Loaves and Fishes in urgent need of sponsors

By Gwen Bartley
Special to The PREVIEW

Loaves and Fishes of Archuleta County, a nonprofit organization that provides free lunch every Thursday at the downtown Catholic Parish Hall on Lewis Street, is in urgent need of additional sponsors for 2017.

Sponsors volunteer to cook, serve and clean up following the meal. Loaves and Fishes provides the meat, bread and dessert (courtesy of City Market and Care and Share), as well as an experienced cook. There are currently eight weeks over the course of next year that do not have sponsors.

Current sponsors include: St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, John Paul II Catholic Church, Centerpoint Church, Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Pagosa Bible Church, Community United Methodist Church, Grace Church and Visiting Angels, Vets for Vets, Rotary clubs (morning and noon), Weminuche Audubon Society, Socorro Senior Housing, Mountain View Homemakers Club, San Juan Outdoor Club, Pagosa Springs High School students, 4-H Club and Wyndham Resort.

“We have had smaller groups that have collaborated to provide meals in the past,” said Nancy Crouse, vice president of the executive board. “We are more than happy to work with any groups that want to help.”

Loaves and Fishes provides training and assistance to the volunteers so that meals run smoothly and efficiently. Volunteer groups are instructed and oversight is always available.

“We want volunteers to feel comfortable and confident so that their experience will be one of joy in serving others,” Crouse said.

Loaves and Fishes, established in 2005, provides a hot, nourishing meal to almost 300 people every week, almost 15,000 per year.

There are many in Archuleta County who cannot afford hot meals every day, some who do not have even a means of cooking a hot meal. Loaves and Fishes assures that they receive at least one balanced and nutritious hot meal each week, free of charge. Loaves and Fishes volunteers are the hub of the organization. It is through their generosity of time, talent and funding that the hungry are fed.

The purpose of this organization, Loaves and Fishes of Archuleta County, is to provide nutritious meals in a safe, warm and caring environment, free of charge to anyone who comes seeking nourishment and fellowship. The mission also provides access to community services and resources to those in need, while providing opportunities for volunteers to give of themselves in service to others.

Groups, businesses or individuals who wish to help by donating time or funding are encouraged to contact Nancy Crouse at 264-9355 or Gwen Bartley at (713) 201-2467.

This story was posted on January 31, 2017.