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Pantry still needs items for Christmas

High Plains Helping Hands Food Pantry hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony in November to celebrate their new walk-in freezer and refrigerator units. Stephen Kutscher, co-owner of Rock Solid Chiropractic, was the featured speaker.ìAt times, the project of its size for an organization of our size looked impossible,î said Rose Mizer, executive director. ìBut with God, all things are possible.îCraig Swan, board chairman, said the organization currently serves 250 families per month, and he hopes to bring that number to 500 families. Swan said they will be starting educational classes as part of the expansion. ìWe will be feeding spirits as well as bodies,î he said.In his speech, Kutscher said as a business owner he wants to support the community. He chose HPHH as one benefactor because he personally knows how a community can help others. ìMy parents worked two to three jobs to support me and my brothers,î Kutscher said. ìI didn’t really know what I didn’t have, but support was given to us multiple times. All we heard was a knock at the door or the doorbell.î He said they would open the door, and something they needed was left on the front step. His memories of that support inspired him to reach out to others. ìBe joyful today. You are the actions you make today, not the defining circumstances of the past,î he said.Mizer said the new walk-in units allowed HPHH to provide more for the Thanksgiving holiday. She said they were able to store about 200 large chickens and turkeys. ìWe were able to give out a large hen for a small family or a turkey for a larger family,î Mizer said. This year, they provided food for 245 families for Thanksgiving.They usually see more families at Christmas ó about 300, she said. They are gearing up for Christmas. ìRight now, I think we’re pretty good as far as special foods we give out at Christmas time; there have been a number of food drives,î Mizer said. ìWe could definitely use more meats.î They also need basic things like hygiene and cleaning items. They are collecting new toys, too. She said they would like to include pancake mixes and syrup in the Christmas boxes so the families can have a nice breakfast Christmas morning. Mizer said the last day for dropping off donations is Dec. 15.High Plains Helping Hands is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the third Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pantry is located at 7375 Utah Lane in Colorado Springs. The phone number is 719-495-3123. The pantry will be closed the two weeks of Christmas and New Yearís.

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