Posted: Feb 29, 2012 4:52 PM by David Ortiviz
Updated: Feb 29, 2012 8:23 PM
Thousands in Pueblo are living in poverty and a non-profit that helps feed the hungry says the demand for services keeps growing. Today the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center opened a new, larger office in Downtown Pueblo to help meet those needs.
For desperate families the center is a symbol of hope."Like most people out there right now, hard times. Having a hard time feeding my kids and it's hard to admit that," said Kayleigh, a client.
Kayleigh's husband recently lost his job and both she and her friend Katie say they're struggling to feed their children, let alone themselves. "Thank God for places like this," said Kayleigh.
"A big help to those that are struggling, it's a blessing," said Katie.
The two families are part of much a larger problem in Pueblo. One of out five people are living in poverty according to the U.S. Census--that's nearly twice the state average.
"The need has really expanded from when we first started," said Marcie Bain, Executive Director of the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center. "And with the volatile economy the way it is, it's not getting any better," she added.
The care center serves about 28,000 people a year. They give them free food or clothing.
To meet growing demand, they renovated an old building at Grand and W. 8th. They've added a lot more room, including for food storage, but their mission has stayed the same.
"That's why people come here I believe, yes for a sack of food, they leave with a sack of food, but they also leave with a smile, because they've been valued when they come here," said Bain.
The Pueblo Cooperative Care Center gives away food Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to Noon. Their new address is 326 W. 8th St.