New food pantry debuts in Rangely

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RANGELY | The Rio Blanco Human Resource Council is preparing to open their new Resource Pantry food bank at 743 East Main St. They began hosting a food drive on Tuesday with drop off locations at the Rangely Outdoor Museum, chamber of commerce, hospital and Pinyon Tree Liquor.

The pantry will be overseen by a five member board designated by the Resource Council and was the brain child of council member Konnie Billgren. Billgren said that she heard from a variety of companies and locals who wanted to donate money and goods to a Rangely food bank but were uncomfortable with a “lack of transparency” in the existing one.

Billgren says the new charitable organization will provide more than just food. They plan to offer personal hygiene products and some clothing as well as house Rangely’s Angel Tree program at Christmas time. They will also work with the New Eden Pregnancy Center, directing all baby items to them.

“We are trying to bring all needs to one cohesive, transparent location to serve the needs of Rangely,” Billgren said.

Funding for the new pantry will come from a variety of sources. The Rio Blanco County Commissioners have pledged to provide six months of building rent and Chevron has already donated. Billgren also plans to seek funding from Moffat County, as the bank will serve Dinosaur families as well.

For now the pantry is still looking for a few refrigerators and freezers as well as some shelving. They will begin accepting food donations on Tuesday and are currently working on achieving certified food bank status which will allow them to purchase food at heavily discounted rates.

The existing Rangely Food Bank, located at Rangely Assembly of God Church, plans to continue its normal operations and is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The bank recently appointed James Dillon Jr. as treasurer/secretary to their board and completed a fundraiser this spring which brought in more than $7,000.