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Gratitude at the grocery

Aspen, CO Colorado

We owe some of you a big “thank you.”

If you shopped at City Market in El Jebel last Saturday, and perhaps supported The Aspen Times’ food drive for LIFT-UP’s Carbondale food pantry, then let us express our appreciation. Our newspaper chose to support this Garfield County-based nonprofit this year and the timing was particularly good, since many of our neighbors recently have lost their jobs, and LIFT-UP has had trouble meeting the demand for food.

Saturday’s food drive may have collected enough food to stock the pantry for a full month ” between $5,000 and $7,000 worth of groceries, one LIFT-UP volunteer estimated. We expected people to buy us a can of vegetables, maybe two, but many shoppers unloaded two, three and four bags of nonperishable food into our collection box. We lost count of how many shoppers were so generous, but it truly amazed us.

One teenager walked in for a doughnut and walked out with a can of Chef Boyardee to hand us. And we have to tell you about a guy named Mike who recently lost his job, but bought us a couple of bags of food anyway. A few minutes later he went back into the store, saying he forgot to buy us peanut butter.

Thanks to all the parents who had their kids deposit canned food, dried pasta, spaghetti sauce, oatmeal and more with us. And also to people who didn’t have time to shop, but handed us cash ” many times $20 bills ” which we used to buy extra items that the food pantry specially requested.

One guy (we never got his name) told us how LIFT-UP had helped him in the past, handed us some cash, and then while his girlfriend shopped he stayed with us at the front of the store, passing out fliers. When we ran out of fliers, a woman at the nearby UPS Store stayed open past her closing time, helping us make copies for which she refused to charge us.

Shoppers thanked us for being there, but they didn’t know how easy it was to stand and watch the best come out in our friends and neighbors.

LIFT UP told us Monday morning there was already a line of men waiting to pick up food for their families before the food pantry opened. We can say for certain that the food you bought will appear on local dinner tables tonight and tomorrow. We’ll speak for those families when we say once again, thank you.

The Aspen Times published a guest opinion Tuesday that was based on an erroneous premise. “Art Museum should tap Aspen’s wealthy,” by Scott Courts, stated that a new Aspen Art Museum should not be built with taxpayer dollars. In fact, no such proposal exists. Museum officials hope to buy land from the city of Aspen and build a new facility using money from their own donors.

While making his points, Courts also managed to disparage a number of groups in an attempt to be funny. We failed to read this piece carefully enough before publication, and we apologize for the oversight.


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