Marian House loses $5,000 in food donations after power outage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Marian House is still playing catch up after losing $5,000 worth of donated food.

After losing power in Monday’s windstorm, dairy items, produce and some meat products quickly spoiled in the refrigerators on site.

Though they normally offer a hot meal, on Wednesday the organization provided brown bag lunches for those who rely on their services.

“It’s just one of those things that unfortunately you can’t plan on a power outage,” said Rochelle Schlortt, the Chief Communications Officer with Catholic Charities.

Monday’s windstorm left Schlortt and dozens of volunteers to figure out how they were going to provide a meal for those in need.

“You get a sick feeling in your stomach clearly because you know that product is a donated product and for the most part we don’t have a budget to go out and purchase a lot of that,” said Schlortt.

Five refrigerators full of donated food had to be thrown out after the Marian House lost power for nearly 24 hours.

“We had to empty all 17 of our freezer units, get all of that frozen product taken off site to a safe storage while we came back cleaned, defrosted and sanitized all of the refrigerators and freezers,” said Schlortt.

Everything inside the refrigerators right now is a 3-day donation supply, most of which will be used Thursday, meaning their supply is essentially back down to nothing.

“We have protected the food that we have,” said Schlortt. “We are receiving donations now to replace a lot of that spoiled product.”

As far as this being preventable with something like a backup generator, the Marian House says the cost is just not within the budget.

“When we’re looking at spending money on a generator versus spending money on the food product to deliver a meal today or tomorrow, the choice for us is pretty easy because as you would imagine with charities the budgets are very very tight,” said Schlortt.

The organization says they plan on resuming normal service Thursday by providing a free hot meal.

>> Click here to learn more about the Marian House or get more information on donating.

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