First off we would like to thank each and every one of you for supporting our small non profit. This is not a big operation, although it may seem that way, with the many volunteers throughout Las Animas County that we depend on. It has helped us to keep them all apart for all our safety. Our donors who provide funds and food items have been great about following the Covid-19 safety guidelines. Many people in Las Animas county do not think we should have to wear a mask. But, isn’t it better to be safe then sorry? If we end up getting shut down because somebody got Covid-19, just think how many people will go hungry this winter. Every time the Mobile Pantry goes out, somebody tells us that they depend on us as their ONLY food source. Marty and I take that as a big responsibility. We do not take it lightly. With that said, we will continue to be overly careful with safety. We call the Health Dept. to ensure that we are taking all the necessary safety measures. We have not allowed anybody in the Food Pantry except myself, Marty, our son Daniel, and two grandchildren who stay with us. Marty does the buying, inventory and stocking. He also makes the food boxes and takes the food out east. I join him on the run to Kim and Branson. Daniel delivers to other areas or individuals. We use sanitizer, gloves, masks and/or shields constantly. Gas pump handles and our credit card are sprayed after each use. Our hands are sprayed every time we get into our vehicle. We even spray our masks, and carry extra disposable ones at all times. We keep a record (name, address, phone number, number of people in the home) of each person we give a food box to. IF we ever need that information for tracing, then we have it.
- October 7th: A large religious organization, Somebody Cares America, informed us that they have had a registered trademark for “Somebody Cares” for the past 10 years. We have used the name for the past 8 years, but have been a non profit for just over a year. We do not have the time or the funds to fight over this. Apparently, a trademark has nothing to do with being registered with the IRS. So, we added EM Food Pantry to our IRS, and changed the name with Colorado. Better now than later.
- Sunday October 18th: Marty and Daniel were out and about in the van in the foothills north of Trinidad. Long story short, a group of men in two vehicles shot our front passenger tire and the back driver’s side tire, near the gas tank. Daniel called 911 and one man was arrested. Many ask us, “Why would they do that?” We wish we knew. The court bond hearing was postponed this month, and everything is still under investigation.
- Halloween: We made 44 Halloween Bags for the children in the Kim area, and 77 bags for the Branson area (total of 121 Halloween bags). The bags contained candy, fruit, snacks, bracelets, light up toys or other toys. Children pre school to teens all received a bag. A big thank you to the schools and the volunteers who helped us get the bags out to these locations. We are happy to report that kids from both areas sent us the best “Thank You “ cards. A big thank you to “Care Crew” leader Kiyana for advice and for helping to make up the bags. So, that is the “Good, Bad and the Ugly” for October for us.
We had shut down for a couple of weeks to regroup and talk with the board about what to do next. It was decided to take out a personal loan and buy a bigger van. We did not take out the original van because it needed to be checked out. The shot out tires and one damaged rim had to be removed. And to top it off, it was leaking oil or something right before we were going to drive to Branson. We ended up taking our own truck, our volunteer Susan took her SUV, and her husband took his truck. Despite the cold, ice, fog and snow, we made it. A big thank you to Kendra for getting the word out, and getting volunteers for us. We would also like to thank Susan and her husband, and all of you who fund, donate and volunteer to make EM Pantry a success.
For Thanksgiving: Our final count was 61 turkeys, 18 chicken packs 4 fish (cans of tuna and salmon) and 3 other items for a total of 86 food boxes. This count does not include the daily boxes we give out. This was provided to Branson and surrounding Trinidad area, including Hoehne, Boncarbo, Janson, up the river on Hwy 12 and even a family from Raton, and Trinchera from Friday to the night before Thanksgiving. . It may not seem like a lot, but it was, and those who received our boxes will confirm that. What they receive is not just for one meal. We could not go out to Kim area as planned because of something they had in their town. We get asked all the time why don’t we advertise what we do more. The answer is there are only three to four of us doing this. We are working out of our garage, as we still do not have a location for a pantry. Although our garage was originally just to store food, it is now the official pantry Not ideal, but that is what we have for now.
December 3rd: We were able to take food out to Kim area. Better late then never. They were so glad to see us. And we were glad to be there.
NOW FOR GOOD NEWS:
Thanks to our family support, as they always step up to the plate. Because we are getting bigger and need reliable transportation and a second van, our Board (which is our family) decided that we would take out a personal loan to buy a vehicle. We bought “The Beast” which is a used handicap bus. It has fold up seats, a lift and plenty of room for everything. Plus, we can stand up in it, and add shelving and bins. It is not what we had planned for, but it is what is needed. Too many are going hungry, and we are the only source of food for many of them. We need to be able to get the food to them.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday ~Elaine, Marty, and all of us at the EM Food Pantry
Elaine 719-846-2075 * Marty 720-891-1849
We now have two vans covering isolated areas of Las Animas county while still providing food boxes for the Trinidad area. The vans go out once a week. Trinidad area is covered three times a week.
Up Coming Events
“Shawl’s for Mom” again. Children can nominate a mom, grandmother or other special mom. Drawing week before Mothers Day.
Cinco de Mayo Food Plus Drive. Sign up to donate FIVE items before Cinco de Mayo. Suggested items can be found on our website or our Face Book group and page. Example is ...5 can’s of veggies, 5 packs of Ramon Noodles, or 5 bars of soap. Don’t want to shop . That is ok. Donate $5.00 to our PayPal .
“Goodies for Dad” children can nominate a dad, grandfather or other special dad. The drawing will be one week before Father's Day.
Prom Drive: We are collecting prom dress’s or a nice dress, dress shirts and ties which will be given to those who ask even if they are not able to have a prom. Let’s help these young people have a special day.
Find us on Facebook under EM Food Pantry or call Elaine 719-846-2075 or Marty 720-891-1849