Castle Rock food bank serves fresh produce to hundreds of families

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A Castle Rock food bank has become a staple for hundreds of families in need.

The Castle Rock St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank is open the second and fourth Saturday of each month, and for some families it means more than just access to food.

“It’s the difference between being homeless and not,” said Roni Fleyot, who says she’s been to the food bank six or seven times.

It’s set up each month in the basement of the St. Francis of Assisi Church, in Castle Rock.

Fleyot said the short line has a big impact on her family.

“It saves us, especially having a big family.  Our grocery bill would be $500 a week,” she said.

When they first opened, volunteers were serving fewer than a dozen families.

Saturday, more than 100 families came through.

“What is amazing is here we are in a county that is so wealthy.  What I see still is so much need,” said Kathy Bullen, a volunteer who helped start the food pantry roughly eight years ago.

Volunteers are able to serve up something that’s hard to come by at many donation dependent food banks.

“It’s really nice to be able to get some vegetables to feed my kids,” said Fleyot, as she collected fresh produce Saturday morning.

Some of the produce is fresher than what can be found in a grocery store, picked the night before from the church’s garden.

Part of the garden was planted in honor of Kendrick Castillo, in an effort to pay it forward in his name.

“I didn’t know that, that’s awesome!” said Fleyot.

After eight years, volunteers said this is anything but a handout.

“I think that’s what I always get such joy out of is watching the volunteers really connect with the clients going through,” Bullen said. “Unemployment is not as high as it was, but the jobs that we have here—people can’t afford to live here.  So food pantries allow them to continue to live here,” she added.

For more information on the food bank, as well as free medical clinic services offered, check out the food bank’s website.

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