Standing in a closet-sized room at Faith United Church of Christ, Brenda Heckman stared at a shelf packed with crackers, tuna and dried pasta.
But then her eyes darted to another shelf — a shelf with a lone can of peaches. And then another with just a couple cans of vegetables. And then dozens of grocery bags that still needed to be packed so they could be distributed to Windsor’s families in need.
She sighed. Shelves at the Windsor Food Pantry were a lot more bare earlier this month before the community rallied with cars loaded with cans and boxes of goods. But the supply of everything from beans to jelly is quickly waning and has Heckman, the food pantry’s director, worrying that it will — again — have to dip into tight budgets and purchase food for the town’s most vulnerable population.
“This is the first year I’ve ever seen it (supplies) that low,” said Heckman, who has directed the food pantry for 15 years. While times around the holidays often pack the two closets full of goods, summer months often are more of a challenge, which in turn makes trying times even more difficult for the dozens of families the pantry serves.
“Just remember that people need food all through the year,” she said. “We still have so many people in Windsor who are struggling.”
The Windsor Food Pantry was established in 1985 during the farm crisis in eastern Colorado and has since become the main line of support for families in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District. A slew of volunteers from seven area churches routinely help sort and distribute food daily.
Heckman said that despite Windsor’s appearance of being a wealthy and affluent community, there are still people struggling. She said she has had plenty of folks come in who are in-between jobs or who have lost their homes in the financial recession, and she stressed that the tough times experienced by some can truly happen to anyone.
“The way things are right now, people just can’t make it,” she said.
The food pantry is open from 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday and Thursday at Faith United Church of Christ, 1020 Walnut St. in Windsor. Anyone seeking help must live in Windsor or Severance and bring valid photo identification, proof of address, proof of household income and a valid Social Security card, if available. Additional information and forms are available online at http://www.faithunitedchurchofchrist.com/food-pantry/
Currently the Windsor Food Pantry needs canned tuna, canned or instant potatoes, spaghetti sauce, cereal, saltine crackers, cooking oil, 5-pound bags of flour and sugar, canned or powdered milk, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, soup, juice, canned beans, corn meal or corn muffin mix, cake mixes or brownie mixes, dry beans, peanut butter, jelly, Jell-O and pudding, shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Donations — no matter how big or small — can be dropped off at the front desk from 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Friday.
“This community is amazing,” Heckman said of the continued support once people see the pantry is in need of a community rally. “For the families that you know really need the food and you can really touch, that’s what makes it worth it.”