by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — This week, both the Huerfano County Commissioners and the Walsenburg City Council received the annual report of services provided to the needy in our communities by Dorcas Circle Food Pantry and Clothing Bank. According to the report, in 2017, the clothing bank had 11,636 visits, which is 26,747 services for family members with an offer of three free outfits of clothing per visit. For the food bank, the report indicated, per month, Dorcas Circle serves 347 households, which adds up to 823 persons, including 200 children. The food pantry offers food give-away and regular food boxes each Tuesday and Thursday.
Last year the food pantry prepared 1,480 regular food boxes which serve 3,921 people. The food pantry also gave out 10,303 food give-a-ways in 2017. The regular food box averages 46 pounds of items and the give-a-way program is an average of 12 pounds of bread, produce, met, snacks and other available items. The DCFP&CB continues to serve a great need in the local community to assist people with food and clothing so they can eat and dress and still pay their other bills. With such a great need, a great deal of donations are necessary and the program could not serve as many individuals and families if not for donations of food, clothing and money.
Donations: Last year, the organization received 157,498 pounds of groceries from Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs at a cost of $12,556. Safeway Grocery Store donated 18,710 pounds of bread, dairy products, and packaged food and a sponsored a holiday food drive. Volunteers for Community’s monthly food drives contributed 1,344 pounds of food over the year. Charlie’s Market in La Veta delivered 3,515 pounds of food to the Dorcas Circle building at 911 Main Street in Walsenburg. Dorcas Circle also received food and funds from area churches, individuals and businesses such as Dollar General, First Choice Market, First National Bank of Trinidad – Huerfano County Branch, Huerfano County Commissioners, Knights of Columbus, Loaf & Jug, San Isabel Electric Association and the USPS, and others to address the basic needs problems faced by so many in our community. With this help, Dorcas Circle was able to give an average 15,700 pounds of food per month for distribution in 2017. This is an estimated average of 45 pounds per household served each month of the year. The January 3, 2018 report said, “ We are so very appreciative of all the community support we receive.
Dorcas has a dedicated volunteer staff and we are always looking for more volunteers who are compassionate, hardworking, and have a joyful attitude. There is much work to do and we so appreciate all of our volunteers.” The report also said the organization could not continue without the financial support, food and clothing donations, household item donations and prayers that come from the caring community. If you need help, or want to help, you may contact Dorcas Circle on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 10 am until 4 pm at 719-738-2291 or by calling Maryann at 719-738-1175.