In this month’s issue:
Sharing the bounty: With food scarcity a growing concern, groups are teaming up to help
Food scarcity in Montezuma County is a growing concern as people struggle with low wages and an increased cost of living despite the surging U.S. economy.
It was good news in late July when the U.S. Commerce Department announced a 4.1 percent expansion in the economy during the second quarter of the year. It was the strongest growth yet during the Trump administration, surpassing the sluggish 2.2 percent growth in the first three months of 2018.
Although the current prosperity buoys confidence, a great sector of the Montezuma County population is untouched by the economic energy. Life is an economic struggle for many families.
According to the most current statistics from the Montezuma County Public Health Department, one-fifth of individual income levels in Montezuma County fell below poverty levels in 2015. Nearly 61 percent of students qualified for free or reduced school lunch programs that year. Even more startling, 54.8 percent of households received food stamps at that time, indicating that lower-income individuals tend to live together to share housing expenses.
Laurie Hall, co-owner of The Farm Bistro and director of Southwest Farm Fresh Co-op, explained that food security can provide traction in the effort to get ahead and stabilize one’s circumstances.
“Simply put, food affects everything and everything affects food. In Montezuma County, 1 out of 3 children suffers inadequate nutrition. The life-long consequences of missed meals, processed food, sugar, and artificial ingredients play out as diabetes, reduced brain function, poor performance in school, and emotional distress. The cost to our community can increase costs in health care, create an unfit workforce, and swell the crime rate,” she said. “All of this can be tied to food insecurity.”
WHAT IS THE FREE PRESS?A monthly publication delivering in-depth news, lively features, and thought-provoking columns on life in the Four Corners.
The Four Corners Free Press is an independent, alternative paper with real substance. Every month, we sink our teeth into meaty topics, providing in-depth, comprehensive news stories on important local and regional issues that affect our readers.
Here’s what you can find in the Four Corners Free Press:
- Thorough, balanced, in-depth news coverage by award-winning, experienced journalists who are familiar with the community and region.
- The liveliest Opinion section in the Four Corners, with a rotating group of columnists writing everything from serious political commentary to humor.
- A perennial readers’ favorite: Our Crime Waves section describing local misdeeds. Crime Waves is available only in our print edition.
- A Health section with columns and articles on a variety of health and wellness topics.
- A comprehensive Arts & Entertainment section to tell our readers what’s going on in the Four Corners. We offer feature articles; reviews of books, music and movies; and calendars of cultural events, live music, and other happenings.
* K&C Trading Post, 161 E. MainCortez, CO
* Books, 124 Pinon
* Burger Boy Drive In, 400 E. Main
* Cliffrose, 27885 Highway 160
* Colorado Welcome Center, 928 E. Main
* Cortez Public Library
* Cortez Recreation Center, 425 Roger Smith Ave.
* Cortez Livestock Auction, 12129 Highway 491
* Cortez Municipal Airport
* El Grande Café, 28 E. Main
* IFA, 10501 Highway 491
* Johnson Building, 925 S. Broadway
* Kokopelli Bike & Board, 30 W. Main
* Once Upon a Sandwich, 1 W. Main
* Pippo’s Cafe, 100 W. Main
* Post Office, 35 S. Beech
* Southwest Memorial Hospital
* Shear Shack Salon, 37 E. Main
* Silver Bean, 410 W. Main
* Sinclair Gas Station
* Spruce Tree Coffeehouse, 330 E. Main
* In front of Subway, 1835 E. Main
* The Farm Bistro, 18 E. MainDolores, CO
* Dolores Food Market, 400 Railroad Ave.
* Dolores River Brewery, 100 South 4th
* Ponderosa Restaurant, 108 South 8thDove Creek, CO
* Dove Creek Superette, 445 Hwy. 491Durango, CO
* Bread, 42 County Road 250
* Magpie Newsstand Cafe, 707 Main Ave.
* In front of El Rancho, 900 Block Main Ave.
* In front of Francisco’s, 619 Main Ave.
* In front of Steamworks, 801 E. 2nd Ave.Farmington, NM
* San Juan Regional Medical CenterMancos, CO
* Absolute Bakery, 110 S. Main
* Fahrenheit Roasters, 201 W. Grand
* P&D Grocery, 280 E. Frontage RoadBlanding, Utah
*San Juan Pharmacy
*Four Corners InnShiprock, NM
* Northern Navajo Medical Center
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