The Aspen Mine Center gave away 255 boxes of food on commodities day, March 27. 

Cars lined up along Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek, a place where excitement is usually generated by the city’s casinos. The line told a story of people in need.

In a time of fear and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, the line of people receiving food boxes reflects the effects of job losses due to the recent closure of the casinos.

On commodities day at the Aspen Mine Center in Cripple Creek, the staff handed out 255 boxes of food on March 27.

“We usually do 100 boxes,” said Ted Borden, director of the nonprofit organization. “There is a significant amount of senior citizens who have been laid off from the casinos.”

Therefore, the grant award of $20,000 from the Pikes Peak Community Foundation last week helped the staff breathe a little easier.

“There are positive things going on,” Borden said.

Funds for organization are part of the COVID-19 Cornavirus Emergency Relief Fund established by the foundation and its partners.

“In this kind of emergency the initial needs are the most critical,” said Gary Butterworth, CEO of PPCF, in a phone conversation. “The review committee is prioritizing basic human needs of food, shelter and access to health care, medical supplies and safety as a result of the impact of the coronavirus.”

Many of the boxes were filled with perishables, a result of the donations by Bronco Billy’s and Century casinos as well as the Cripple Creek/Victor School District.

In addition to the grant award, the center received $5,000 from the El Pomar Foundation.

In the meantime, Borden and the team are continuing to help residents with needs such as rent, mortgages, utilities, medication and food. “But the cool thing is that once the unemployment checks come in, in addition to the stimulus checks and tax returns, we think that will help,” Borden said.

Information on donating to the Teller County Emergency Relief Fund as well as applications for grant assistance are available at ppcf.org/relief.

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