Care and Share battles food insecurity within our community.
Franciscan Sister Dominique Pisciotta founded Care and Share in Southern Colorado in 1972 as she saw many in our community going hungry and decided to do something about it. She began distributing food baskets throughout the region, and two years later, she started the food bank as a referral agency to coordinate food distribution for what is now known as “food insecurity.” According to the Oxford Dictionary, food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. As a member of Feeding America, Care and Share is able to act as a local food vendor to make sure it is delivered in a timely manner to all who need it.
Lisa is a single mom with three kids, and she receives food through a Care and Share school pantry partner at Atlas Preparatory High School in Colorado Springs.
Lisa defines the word “industrious” as she is all things to a lot of people. “I’m a mom, part-time student, and I work as the front desk manager at Atlas Prep,” Lisa says. “I try really hard to provide for my kids who are ages 13, 11, and 7, but frequently, my paycheck can’t be stretched far enough to cover rent, food, and other expenses for the whole family.”
After getting her GED (a high school equivalency diploma), Lisa is now attending Pikes Peak Community College at night with the aim of ultimately becoming a social worker. “My goal is to transfer to a four-year college and move on to get a master’s degree in social work,” she says.
Care and Share has been a true blessing to this very busy single mom. “I discovered Care and Share by visiting several local food pantries, which have provided me with meals for my kids when money has been tight,” Lisa says. “The organization has a food bank at Atlas Prep, and it is very easy for me to pick up food there, especially during my lunch hour. I also utilize the Solid Rock Foundation and Food Pantry that is associated with Care and Share as well.”
Because it is an organization with “no questions asked,” Lisa is able to maintain her dignity while obtaining nutritious meals for her family. “Staples in our family are rice and beans, and I feel that these are essential items as I’m Hispanic. With these two staples, I can add tomatoes and vegetables and make healthy meals for my kids. Cereals and milk are also a must along with fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, oranges, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions. I can prepare lots of healthy and different meals for my family.”
Lisa feels that cooking at home is much healthier that going out for cheap fast food meals—which aren’t so cheap anymore. As a child, she did occasionally go hungry, and promised herself that her children would never suffer through food insecurity. “Care and Share is such a blessing to have in our community.”
“Because I don’t have family here, I can’t get extra help when I need it and have to reply on just myself,” she says. “The organization is open to the public and helps our community with no questions asked and really helps my pride and self-esteem. I know that it’s okay to ask for help without being judged, and I don’t feel like a failure.”
Loving everything about Care and Share, Lisa now knows that there are good people in our community who care about the well-being of others. “All this responsibility takes a toll on me mentally, especially during the pandemic, and it is reassuring to know that there is help out there.”