Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado is opening a greenhouse Friday that will allow them to grow food year round.

The staff will start planting at the greenhouse at 11 a.m. Friday.

Purchased with a grant from the Colorado Garden and Home Show, the greenhouse features a passive solar design that accommodates Colorado’s dry, arid climate.

The dedication is part of the nonprofit’s annual campaign to raise awareness of the issue of summer hunger.

“The overall food insecurity rate for Colorado is 14.3 percent, but the rate in Care and Share’s service area of southern Colorado is 15. 1percent,” said Lynne Telford, president and CEO.

Five counties – Bent, Costilla, Crowley, Dolores and Saguache – are experiencing significant need.

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“Some families right here in El Paso County are missing the equivalent of 22 meals each week and are working hard to develop our new strategies for food distribution,” she said.

The group also has added four new mobile food pantries that will start May 13 and continue the second Friday of each month through Oct. 14:

– Calhan. St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1450 5th Street at 9 a.m.
– Ellicott. God’s Pantry, 355 N. Ellicott Highway at 10 a.m.
– Yoder. Antioch Church, 5855 Boone Road at 11 a.m.
– Hanover. Ranch House M Ministries, 18050 Holman Road at 1 p.m.

The mobile routes were made available through an El Paso County Block Development Grant, which also allows Care and Share to buy food from area growers such as Venetucci Farms, Frost Farms and Heritage Bell Farms. During the summer harvest season, Care and Share will be able to provide peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions and a variety of other fresh produce.

The Care and Share Food Bank distributes food to more than 400 member agencies across 31 counties in Southern Colorado