The Herb Hut Free Clinic, a La Plata County nonprofit, received 3,000 pounds of multivitamins this week that it intends to hand out to local residents in need – free.
The Herb Hut has a clinic on wheels that travels from town to town offering herbal medicine consultations and herbs. In doing that work, founder Kate Husted primarily serves people without health insurance and who face other barriers to health, such as food insecurity.
That’s where multivitamins come in.
“Ever since I started this work, it’s been really clear that being able to hand out vitamins ... would be really helpful to people who aren’t getting a lot of variation in their diet,” Husted said. “It’s been part of my hope to get vitamins donated to us that we can hand out for free.”
That hope turned into reality when Arcadia Consumer Healthcare donated 10,000 bottles of multivitamins to the nonprofit.
“I have one pallet worth of vitamins stored in my house,” Husted said, which she roughly estimated was about 60 cubic feet in size.
“My original estimate was that this might last us around two years, but actually, I don’t know. We’ll see,” she said. “Hopefully, it goes faster than that.”
The Herb Hut holds herbal medicine clinics on alternating Thursdays at Manna, a Durango soup kitchen, and the camp for people living homeless along La Posta Road (County Road 213) at Purple Cliffs. It also holds two clinics a month for Spanish-speakers and one clinic at Pine River Shares in Bayfield each month. Each clinic serves an average of seven people.
It typically reaches homeless, immigrant, Indigenous, disabled and addicted communities, but Husted said she won’t turn anyone away.
Manna, Pine River Shares and Four Corners Mutual Aid chapters in Durango and Cortez are also helping to distribute and store the vitamins.
“I feel so relieved and excited,” Husted said. “I’ve had so many clients ask me, ‘Do you have vitamins?’ I’m just excited to be able to say yes.”