April 24, 2024

Natural Grocers Donates Funds to La Puente Home, Based in Alamosa, CO

Serving Coloradoans since 1955, Natural Grocers, the leading family-operated organic and natural grocery retailer in the US, recently donated funds to another longtime Colorado organization dedicated to community and service, La Puente.

La Puente Home is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Colorado’s San Luis Valley (SLV), providing a safety net of services where individuals and families get what they need to stabilize, heal and ultimately thrive. Their programs vary in response to the effects of poverty that the members of their community face daily.

Fighting Food Insecurity is a cause Natural Grocers has supported since before the company opened its first storefront.

“My grandmother, Natural Grocers Co-Founder, Margaret Isely, had a generous heart, a deep respect for her community and knew how life-changing good nutrition could be. She and my grandfather got their start by visiting friends and neighbors to share nutrition education and her delicious homemade whole grain bread,” said Raquel Isely, Vice President of Marketing at Natural Grocers. “When she and my grandfather opened their first store, she always made sure there was ‘extra’ wholesome food around, easily accessible to anyone who needed it. Today we have evolved to forge connections with the local food banks in the cities and towns near our stores with our “Bring Your Own Bag” program. Whenever a customer brings their own bag, we donate 5¢ to our partner at the register.

The area La Puente serves happens to extend beyond our current store footprint. When La Puente reached out to see if we might be willing to donate to their network of food pantries in the SLV, we immediately said ‘yes’. So many communities are struggling with food insecurity. We know our donation is only a drop in the bucket, but it is our hope we can help raise awareness of La Puente and all the good they do for their community.”

Beginning in 1982, La Puente was one of the first rural shelters to open its doors to those in need within the state of Colorado. The SLV, its home, is a frontier region with arctic winters; also prevalent, the SLV has national-high rates of poverty with limited resources to address the impact poverty has on youth, families, job opportunities and health equity.

In addition, the SLV is an immense region; it covers more than 8,000 square miles or roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts. The vastness is compounded by the lack of public transportation; this in turn requires its residents to embark on a long journey to obtain resources such as medical care and groceries. Most jobs available are lower-paying agricultural or service-sector jobs; this also contributes to the burdens endured by residents.

In addition to its Community Shelter, a 68-bed living space (open to men, women and families) open, operated and staffed 24/7/365, La Puente now offers a broad suite of services designed to stabilize households in crisis and promote self-sufficiency through financial resources and case management. A strength-based lens and dignity model are utilized to engage each person as a valued individual and expert of their lives and experiences.

Additional programming included under La Puente’s umbrella is their PALS Children’s Program, Adelante Family Resource Center, Street Outreach, Crisis Prevention, the Valley Garden Educational Initiative (VEGI) and The Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley (FBNSLV).

La Puente has entered its fourth decade of operating and continues to provide services to those experiencing homelessness and community members in crisis. This has been possible because of the generosity of individuals and organizations that understand and support the mission of La Puente and its programs.

*Any person donating can specify which program or if nothing is entered, it will go towards General Operations Support.


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