The Rock church opens food bank in Castle Rock

People can donate and pick up supplies at The Rock

Jessica Gibbs
jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/9/20

People drove up to The Rock church, one after another, each with a unique story. Some had a quarantined loved one going through tough financial times, and they came to get that person food for the …

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The Rock church opens food bank in Castle Rock

People can donate and pick up supplies at The Rock

Posted

People drove up to The Rock church, one after another, each with a unique story.

Some had a quarantined loved one going through tough financial times, and they came to get that person food for the week. Others were a single parent who lost his or her job because of COVID-19. More were elderly, needing support for themselves, and sometimes, there on behalf of an elderly friend in need, too. People came alone, or with members of two to three different families packed in one car.

Whatever the reason, volunteers at the Castle Rock church wrote down any dietary restrictions, the number of people who needed food, packed up a box, and loaded it into vehicle after vehicle.

Lead Pastor Mike Polhemus said the nondenominational church started the drive-thru food bank on March 28, not sure what sort of turnout to expect. When 135 people came, the church decided to hold it again.

On April 4, volunteers sent 56 families, or 157 people total, home with enough food for three to four days. The church will hold the food bank from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday for as long as there is demand or as long as supplies last. Anyone in need can come.

“We just try to say, look, we're going to be here for you. This isn't a one-time thing,” Polhemus said.

Three days before the April 4 event, the church had enough food to serve about six people. Then donations started pouring in. Some community members wrote checks so The Rock could purchase supplies. Another Castle Rock church, Shine Church, heard about The Rock's efforts and joined in by donating supplies and volunteering.

On April 4, folding tables filled The Rock's lobby, each piled with dry goods, non-perishables and fresh produce. Chicken, steak, pasta, eggs, vegetables, toilet paper, toiletries and more were available.

Community members can drop off food or gift cards to restaurants and grocery stores at The Rock's main office at 4881 Cherokee Drive. Call 303-688-0777 for more information.

Polhemus said people are stepping up, which reinforces the mission behind the food bank — if you have been blessed during this uncertain time, he said, bless others.

“There is no part that is too small to play,” he said.

Annette Barnhart, a member of The Rock and church volunteer, was grateful the event allowed her to help a man with diabetes. A diabetic herself, Barnhart packed the man a box of supplies she knew he would need, like vegetables and foods high in protein.

“I was able to relate to that,” she said. “He was really appreciative.”

Mary and Wally Schmidt, who live at a senior center in town, picked up food for themselves but also to help feed their elderly neighbors and friends.

“I try to cook for many of the seniors in the center,” Mary said, explaining that usually entails a group of five people, some with dietary restrictions.

The couple is doing well amid the pandemic, but they are also lucky compared to some residents, they said, because not everyone at the center lives with a spouse who can keep them company.

Dan DeMey, lead pastor at Shine Church, said he heard about The Rock's food bank through a group of pastors who get together weekly to pray for the community. He felt touched by a woman brought to tears while picking up food. She didn't always need help, she told him, but right now she does.

He hopes the effort can help one person at a time, which he believes makes a difference. That's necessary, he said, when the pandemic is touching so many lives.

“This is bigger than what any one church handle,” he said.

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