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CARES Act funds 1,300 healthy food kits for Pueblo homeless


Food kit volunteers, from left, Autumn Naden, Jennavieve Gehlhoff and Kelly Gehlhoff add tuna fish packets to the parcels inside the Pueblo Convention Center Friday.

The start of the benevolence was a table full of sliced peaches, which gave way to copious caches of canned ravioli, trail mix and fig bars, fruit snacks, tuna and popcorn.

The end point, at least in this spacious room inside the Pueblo Convention Center, was a pickup truck bed full of well packed brown paper sacks.

The true culmination, however, is the comforting knowledge that 1,300 under-privileged men, women and children will be on the receiving end of these healthy grab-and-go meal kits.

On Friday, representatives of the Pueblo Food Project and the Pueblo Food Council were joined by volunteers of all ages in the assembly of the nutritious parcels funded with $7,500 in CARES Act money, as managed by the city of Pueblo.

“The idea was put together by the COVID-19 Hunger Relief Task Force, a group of hunger relief organizations in Pueblo County,” explained Monique Marez, coordinator for the Pueblo Food Project. “And all the volunteers you see have come together to put the kits together so that we can deliver them this afternoon.”

An early 8:30 a.m. start ensured that by noontime, the kits would be on their way to those served by Pueblo Rescue Mission, Posada, Pueblo Community Soup Kitchen and Pueblo Cooperative Care Center.

A multi-station assembly line set-up allowed for quick packaging of the food kits.

From each station, volunteers relentlessly plucked items and placed them into sack after sack, with the completed kits loaded into the truck for what became a successful succession of deliveries.

“This is hard work but it’s also fun,” said nine-year-old Jennavieve Gehlhoff. “It’s important for us to help the homeless because they don’t have anything to eat or drink.”


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