Pantry’s Vegan, gluten-free delight offers conscious eats

on Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Paisley Pantry is a beacon of hope for transformation in nutritious, health paisley-pantry-slide-01-1024x768conscious eating. Housed at The Market at the Kitchen, a.k.a. community kitchen, 1625 W. Uintah St. Suite. J in Colorado Springs, the pantry also hosts similar food items from local businesses.
The foods at the kitchen are made with love, and supplied to local retailers and restaurants such as pies at Seeds Community CafĂ©.
“One way I show love is through my food, and my passion is making good food,” said Teresa Hickman, pantry owner. “There’s no reason why a person who is gluten free should not have good food.”
The extensive gluten free foods are convent and healthy, as such a diet cited to relieve so called brain fog in patients with Celiac disease. A gluten free diet aids in healthy brain functioning among other nutritious foods.
Hickman understands the inconvenience of food allergies, as she suffered from an oral allergy syndrome. The passion for healthy foods is shared by her family. Hickman’s husband bottles salsa, and her son-in-law and daughter run a cupcake truck along with renting space in the kitchen.
The shared kitchen space is ample for collaboration and taste testing. The craft of food creation is challenged with mixing gluten free flours, egg replacement, and high altitude cooking.
The Pantry participates in the Local Motive, a social impact company providing solutions the local food economy. Founder Chris Dwyer’s LinkedIn page states: “My professional focus has always been about putting people, organizations, values and money to work for transformative causes.”

Social impact in veteran housing merges at coffee shop

on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Suri Ridge Coffee House is ready to serve – Coffee drinks and sociIMG_20160404_154255008_HDRoeconomics. The veteran owned shop is home toVeterans Support Solutions (VSS) with an aim to reduce the homeless veteran population in El Paso County.
The low-profit limited liability company, L3C, at 656 Peterson Rd. in Colorado Springs, is poised for strides in social impact. The coffee house near the World Golf at Sand Creek Golf Course, outside of Peterson Air Force Base often sees homeless persons standing with help signs at an off ramp close to the base gate. A situation common in Colorado Springs with a downtown sit-lie ordinance or Pedestrian Access Act (watch the video).
Though not founded in the city, the coffee house was established in Falcon, Colorado, with efforts to aid military veteran homeless population in emergency transitional housing is key. Suri Ridge Coffee House is an independent military veteran owned coffee house dedicated to ranchers, military member, and coffee aficionados.
Although veteran homelessness may be on the decline, some states may see a higher number.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.), “The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, prepared by HUD, estimates there were 49,933 homeless veterans on a single night in January 2014 in the United States, a 10 percent decline since 2013 and a 33 percent decline since 2010.”
The VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families rehoused 75 percent of participants nationwide in fiscal year 2013.
Of chief priority to the coffee house is the local VSS programs to aid homeless veterans in transition including: VSSTrack – Civilian Support Services, AxisPoint – Veterans Housing Solutions, VSSVillages – Veteran Tiny House Clusters. Programs are a fresh start to alleviate veteran homelessness, still a veteran’s willingness to participate is another matter.
A veteran’s acceptance of help and trust over someone living on the streets is key, said Tami Donaldson, coffee shop owner and VSS founder. The transition from street life takes 90-120 days, and another six to 18 months, depending on an individual, to fully transition, according to Donaldson.
The company along with the ranching aspect is similar to other sustainable food efforts among Colorado Springs. The similarity begs the question will a solid link be made Colorado between farmers and veterans that is unified through food?

Independent living in a one-stop shop

on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Independence Center in Colorado Springs is anIMG_20160328_145211741 epicenter of programs and advocacy supporting the elderly, disabled, and veterans in independent life transitions.
“Independence means being a complete human being,” said Vicki Skoog, founder of the center tells Disability Life. It isn’t enough to just direct your own life to be truly independent. You have to contribute to others.”
Skoog, a quadriplegic, had a hand in developing the inclusion movement, a.k.a. disability rights and studies. Inclusion is a universal design for policy oriented physical accessibility issues with the aim toward cultural transformation.
With an emphasis in healthcare and transportation, Skoog created the center, a nonprofit from home that, in the 2014 Annual Report, reached $10,700,844 in revenue, and advocating wins in public transportation.
Skoog’s predecessor Patricia Yeager, holds 30 years of experience in supporting the independent living movement. Under her leadership, the center participates with other organizations in The Colorado Healthcare Foundation’s pilot program Colorado Linkage Lab. The program connects the healthcare sector, long-term care, and support for the elderly and disabled. Sessions are occurring throughout the state with the last session May 11, 2017.
“We believe that the health care sector will be interested in keeping re-admissions low through the utilization of transitional programs and services that address ‘social determinants of health’ for persons with disabilities,” said Yeager in The Gazette Nonprofit News article.
In addition to the center’s home health care services, the center’s veteran program served its’ first client in February, according to Ashley Billington, veterans coach.
The center offers peer specialists that develop an individual care plan for clients that tour the facility walking door to door to discuss resources such as: Assistive living technology, assistance in applying for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, community organizing in advocacy to remove barriers to independent living, deaf and hard of hearing services, affordable and accessible housing, employment support, living skills classes, referral services, outreach, peer support and volunteer services.
Support groups are also offered such as a caretaker and traumatic brain injury. Resources aid the independence of individuals toward self-sustainment.