Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

They say that every dark cloud has its silver lining.

Here in Aspen our silver lining during these days of the recession can be found down behind Aspen Velo on North Mill St. It is there, in a donated space, that a group of women who call themselves the Baguettes are showing just how far a little time, little sweat and a boat load of compassion can go.

When one looks at the prosperity of our community it is hard to believe that there are people who need help just getting life’s basics. But, as the economic crises have broadened, many have been ensnared in its net. There are people here in Aspen who need a hand to just get three squares on the table each evening.

Recognizing the need, Aspen local Lynda Palevsky picked up the phone and began calling her friends. Collectively, they decided that something must be done and, with single-minded resolve, they set about doing it.

Coming together as volunteers operating under the aegis of a donor-advised fund at the Aspen Community Foundation, the Baguettes contacted Mike Powell at the Glenwood Springs based Lift Up Center, which has operated food pantries up and down the Roaring Fork Valley since 1982. He told them how to set up a pantry here in Aspen in their space at 465 North Mill St. and, after getting delivery of goods from the Food Bank of the Rockies in Grand Junction, they opened their doors for business.

The goal of the Baguettes is to make sure that no one goes without the basic dietary necessities. They are open on Mill between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays and they have had a steady flow of people coming in to pick up dried beans, cereal, peanut butter, canned fruits and veggies, you know, the staples.

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In his valley many of us look at food on the basis of how it tastes. Others, it seems, look at it as a means of survival. The body needs fuel and the Baguettes are there to make sure that those without, get some at the end of each day.

Can there be anything more noble than feeding those who would otherwise do without?

You too can be noble and it’s easy. You can write a check to help the Baguettes at the Aspen Community Foundation. You can come into the food pantry with a donation of canned foods, cereals, rice, mac and cheese, soups, canned tuna – you get the idea. They accept donations on those same Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-noon. For just $10 you can buy a shopping bag, big enough to fill the next time you go to the Butcher Block or Epicurious to buy food for your big dinner party. You can do all of this just by calling 544-2009 and asking “What can I do to help?”

Helping is so easy that even a fifth grader can do it. Georgina Levy’s fifth grade class at Aspen Elementary picked up the challenge just before the end of the school term and held a food drive to gather food for the effort. If they can do it so can you.

Again, the number is 544-2009. Do something. The Baguettes will thank you for it.

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