Residents in southeastern La Plata County will have the opportunity to pick up as much fresh produce as they need during two upcoming mobile food-share events .
The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to provide truckloads of free food – 80% of it produce – to low-income residents of Allison, Arboles and nearby areas as part of a federally funded pilot project, Pine River Shares Coordinator Pam Willhoite said.
Pine River Shares, a nonprofit, is working to improve food security in the Pine River Valley.
“The families down there are thrilled,” she said.
A truck will deliver food to Mount Allison Grange for distribution Tuesday and July 9, she said.
Residents from the southeastern corner of the county often drive to Bayfield to collect food staples provided by the USDA once a month. Some of those residents load trucks and trailers for multiple households, so Willhoite said she expects the food share will make it easier for residents to collect the fresh vegetables, dairy, meat and bread they need.
At Ignacio High School, 48.1% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch, and at Ignacio Middle School, 61.8% qualify, according to the Colorado Education Department.
The high percentages of students in need of food assistance at school help demonstrate the need for this program aimed at improving child nutrition, Willhoite said.
“This is another way of getting food to those families,” she said.
The food-share events will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and July 9 at the Mount Allison Grange, 2622 County Road 329. Residents are asked to bring their own boxes and bags.
For more information, call 884-6040.