Care and Share Food Bank opens Alamosa distribution center

Courier photo by John Waters Nate Springer (left), president, and CEO of Care and Share Food Bank, at the grand opening of the food bank's grand opening of the SLV distribution center on May 11.

ALAMOSA — Almost 200 guests gathered on Produce Place in Alamosa on Thursday, May 11, to celebrate the grand opening of the new Care and Share Food Bank distribution center — a milestone that Care and Share considers important for its mission.

In 2021, the food bank purchased the former Budweiser distribution center and, over 18 months, renovated the facility to fit the food bank's needs. The distribution center is 25,000 sq. ft., and holds 252 pallet positions in the dry area, 252 pallet positions in refrigeration, and 152 pallet positions in the freezer. As first reported by the Valley Courier in January, the street name the center is on has been renamed Produce Place.

The SLV Distribution Center will reduce Care and Share's transportation time and mileage, allowing truck drivers to deliver more nutritious food to partner agencies across the southwest region.

"We have so many great relationships with farmers in the San Luis Valley that donate food to us or allow us to purchase it at a low cost," said Nate Springer, president and CEO of Care and Share. "Before, the food would go up to our Colorado Springs Distribution Center, where we repackaged it and distributed it back out to counties. Now, with this building, we're able to keep that fresh food right here in Alamosa, which will take days out of the time. We're excited that it will enable us to distribute healthier, quality food."

Springer told those assembled at the opening that Care and Share is on track to distribute 21 million pounds of food this year. The Alamosa facility will assist the food bank in making that number 30 million pounds annually.

Adams State University President David Tandberg was in attendance and told the Valley Courier, "This is super exciting. I think it is going to be a major resource for the entire San Luis Valley and beyond. I'm thrilled to see it go up, and I'm excited to get some student volunteers out here."

Alamosa County Commissioner Lori Laske offered, "We're really thrilled Care and Share is up and running and providing food for the San Luis Valley and being a hub for Southern Colorado."

The warehouse has five employees, bringing the total number of Care and Share employees to 72.

"I believe the competitive advantage of Care and Share is the people who work here. When everyone goes home, they know that they've helped people across the state. The secret sauce that makes all of this run is our supporters, donors, and volunteers. This facility is great because we'll be able to welcome a whole new group of supporters who will come into our distribution center and make a difference for our communities," said Springer.

Care and Share is looking forward to creating volunteer opportunities at the distribution center for individuals and groups in the future. If community members are interested in hosting food drives, donations can be delivered Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

To learn more about Care and Share's work and how to get involved, visit careandshare.org.