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Avondale asking for help, no gas or food in town

People in Avondale now have to travel almost 7 miles to Vineland to reach the nearest gas station
Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 20:46:38-04

AVONDALE — Community members in Avondale are calling the potential loss of the town's Loaf 'N Jug "devastating".

The gas station has been closed since September 2, after thieves drove a vehicle into the store and stole the ATM machine from inside.

Photo from the Pueblo County Sheriff Department's Facebook page of the crime scene.

The thieves have since been arrested, but the impact of their crime remains apparent in the town of less than 800 people.

"We can’t afford to be going into town for the little odds and ends that we forget," said Gloria Duran, one of the many concerned residents in Avondale.

The most up to date data shows 32.1% of people in Avondale live below the poverty line.

With the Loaf 'N Jug closed, the nearest gas station is roughly 7 miles out of town and the nearest grocery store is roughly 10 miles out of town.

"It has a lasting effect on a lot of our families," said Duran, explaining that many people in Avondale have been strategically planning trips to town once a week because the price of gas is so high at the moment.

According to a map by the USDA, Avondale sits in the middle of a food desert.

Duran voiced her concerns to Pueblo's Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday.

County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz says the BOCC will be reaching out to EG America, who owns Loaf 'N Jug, to see if the county can make any accommodations to ensure the business will reopen.

"Resources are very limited in that area. It would be devastating to that part of our county. Working with a private sector can be tricky, but we'll certainly do everything we can as a board," said Ortiz.

In a statement, EG America told residents who emailed them with their concerns, "We do not have a date for this location re-opening".

Statement from EG America to Avondale residents about re-opening.

News 5 is waiting on a response from EG America about future plans at this particular location.

Care and Share of Southern Colorado hosts food distributions twice a month in Avondale, typically at the Loaf 'N Jug.

"We average 87 families accessing the food from out mobile market, so that's quite a lot for a community like that," said Lynne Telford.

Telford says they will continue their distributions, while discussing other ways the nonprofit can help Avondale's community members.

"I don’t know what the answer is for it yet, but we certainly aren’t going to ignore it," said Telford.

Duran hopes the town could receive some grant money to possible open a new store for their necessities.

According to the USDA, roughly 19 million people in America live in a food desert.