Steamboat Springs After years of participating in a Craig food co-op, several Oak Creek residents have brought a chapter of their own to South Routt.
Yolanda Critchlow and her daughter, Linda Price, have founded a SHARE Colorado chapter for South Routt residents.
SHARE is an organization that provides quality food to families in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota and New Mexico.
"The whole concept is to make food inexpensive and to purchase with a purpose," said Tiffany Papedo, a spokeswoman for SHARE Colorado.
Papedo said people who live in communities that support SHARE Colorado have the opportunity to purchase everyday grocery items and special food packages once a month at a discounted rate of 20 percent to 50 percent of typical costs. The food items are not donated, and the people who order their groceries through the program do not need to meet income requirements.
"(SHARE) is for everyone. Anyone can take advantage of the program and offers," Papedo said.
For more information about SHARE Colorado or to access the month's food menus, visit www.sharecolorado...
place orders or for more information about the Oak Creek chapter of SHARE Colorado, call Yolanda Critchlow at 736-1058.
SHARE Colorado began 20 years ago in San Diego. Its Colorado chapter started 17 years ago. There are more than 200 cities and towns in the state that take part in SHARE Colorado.
Critchlow said Oak Creek's SHARE Colorado chapter is in its inaugural month but that several residents have taken advantage of the new food co-op, including herself.
"I bought some frozen bratwursts," she said. "And a ham."
Critchlow said residents who choose to take part in the program can place orders once a month and can only order items from a pre-designated menu.
Usually, that menu includes frozen meats, canned vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, and special packages that include a meat item with veggies or a side dish.
Most of the items are half price because SHARE Colo--rado purchases its food in bulk, Papedo said. No membership fee is required for participation.
Some menu items include pizza, baked salmon, hamburgers, scalloped potatoes and pork chops. Food co-op participants can't order dairy products or bread.
The food is brought to Oak Creek from SHARE Colorado's main warehouse in Denver.
Critchlow said she received 13 or 14 orders at the beginning of April for delivery at the end of the month, and she hopes more people will take part in the program in the months to come.
"We hope to increase that, but that's pretty good for a first time," she said.
Critchlow said SHARE Colorado is especially useful for senior citizens living on fixed incomes.
"(SHARE) provides people with healthy food. It's a way of helping everyone stretch and extend their food budgets. It helps all families," said Karen Gibson, pastor at Oak Creek's Community United Methodist Church.
In addition to providing healthy and diverse foods, Gibson said, the program promotes community involvement and volunteerism.
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