PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) – Doris Ortega uses the Pueblo County Dietary Supplement Program to feed herself and her great-grandchildren in her care; including her 6-year-old great-granddaughter, Chloé.
“It’s just a blessing to receive,” Ortega said. “I live solely on social security and cannot have any other income, so I fully rely on my box of basic items every month. “
Tanya Gurule, USDA’s food distribution program manager for Pueblo County, said the resources needed to run the program were under threat.
“We need more people to collect their packages, it seems the community is not coming and using our resources,” said Gurule.
Even with the convenient and safe curbside pickup option, Gurule said there are still 350 boxes missing from the 1,850 boxes they need to move per month. If this continues, the USDA may move resources elsewhere.
“Normally we do it on a state-by-state workload, if we don’t use our workload, they’ll use it in other parts of the United States that have wait lists,” Gurule said. “We really want people in the community to keep the food here.”
With the recent boom in the delta variant, Gurule fears that more people will soon find themselves out of work. When this happens, they may no longer have the means to help.
Ortega said she couldn’t afford for this to happen.
“I would be really sad if we lost our program here,” Ortega said. “The advantage is the children. They have everything they need around here. Everything is provided for them, from breakfast to dinner.”
To apply for the Pueblo County Supplemental Food Program, text “FOOD” to 1-877-644-3663. You must be 60 years of age or older to apply.
The program also needs volunteers. More information on how to register can be found here.