Dear Friends, Supporters and Pueblo County Residents,
Pueblo Cooperative Care Center has been receiving calls and getting questions from Federal workers and their family members, Federal contractors and vendors wondering how they will get through the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. We know that when people miss paychecks the food that they can purchase is greatly affected. Pueblo Cooperative Care Center, along with our network of partner agencies and programs across Pueblo County are striving to respond to these needs.
Pueblo Cooperative Care Center exists to provide services during times like these and we firmly believe that individuals and families do not need to suffer in silence. We serve as southern Colorado’s largest emergency food and crisis center and we recognize that while Federal employees, contractors and vendors are not being paid, the impact in our own communities is substantially greater.
In the first two weeks of 2019 alone, Pueblo Cooperative Care Center has experienced an exponential increase in the number of clients served. Considering that we serve over 36,000 people each year, listed below are the facts of what we are undergoing:
- We are up 28% in the number of households served,
- We are up 28% in the number of individuals served,
- We are up 35% in the number of new clients enrolled into services, and
- We are up over 80% in the number of homeless served.
We have concerns about keeping our shelves stocked should the Federal government shutdown continue, and we are preparing now to brace for the potential future impact. While Pueblo Cooperative Care Center is in a good position to meet the current increase in food requests, we are witnessing greater numbers of senior citizens, veterans and low-income individuals and families being affected who are a part of the SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). We have walk-in clients every day and we fully expect to see more clients coming through our doors as each day passes.
Every food donation helps, and we need your support now! Given the large number of government workers, contractors and vendors situated in Pueblo County, we expect this situation to worsen before it gets better. Colorado and local agencies are warning SNAP recipients to carefully budget their grocery purchases because of the government shutdown, and unless the shutdown is resolved swiftly, food benefits for March just might not be available to the people who need help the most. Just like countless agencies and organizations all across the nation, we are waiting for Federal, state and local guidance as each day passes. We will keep the Pueblo County community informed as we are best able to do.
Pueblo Cooperative Care Center will accept food donations at our facility located at 326 W. 8th Street in downtown Pueblo, Monday’s through Friday’s from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For larger quantity food donations (over 500 pounds) we will schedule a driver for food items to be picked up. If you need additional information on donating to our organization, or if you need food assistance please refer to our website at www.cooperativecare.org or call (719) 543-7484.
Corry Higbee, Executive Director
Pueblo Cooperative Care Center