Lack of funding forces Denver food pantry to close

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DENVER -- A west Denver food pantry and free medical clinic will be forced to close its doors, citing a lack of funding.

The Denver Adventist Community Service Center, located along West First Avenue near Sheridan Boulevard in the Barnum neighborhood, is set to close its doors next week.

A volunteer told the FOX31 Problem Solvers that the center serves a lot of senior citizens on a fixed income, and families who just need to put food on the table.

In April, the nonprofit group Rebuilding Together helped to give the ACS Community LIFE Center a renovation. But in just five days, the center will close for good.

The center relied on funding and financial support from the Rocky Mountain Conference, which determined it could no longer fund the center sufficiently.

The executive committee voted “to reluctantly recognize the need to close ACS LIFT at this time due to lack of funding and support from constituent churches,” according to a news release.

“I know there's a need in the community, a huge need,” said Janie Gianotsis of Food Bank of the Rockies, adding many Colorado families are forced to make tough choices among paying rent, buying much-needed medication or food.

“Homeless people are only about 14 percent of the people that we serve at the food bank,” she said. “The majority of them are working or they are families that are struggling, or ... the seniors, people who have health issues. It's definitely real.”

The ACS Community LIFT center has been a fixture along First Avenue for close to 40 years. According to a post on its Facebook page, just last week it served 130 families and 342 people.

There are other food pantries nearby that might be able to help once the center closes. The  Food Bank of the Rockies website has a list of locations under the "find help” portion.

There's also a free hunger hotline at 720-382-2920.

The Rocky Mountain Conference said that after selling the building and assets, and paying off debts, any leftover funds will be used as potential seed money for future operations.

There are five other food pantry locations near ACS.

Community Ministries Southwest
1755 S. Zuni St., Denver
303-935-3428

Praise Center Church
3105 W. Florida Ave., Denver
303-922-1131

Anthony's Food Bank
3801 W. Ohio Ave., Denver
303-935-2431, Ext. 3301

Denver Indian Center
4407 Morrison Road, Denver
303-936-2688

Redeemer Lutheran Church
3300 W. Nevada Place, Denver
303-375-5840

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