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Residents gathered free fingerling potatoes Saturday that otherwise would have gone to waste. The giveaway was organized by Eric and Linda Heltzel. Photos by Dan Smith

Dozens of cars lined up at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds Saturday morning to get some free fingerling potatoes being given away in another demonstration of community kindheartedness during the pandemic. The giveaway, organized by Eric and Linda Heltzel, featured free fingerling potatoes that otherwise would have gone to waste.

The potatoes were produced by Mountain Valley Produce in nearby Center, Colorado, and were destined to high-end restaurants until the coronavirus pandemic closed restaurants and left the producers with nowhere to sell them.

The Heltzels had organized an earlier giveaway of 2,000 pounds of regular potatoes in Howard for their friend at the business and brought 2,000 pounds of fingerlings in the back of a pickup to the Fairgrounds for the 9:00 a.m. Saturday giveaway.

For those fortunate enough to have obtained some of the bounty, recipes from Mountain Valley Produce are here.

The lines were long starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at Chaffee County Fairgrounds for a charitable potato giveaway.

The potatoes were given free, but many people donated to help the effort.

The proceeds from those donations were earmarked for the Salida First Presbyterian Church S.O.S. program to further spread the goodwill demonstrated by the Heltzels in the community.