Coffee pots running dry at Marian House Soup Kitchen

October 14, 2011

Nothing quite perks up a meal at the Marian House Soup Kitchen like a good cup of coffee.

“Coffee is one of the simple pleasures our guests look forward to having with their meals,” says Rochelle Schlortt, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, which operates the soup kitchen.

But coffee donations are down to the last drop, and Marian House is having to dip into its $25,000 annual food budget to buy it. So Catholic Charities is asking the community to come to the rescue by donating any type of coffee.

“Coffee is one of those things that we’re so used to getting in donations that it’s not something we typically buy,” Schlortt said. “But now, it’s something we’re putting on our shopping list because it’s so important to our guests.”

Although Marian House can purchase coffee for $5 per pound, the people who frequent the soup kitchen go through 50 to 75 pounds a week. At that rate, the allocation for food purchases will be depleted in no time, and if it comes down to using money for nutritional foods or caffeine, the edge will likely to go to the meats, canned veggies and other foods Marian House often buys to augment donations.

About 95 percent of the food and drinks served at Marian House is donated. Schlortt says no one has been able to figure out why coffee donations are down.

“In the past, we’ve gotten great big stacks of donations from coffee shops and roasters in town,” she says. “But we’re getting less and less, and with our increase of an average of 400 meals on most days a few years ago to 600 on most days now, it’s one of those things where donations have not kept up with demand.”

Many of the people who eat at the Marian House are recovering alcoholics or drug addicts, Schlortt notes.

“This is their only vice,” she says. “When they come to the soup kitchen, they look forward to coffee and sugar. It’s one of the few pleasures they have.”

For information on where to donate, call 475-7314.

Contact Barbara Cotter: 636-0194
Twitter @BarbaraCotter
Facebook Gazette Barbara Cotter

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