PUEBLO — There's something special in knowing exactly where your food comes from, especially when it comes from right down the road.
Elisabeth Martino said her reaction was "SHOCK! Absolute Shock,” when her family's cattle ranch was asked to supply all of the beef needed for the Pueblo Food Project. The effort will be delivering 5,280 holiday meal kits to those in need over the next four to six weeks and the kits are full of goods from local vendors, like Martino's Cattle Company.
“We’re very glad and grateful that during this season and during the harder times we’re able to do something this large,” said Martino.
Martino and her siblings grew up watching their father raise his own cattle. Recently, they've also decided to take the step into cattle ranching, leasing land and buying cows. The company re-branded itself and updated it's process in March, just before they were offered the opportunity to help feed the hungry over the holidays. Martino said, “It’s a big deal when you just start a business in March and six months later you’re asked to fill something like this.”
The cattle company is a start-to-finish process, meaning Martino is involved every step of the way - From the day the cow is purchased, to the day the meat is delivered to the Pueblo Food Project. She says she thinks, now more than ever, there is value in knowing the roots of your food.
"Knowing where your nutrition and your fuel comes from is extremely necessary in an age of not-knowing."
Monique Marez, Coordinator of the Pueblo Food Project, said most of the businesses that the project is partnering with are "not only happy to have the business," but also happy to be providing "Pueblo proud" goods to those who will appreciate it in the upcoming weeks.
The effort is being funded by the city, as well as the Coronavirus Relief funds. Some of the other local vendors in the meal kits include Mauro Farm and Bakery, Bay's Meat Market, and El Pompano Tortilleria.
Anyone struggling with hunger in Pueblo can enter their information into the "Pantry Locator" on the Care and Share website.