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Special to The SUN
Loaves and Fishes of Archuleta County, a non-profit organization that provides free lunch every Thursday at the downtown Catholic Parish Hall on Lewis Street, is in urgent need of additional sponsors for 2014.
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 a professional cook/kitchen facilitator. There are currently 10 weeks over the course of next year that do not have sponsors.
Current sponsors include Centerpoint Church, Mountain View Homemakers Club, Grace in Pagosa, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Noon Rotary Club, Pagosa Universal Unitarian, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, and John Paul II Catholic Church.
“We have had smaller groups that have collaborated to provide meals in the past,” said Nancy Crouse, president of the executive board. “We are more than happy to work with any that want to help.”
Loaves and Fishes provides training and assistance to the volunteers so that meals run smoothly and efficiently. Volunteer groups are thoroughly 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,” said Crouse.
Loaves and Fishes, established in 2005, provides a hot and nourishing meal to up to 300 people each 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, Colo., serving as a faith based and community based organization, 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 is to provide access to community services and resources to those in need, while providing opportunities for volunteers to give of themselves in service to others.
Donors are also essential to the organization’s ability to continue providing meals. Donors in 2013 included Wells Fargo Bank, Mountain View Homemakers, Wal Mart, Kroger Company Foundation, and Bank of Colorado along with numerous individual donors. Groups, businesses, or individuals who wish to help by donating time or funding are encouraged to contact Nancy Crouse 264-9355 or Gwen Bartley (713) 201-2467.