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The Kitchen Help pays it forward

Facebook group brings Parachute together during the pandemic

Community volunteers help distribute meals during last weekends free lunches for truck drivers passing through Parachute as part of paying it forward through the Kitchen Help group. (Lynn Shore)

A social media page that started as a place to share recipes has grown to neighbors helping neighbors in the small western Garfield County community of Parachute and Battlement Mesa.

Tiffany Fenton said the idea came to her one day when she noticed all the food at the local stores had been picked over.

“We are already in a pretty food insecure area, add restaurants closing, and people losing their jobs,” Fenton said.

Fenton started The Kitchen Help Facebook page to share ideas about meals people could make with the food in their pantries, donate food to those in need, and share photos of things that make people happy.

A volunteer hands out Root Beer floats Tuesday in Parachute. (Lynn Shore)
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The day after starting the page Fenton went to several restaurants and purchased five meals, and went to the grocery store and filled five grocery bags and posted on the page.

In less than a month the page has more than 1,200 followers and is feeding local residents, recognizing front line workers, senior citizens and cheering up those who are down.

“It’s just random acts of kindness shooting from the hip, that has just taken off,” Fenton said.

A trucker picks up a meal at the rest area off of exit 75 last Saturday in Parachute. (Lynn Shore)
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The community of Parachute Battlement Mesa has rallied together — sewing, cooking, donating and distributing food, and volunteering.

“If someone has had a bad week we try to drop off some flowers, a gift certificate to the coffee shop, or something that gives them something to do later in the day to look forward to,” Fenton said.

Fenton and other volunteers have been going out doing a mobile ice cream social, handing out root beer floats to residents around town.

“Really everybody should be doing random acts of kindness, whether there is a crisis or not, we just need to be humans,” Fenton said. “I think over the years that piece has gotten lost in society.”

Cookies and Root Beer floats were given out Tuesday as part of The Kitchen Help’s push to pay forward good deeds during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Lynn Shore)
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Group member Amy Baysinger recently helped organize a feed the truckers event last Saturday at the rest area off of I-70 in Parachute.

Baysinger said more than 20 truckers came through, and then they opened it up to anyone in the community that wanted to come down and get a bag of food.

“It was nice to see the community come together,” Baysinger said.

Hoping to get the same reaction from residents in Rifle Baysinger, who runs an insurance agency in Rifle, started The Kitchen Help/Rifle last week.

Baysinger believes if it can take off in Rifle like it did in Parachute, that it could make its way up valley to Silt, New Castle and Glenwood Springs.

“This involves the whole community, you can bake or make something, buy lunch —whatever it is you’re helping the community,” Baysinger said.

kmills@postindependent.com


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