PUEBLO — It was all hands on deck at the Pueblo Convention Center on Monday as some local volunteers were filling up hundreds of backpacks to help people in need.
The Pueblo Food project helped coordinate the effort, and they invited several organizations and volunteers of all ages to help fill 1,000 backpacks with ready-to-eat meals for the homeless population.
"A lot of people don't have all the necessities so at least we can help a little bit. You can be any age, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that you want to help and you have a kind heart," said Katrina Drigger, a 20-year-old lending a hand. "Even the smallest act of kindness can be so big to someone."
The Pueblo Food Project provides access to food and food education, and this effort of filling backpacks was thanks to the help of a $175,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for hunger relief work.
"This work doesnt happen without folks in the community stepping up to lend a hand," said Monique Marez, coordinator for the organization. "The long term economic impacts of this pandemic are still with us, especially here in Pueblo. We know its going to take longer to bounce back, so we're trying to close the gaps where we can."
Monique Marez helped coordinate the project and she said, "Its so heartwarming to see other people care as much as I do, and so many of us do, about folks in our community who need some extra help."
The Pueblo Food Project helped distribute 10,000 bags of food last year. This is one activity of many they're hoping to execute with that $175,000 grant.
The organization will have all of the bags ready to hand out by Wednesday. Local organizations can go on their website to request bags for the community. Volunteers will also be at the mobile shower provided by Pueblo Cooperative Care four times a week to distribute bags to people who need them.