IMG_0525During the holidays, many businesses want to give back to their communities. Often, the first thought when wanting to help food banks is to host a traditional, non-perishable food drive. Food Bank of the Rockies accepts food drive donations and encourages people to clean out their pantries and donate unwanted but still nutritious items, especially during large food drives through 9Cares Colorado Shares in the fall and summer and the National Association of Letter Carriers in the spring.

But because Food Bank of the Rockies can shop at wholesale or less through the Feeding America network and procure large donations from generous grocers, manufacturers, wholesalers and the agricultural community, we strongly encourage organizations to host virtual food drives rather than going out and purchasing food on our behalf. Hard earned funds can go much further when you let us do the “shopping.”

Every dollar raised allows our food bank to distributed five pounds of food, including perishable items like produce, dairy and meat. We’re good stewards of donor funds, receiving a BBB accreditation and 4-Star (highest) Charity Navigator rating. 96 cents of every dollar we receive goes to food distribution.

And virtual food drives are easy for organizations to host - just ask Slalom Consulting!

Slalom Consulting, a business and technology consulting firm, has had tremendous success hosting virtual food drives, raising nearly $15,000 over the past three years – enough to provide almost 60,000 meals and 75,000 pounds of food!

The Slalom Consulting team lives and works in the communities they serve, and strives to make them better and stronger. Knowing that many people along the Front Range struggle with hunger, they decided to focus their efforts on helping Food Bank of the Rockies.

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Since the team serves clients across the Front Range, and often doesn’t make it back to the office on a weekly basis, they decided to utilize the virtual food drive service provided by Food Bank of the Rockies. Through the virtual food drive, they were able to actively engage their team and clients to contribute from any location with an internet connection. Their team found the ease of contribution through the virtual food drive a key factor in their increased donations year over year.

It has also lead to increased awareness and participation in their onsite service days volunteering at the food bank warehouse. The added benefit of the virtual food drive is that Food Bank of the Rockies, in conjunction with their community partners, is better able to source and meet the needs of those struggling to put food on their tables within our community.

“Based on Slalom’s experience with the ease of setup, maintenance, and contributions through the virtual food drive, I encourage  businesses and organizations to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Joseph Kennedy, client service lead at Slalom Consulting. “We can all have a direct and lasting impact on food scarcity across the Front Range community.”

Food Bank of the Rockies is grateful for Slalom Consulting and the tremendous results they've achieved through hosting virtual food drives!

If your organization would like to learn more about hosting a virtual food drive or partnering with us, please visit our Community Partners page. And if you’re ready to get started on your drive, here’s the link.

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Mark’s Story – Holiday Hope

Mark-11-14 2Mark volunteers at FBR’s Denver warehouse.  He shared with us that just last winter, his family needed food assistance.  His story is a great example of why our staff comes to work every day and how contributions to FBR truly change lives.

After a serious car accident, Mark found himself unable to work.  His family couldn't make ends meet on his wife’s nursing salary alone.  With mounting health bills, hungry children to feed and winter’s utility bills filling the mailbox, they knew they needed to find help. And help came in the form of food from Food Bank of the Rockies. That nourishment provided not only peace of mind, but also a chance for the family to get back on their feet without going hungry.

Mark believes people should give back to each other and that’s why he’s sharing his time volunteering in our warehouse.  We’re glad Mark’s story has a happy ending and grateful to all who help us by giving time, food and funds.  1 in 7 Coloradans are going through struggles similar to Mark’s and worry where they’ll find their next meal. Your gifts make more of a difference than you could imagine to hungry men, women and children in our community.

Thank you for your support! Together we can solve hunger.

We are Thankful for Each and Every One of You!

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Kevin SeggelkeEarlier this year, Food Bank of the Rockies had the pleasure of meeting young Hannah.  This thoughtful five-year-old, barely taller than one of our food barrels, saved her allowance and brought in $12 to share with hungry kids. We gave her a tour, took her photo and let her know the $12 dollars she gave would provide 48 meals for kids in need.  And we thanked her, expressing our gratitude for her compassion and for her family, who encouraged her to share.

Each time I visit one of our programs or one of our partner agencies, it reminds me of how truly blessed I am.  I can go to the grocery store and pick up the food I want, without thinking too much about the cost. The people waiting in line to put food on their tables don’t have that luxury.  I’ve met many with health issues that drained their savings and ended their ability to make a living.  I’ve met many more who work very hard, but still don’t make enough to cover the cost of necessities.  I’ve met seniors, struggling on low fixed incomes. And I’ve heard stories of children, creatively finding ways to feed not only themselves, but also their siblings, even their parents, by bringing home other kid’s leftovers or stuffing ketchup packets in their pockets. We know Hannah’s gift makes a difference to them.

The food we’re able to distribute every day makes life a little more bearable for our hungry neighbors.  We believe no one should go hungry and we are grateful for all our contributors.  From Hannah’s $12 to the five and six-figure gifts from humanitarians and organizations that have the available means, every gift means an opportunity for these men, women and children to have something to eat.

This holiday season, we are thankful for everyone who contributed time, resources and funds towards our mission. We are grateful for parents who teach their children to share and to volunteer. We are humbled by those of you who give, even when you don’t have much abundance.  We are blessed by those of you who have much to give and we’re glad you’ve chosen to help our mission.  We are thankful for you all and will continue to use your gifts wisely.  Together we can fight hunger!

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and many blessings in the New Year,

Kevin first name tight

 

 

 

Kevin

Colin

colin-smallerOn a windy, sunny October afternoon, we met Colin and his daughter while they were picking up food at Chapel Hill Church, a member agency food pantry who relies on Food Bank of the Rockies for much of their food. His daughter reads quietly in a comfy chair while Colin, a soft-spoken, hard-working family man, agrees to share his story with us.  He and his wife have three young children.  He works very hard at what he describes as a “hands-on” job, 60+ hours a week, yet doesn’t make enough to always make ends meet.  They struggle to pay the bills. Colin tells us daycare is almost as much as rent. “It’s expensive, like renting a second apartment just for the kids,” he says.  His wife stays home with the kids because daycare would actually cost them her entire paycheck plus part of his.

“With the increase in food costs, we’re having trouble getting by right now. The food program has been a huge help. We can keep the food on the table and keep the lights on for the kids.”   His family returns items they can’t use and donates the kids’ clothes after they outgrow them because he says, “Someone out there is always going to be hungry. Someone out there always needs a little helping hand.” Even while needing help themselves, Colin and his family continue to think about giving back to others and returning the favors that have been given to them.

Watch his interview:

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The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that Hunger Is, their joint charitable initiative to fight childhood hunger in America, has awarded over $1.3 million in grants to 198 local charities to connect hungry children living in neighborhoods to healthy food throughout the country.

The Hunger Is campaign kicked off in April with a month-long, in-store fundraiser in more than 1,300 Safeway stores across the U.S. Additional funds were generated through online donations at HungerIs.org. Managers from each participating store nominated a local food or hunger charity serving their immediate community. The selected charities received $1,000 for each nomination.

27 Safeway managers across the state nominated Food Bank of the Rockies to receive the award.  This morning, managers and representatives from Safeway visited the food bank for a tour and awarded FBR with a $27,000 check, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday!

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We are so grateful for this generous contributions and being nominated by the mangers.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to Safeway stores and the foundation, EIF and all the grocery shoppers and Safeway team members for making it possible for FBR to distribute 108,000 more  meals to our community!

Beverly

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We met Beverly at the Salvation Army in Grand Junction where she was picking up food distributed through TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program), a program of the USDA. Beverly told us she’s in remission from a rare form of cancer. After intensive chemo treatments, her bones and blood are compromised and now, after a lifetime of helping others, she is unable to work.

She also deals with an ostomy and getting the right combination of foods to prevent issues means her diet is limited. “It’s easier to tell you what I can safely eat,” she tells us. “No canned or fresh fruits or vegetables, very limited grains, mostly just potatoes and chicken.”


Beverly lives in a housing complex for elderly and disabled. She only qualifies for $50 of SNAP benefits each month, so she depends on help from the Salvation Army and Food Bank of the Rockies. “We need to take care of our disabled and less fortunate. Because of my health, I have to depend on the charity of others. If people don’t help, then people like me are going to be out of luck.”  Beverly is appreciative of the help she receives and we thank her for sharing her story with us.

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IMG_1694November 4, thirteen Colorado hospitality organizations and 630 industry professionals joined forces for the 21st Annual Serving Up Hope Luncheon. Their efforts will provide more than 96,000 meals for Food Bank of the Rockies’ Denver’s Table program. Serving Up Hope is sponsored by the Meetings Industry Council (MIC) of Colorado, a coalition of professional meetings industry-related organizations.

Chefs from local hotels and restaurants provided mouthwatering appetizers, entrées and desserts. Culinary awards were given to range New American West for Best Appetizer, The Renaissance Denver Hotel for Best Entrée, and Panzano for Best Dessert, The People’s Choice award for presentation went to Denver Marriott City Center.

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The annual food drive competition between the thirteen MIC organizations also brought in 26,161 pounds of food in addition to the $24,000 raised by the luncheon. Awards for the most food donated per member were given to two organizations – Christian Meetings and Conventions Association (CMCA) for the organization with less than 125 members and Professional Convention Management Association Rocky Mountain Chapter (PCMA) for the organization with more than 125 members.

Thank you to all the attendees, organizations and culinary experts for making this a wonderful event possible and for feeding hope to our neighbors in need this holiday season!

Congratulations Ron Torpy, Our 7 Everyday Hero!

When you think of heroes, you might visualize someone in uniform, maybe even someone wearing a cape and tights, but when the team at Food Bank of the Rockies thinks about a hero, we think about Ron Torpy, our long-time volunteers and truly a hero to the hungry in our community.

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Come visit our reclamation area Monday - Wednesday, and even a few Saturdays, and you're likely to find Ron there, sorting food, lifting boxes and helping the other volunteers with questions.  Ron, a retired letter carrier, will tell you he enjoys the physical activity and keeping in shape.  And we're sure glad he does. Since 2003, Ron has contributed more than 13,400 hours - the equivalent of 6 1/2 years of full time work!

We were so excited when 7 News' Mitch Jelniker surprised Ron with a visit to the food bank during one of his volunteer shifts to present him with a 7 Everyday Hero award.

Thank you Ron for all you do to help us fight hunger.  You are truly deserving of this honor and we're so grateful to have you as a volunteer!

Watch Ron's story on Channel 7's webpage.

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A Perfect Day for Panerathon

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On a crisply beautiful September morning, runners laced up their shoes, some even leashed up their pups, to walk, jog, run and race through the 5 and 10K courses for this year’s Panerathon.

 

DSC00935Kids joined Colorado Rapids mascot, Franz the Fox and Shoe Dog, the Dalmatian from Road Runner Sports, for the fun run.  Participants enjoyed face painting, games, vendor samples and of course, delicious food and drink from the local Panera.

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Thank you to our main sponsors, Panera Bread, Panera Catering and Nationwide, all our sponsors, vendors and to everyone who participated and volunteered.  This year’s event will provide nearly 40,000 meals for our community.

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September is Hunger Action Month

Kevin SeggelkeI’m enjoying the last days of summer outdoors in our beautiful state, knowing soon it will be fall and before we know it, winter.  As you enjoy the last few weeks of summer, please remember Hunger Action Month this September.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, you only think about hunger when you read our newsletters or see a report on TV.  But for those who aren't so lucky, thinking about hunger could happen daily.  1 in 7 Coloradans are struggling with food insecurity and 1 in 4 children live in these households.  They need our help. That’s why Food Bank of the Rockies is joining our fellow Feeding America food banks across the state and around the country to take action because we all believe no one should go hungry.  Can you join us?

Together, we can solve hunger.   Your support and action are much appreciated this September and all year long. Warm regards, Kevin first name tight     Kevin