the beginning.

They worked. Peart took over Craig’s work at the Methodist Church, and Craig reached out to Amazing Grace Church in Aspen Springs. Taylor visited Restoration Fellowship and picked up its shopping list.

When I met with them in mid-May, they had already shopped and replenished their respective food banks several times. Taking their responsibilities seriously, they learned to shop wisely. 

Taylor learned that WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children. WIC recipients are lower-income parents who qualify for assistance buying food. They receive debit cards that are only valid for nutritious WIC products. Taylor learned to leave those items and select others instead.

Peart knows where the day-old bread is. Regularly helping to restock the Methodist Church’s pantry has left her with mixed feelings. She’s glad to be able to do it, she wonders how the recipients are getting along, and it makes her sad when she returns and finds their supplies depleted. She does not give up; she just does it all again. 

Craig felt like she hit the jackpot when she discovered that Amazing Grace Church not only has a pantry, they also have a freezer, a refrigerator and a large shed on site. Every week, Craig and her mom have been able to get not only nonperishables, but meat, rotisserie chickens, fresh vegetables, butter and 10-15 half-gallon jugs of milk. 

Since these young women are an active part of helping our community, I asked them if they had any message they would like to share. Here’s what they had to say:

“I’ve learned not to take relationships for granted. We never know when someone can be taken away from us.”

Olivia Craig

“Please wear a mask and follow the CDC guidelines so our lives can get back to normal soon.”

Unfortunately, all three of them have suffered a discouraging experience in the supermarket. A few adults have given them the “stink-eye,” and worse, perhaps thinking they were hoarding food.

Their request? 

“Be respectful.”

Good words for us all in these challenging times.

Pastor Mark Disbrow of Amazing Grace Church in Pagosa Springs summed up what Craig’s efforts have meant to them:

“Olivia has been a blessing to the community we serve, as that is the mission of our food pantry. She has provided so much help by raising money, doing the shopping, and delivering. That’s almost a three-person job!”

To the donors who continue to contribute money; to the churches that sponsor and run our local food banks; to the staff and volunteers who tirelessly distribute groceries; and to Craig, Taylor, Peart and their amazing moms: We here at BWI thank you. 

It’s young people like this that give us hope for the future. We at BWI are grateful that they are part of our team. For more information on how to contribute, or to learn more about us, please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/beyondwordsintl/.

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Meals, other supplies offered through school district program http://www.pagosasun.com/meals-other-supplies-offered-through-school-district-program/ Thu, 11 Jun 2020 10:56:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205433 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

Archuleta School District (ASD) is continuing to deliver food, as well as other items, to Archuleta County youth through a summer meal program.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Pagosa Farmers Market to open June 20 http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-farmers-market-to-open-june-20/ Sun, 31 May 2020 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204587 By Pauline Benetti
Southwest Organization for Sustainability

Archuleta County growers are accustomed to overcoming obstacles; we have overcome the short growing season, poor soil, wind, a late killing frost, marauding deer and voracious voles to produce and support our thriving Pagosa Farmers Market for 11 years. 

This latest challenge in our 12th year will not stop us. We open on June 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our same location at the east end of downtown. We invite you to participate with your purchasing power to support our local growers and provide yourself with fresh local produce which we know is far superior nutritionally to produce shipped in from somewhere. 

We will open, but the Pagosa Farmers Market must be different. Perhaps the biggest difference and the most lamentable one is that we will not be a place for community gathering, for meeting up with friends, for sitting down to talk and listen to some music. No, like everywhere else, we are asking our friends to visit, make their purchase and leave with, perhaps, a wave to a friend here and there.

Available for purchase will be essential products only and we will provide you with more detail about our vendors in a later communication. Crafts and art, unfortunately, do not qualify, so the East Side Market will be closed. The layout, including parking, will be different and we will provide specifics later also. There is no change to our SNAP policy, however; we continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out free $20 worth of Double up Bucks for the first $20 of purchase, increasing purchasing power by 100 percent.

A note to vendors and potential vendors — please log in to the Pagosa Farmers Market page on the Southwest Organization for Sustainability website — sospagosa.org — for applications with reduced fees, new rules and contact numbers. Remember our Small Growers Coop which was created for the backyard grower who has, on occasion, too much of something and would like to sell it. 

Our motto for this year for both experienced growers and new ones: “Plant Now and Plant More.”

 

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Pagosa Farmers Market will open June 20 http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-farmers-market-will-open-june-20/ Tue, 26 May 2020 11:00:43 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=203889

Photo courtesy Pagosa Farmers Market
The Pagosa Farmers Market will open for its 12th year on June 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its same location at the east end of downtown.

By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW

Archuleta County growers are accustomed to overcoming obstacles; we have overcome the short growing season, poor soil, wind, a late killing frost, marauding deer and voracious voles to produce and support our thriving Pagosa Farmers Market for 11 years. 

This latest challenge in our 12th year will not stop us. We open on June 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our same location at the east end of downtown. We invite you to participate with your purchasing power to support our local growers and provide yourself with fresh local produce which we know is far superior nutritionally to produce shipped in from somewhere. 

We will open, but the Pagosa Farmers Market must be different. Perhaps the biggest difference and the most lamentable one is that we will not be a place for community gathering, for meeting up with friends, for sitting down to talk and listen to some music. No, like everywhere else, we are asking our friends to visit, make their purchase and leave with, perhaps, a wave to a friend here and there.

Available for purchase will be essential products only and we will provide you with more detail about our vendors in a later communication. Crafts and art, unfortunately, do not qualify, so the East Side Market will be closed. The layout, including parking, will be different and we will provide specifics later also. There is no change to our SNAP policy, however; we continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out free $20 worth of Double up Bucks for the first $20 of purchase, increasing purchasing power by 100 percent.

A note to vendors and potential vendors — please log in to the Pagosa Farmers Market page on the Southwest Organization for Sustainability website — sospagosa.org — for applications with reduced fees, new rules and contact numbers. Remember our Small Growers Coop which was created for the backyard grower who has, on occasion, too much of something and would like to sell it. 

Our motto for this year for both experienced growers and new ones: “Plant Now and Plant More.”

 

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