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.

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

Nestled amidst pine trees, rolling hills and rock outcroppings, Sanctuary Golf Course is arguably one of the most beautiful courses in the country.  And once again, golfers gathered to play the challenging course and rub shoulders with sports celebrities for the 17th Annual Joe Sakic Celebrity Classic. What a perfect day to enjoy the spectacular scenery while helping to support FBR’s children’s programs.  We appreciate all the golfers who played in the tournament, organizations who purchased foursomes, 104.3 The Fan for promoting and broadcasting live during the event, and of course Joe Sakic and sponsor, RE/MAX, LLC.

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The following evening, attendees gathered at the Hyatt Denver Tech Center for Bringing Hope to the Table, an elegant evening filled with stunt comedy from America’s Got Talent’s Max Winfrey (and our very own President and CEO, Kevin Seggelke), music from Jake Schroeder and Jim Dalton, a live and silent auctions, delicious food and fun. Marc Moser from Altitude Radio Network, emceed the event.  This amazing evening was made possible in large part, thanks to Joe and Debbie Sakic and our main sponsor, CoBank.

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Nearly 1 in 4 Colorado children live in food insecure households. Contributions and proceeds from all who participated in these two events, make it possible to provide more than one million meals through Totes of Hope™ - Children, Kids Cafe, and After School Snacks!

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And everyone at the food bank sends an enormous THANK YOU to Joe and Debbie Sakic for the millions of meals you’ve provided to Colorado kids over the last 17 years.  Your kindness and generosity are immeasurable and we appreciate your continued partnership more than you can imagine!

An Onion Story That Won’t Make You Cry

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Paul Bockman picks up a newly harvested onion and chops off the green leaves. “Look at all that juice,” he says, pointing to the freshly cut top. “These are really sweet too.”

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This morning, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Council Members Marsha Berzins and Bob LeGare and Food Bank of the Rockies’ Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Janie Gianotsos visited Paul and his son as they started harvesting a ton of onions and potatoes. Paul uses just 1,440 square feet of ground, built with raised beds, each fitted with  a few rows of irrigation tubes. “I water each section for four minutes a day,” Paul tells us and then humbly responds, “Anybody can do this.”

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Bockman, 81, definitely has the green thumb. He’s been gardening his whole life and has a wealth of knowledge on how to grow a successful crop.

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Paul started growing the bulbs to sell to Chili’s five years ago. When Chili’s decided to go with a cheaper option last year, Paul chose to donate the produce to Food Bank of the Rockies. This year, he planted the crops specifically for the food bank. “It really bothers me that so many people are hungry,” Paul says. “You can grow a lot of food in a small space.” He wishes more gardeners would grow food to help feed people in need.

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FBR is grateful to Paul and his son for taking the time and energy to plant, grow and harvest these beautiful onions and potatoes for our community. His efforts this summer will make a lot of people very happy. Thank you Paul!

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Pedaling to Feed Kids

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On August 1, 2014, Michael McAllister, CEO and Founder of The CE Shop and CE Shop Foundation and Virgil Seibold, Vice President of Human Resources for The CE Shop began their journey to pedal 975 miles from Fargo, ND to Denver, CO raising money for children’s backpack programs across the nation, including Food Bank of the Rockies’ Totes of Hope™ - Children. Their goal was to raise enough to provide 2,000 backpacks to kids and their families.

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Today, they rolled into Food Bank of the Rockies’ parking lot, tired but smiling from ear to ear. Greeted by family, friends and team members from The CE Shop and FBR, these generous men with really big hearts took a few minutes to share what they observed on their adventure. “There are more kind, caring, and generous people in this great land than anything else, and one by one, or together we can make a difference!” they told the welcoming crowd.

We couldn’t agree more! Thank you Michael and Virgil, for not only being kind, caring and generous, but also for taking action and embarking on this journey. Your efforts will truly make a difference in the lives of hungry children and their families.

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Read more about their adventures at bikeforbackpacks.com.

Something Fishy in the Warehouse

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Quixotic Farming, has made a donation of over 8,000 lbs of  tilapia products to our Denver warehouse.

Raised in indoor, aboveground tanks, the tilapia on Quixotic Farming’s local farms in Colorado and Missouri live a life free of growth hormones, chemicals and antibiotics.

The tilapia’s life cycle, which all takes place here in the United States, is traceable from farm to table. Also, as part of the company’s dedication to sustainable farming, each tank is equipped with a state-of-the-art filtration and recirculation system that filters and reuses the water, and allows for the fish to thrive in a constantly flowing environment.

When Quixotic Farming decided to make its donation, they were excited to get the chance to share  with those facing challenges in Colorado.

"We are just happy we can give back to the community, and donate this safe source of quality protein to those in need," said Eric Ely, National Sales Director for Quixotic Farming.

The six pallets of product includes 11,800 units of tilapia cakes, which will help feed more than 23,600 Coloradans.