Food pantry updates and ways you can help those in need

By John Finefrock
Staff Writer
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, local food pantries are stressed for supplies, but remain open.
Many local food pantry representatives have urged members of the public to donate food if they wish to help those in need in the community.
Food pantries
• St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. is operating its food pantry on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will receive curbside service.
Local residents can donate food in barrels on the side of Parish Hall.
Food donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday except for Thursday.
• Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. is running its food pantry on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. These hours are subject to change. The pantry is operating as a curbside service.
A community fund that will aid multiple food pantries has also been created to bolster offerings at Amazing Grace Community Church, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and Community United Methodist Church.
Both monetary donations to the fund and food donations can be made at 434 Lewis St.
Church representatives recommend donating food, money or sanitary supplies to help those in need.
• Amazing Grace Community Church at 77 Navajo Circle in Aspen Springs operates its food pantry on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays during the same hours. Curbside service is available.
• Loaves and Fishes at 451 Lewis St. offers free lunch on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Because of COVID-19, the lunch is currently carryout only.
• John Paul II Catholic Church at 353 S. Pagosa Blvd. is offering a food pantry on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon with curbside service only. Food donations are accepted just inside the church.
• Restoration Fellowship Church at 264 Village Drive has a food pantry on Sundays from noon to 1:30 p.m.
“Then we have a Monthly Food Distribution Program that is seperate from our food pantry,” an email to The SUN from Leah Smucker, office administrator for the church, reads. “It is a government program that we host called TEFAP and it happens at our church every 3rd Monday of the month the times for that are 11:30am-2pm.”
Restoration Fellowship’s food pantry offerings are by appointment only.
Diapers and baby formula
• Aspire Medical Services and Education at 602 S. 8th St. has diapers and formula to give to those in need.
Aspire is also accepting donations of diapers, as well as formula that is not expired.
Some local businesses that are also accepting food donations to the local food bank are the uptown UPS Store and Pagosa Brewing and Grill.
Generally, Aspire is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but call first at 264-5963; they are not accepting walk-ins for diaper and formula giveaways.
Wilderness Journeys is also working with local food pantries to coordinate some food delivery, but suggested that local residents contact their local food pantry, and Wilderness Journeys directly, to set up the details.

This story was posted on March 26, 2020.