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The Salida Community raised $600 for the KHEN Community Radio’s ‘Pack the Backpack’ program during the online Salida Soup event hosted on December 17. The station is providing a bag of nonperishable food to area kids experiencing food insecurity that can be taken home when meal programs are unavailable.

Packs will be distributed every Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the KHEN studio located at 123 East Third Street. Call 719-539-1069 or email to register for a food bag.

Image courtesy of KHEN.

KHEN Executive Director, Chris Vann explained that more than 37 percent of Coloradoans are struggling to afford food during the pandemic. This is up 26 percent from a year ago with families and people of color hit the hardest.

“Reduced services at schools and the closure of school districts throughout Colorado has meant the loss of free and reduced-price school meals for more than 350,000 students,” said Van in a statement. “Studies show lack of adequate nutrition in childhood can have long-term impacts on health and well-being long into adulthood.”

Salida Soup is a monthly program created by the Partnership for Community Action (PfCA) and has assisted a variety of local organizations as well as individuals with their projects in the Upper Arkansas River Valley since 2015.

Due to the realities of COVID-19, the PfCA took the potluck -based fundraiser virtual in March of 2020 and foresees the online aspect continuing through 2021.

For more information on the ‘Pack the Backpack’ program, click here.