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Much of Colorado’s economy is booming. But not everyone is experiencing this tremendous growth. For many in our community, earning enough to put food on the table is still a struggle. And in our service area, where oil and gas are key industries for good paying jobs, many families are experiencing lay-offs and reduced wages. FBR and our partner agencies are seeing lines for food assistance growing longer, especially during the winter months.

We are so grateful PCL construction realized the need and recently contributed funds to provide 40,000 meals to the community. This contribution couldn’t have come at a better time.

“PCL Construction has, as its core values, a commitment to our community. Our employee owners at PCL Construction in Denver strongly believe in giving back and supporting the future growth of the community in which we work,” said Frank M. Terrasi, Vice President & District Manager, PCL Construction Denver.

This donation will provide sorely needed funds for us to continue feeding families across our service area and help them have a brighter new year. Thank you to PCL for your generous gift!

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Vance made a contribution in honor of his mother during our Mix 100 Marathon.  We are so grateful not only for his contribution, but also for the touching story he shared with us.  We think it illustrates the spirit of giving and wanted to share Vance's story with all our supporters!

 

Vance

I made this donation in honor of my mother on the occasion of her 83rd birthday. She is now living with my sister and my brother-in-law, so she doesn't need a lot of presents and I felt this donation would be a much more appropriate celebration of her birthday.  

I remember when I was about 4 years old. My father was a taxi driver and he almost always took his daily earnings and went to bars and drank or gambled the money away. On one particular evening, my mother sent us to bed (after eating only bread) while she herself went without eating because there was no food and she didn't have any money to buy groceries. Later that evening, another taxi driver came to the house, woke us (the children) and drove all of us to Safeway. He told my mother he knew my dad had lost all of his money for several days and this kind man correctly suspected we were not being taken care of at home. 

So...he bought us all steaks and potatoes and salad and dessert!!! 

Amazing guy, amazing feeling, and an incredible lesson for me about taking care of others in need. I have tried to live by that feeling and to create that feeling for others who might be less fortunate than I am. 

I now live in Switzerland and have an excellent life. Technology is so great, I can listen to Mix 100 and the annual marathon, even while residing in Switzerland.  I am thrilled with the work Dom Testa does in getting people excited about Food Bank of the Rockies.

It would be fantastic if you could send an "acknowledgement" to my mother to let her know about the donation in her name. My mother doesn't listen to Mix 100 so she wouldn't know about how my memories of her going without dinner herself have now turned into so much good and 4,000 meals!

 

 

Thank you Vance! What a wonderful gift and tribute to you mother. No doubt she’s very proud of the kind person she raised. We’re delighted to hear you now have an excellent life and are able to help others. Because of you, families struggling with hunger will also have a chance for a brighter holidays and a better future!

snowflake-ornaments-redHonor Gift Contributions with eCards is an Easy-to-Give Gift that will Feed Hungry Families!

Consider sending honorary contributions and holiday themed eCards to let your dear ones know you care this season.

Giving an honor gift is easy!

  • Visit our holiday contribution form online
  • Choose your contribution amount and enter your credit card information
  • Select your card theme
  • Fill in a personal message
  • Type in the email for your recipient(s)
  • Process your contribution and the eCard will go out automatically

Imagine getting all your holiday giving done in one click! You can even email more than one recipient on the same contribution form as long as the card message is the same.

Every dollar you share with us in honor of someone special will provide four meals for hungry men, women and children in our community.  

Get started today. Simply click the link below to go directly to our Holiday eCard contribution form.

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The Holidays.  While some of us tend to get a little stressed with all the “goings on”, it’s still a time to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives.  A friend recently pointed out to me how fortunate he is to have enough money, time and flexibility to deal with an untimely car repair. He told me that dealing with this made him think about many of our food bank clients and how something unexpected--a minor annoyance for some--could throw families living on the edge into a world of struggle.  The things many of us take for granted - reliable transportation, money for heat, a living wage, health, a safe place to call home - are simple blessings some of our neighbors don’t have.

At the food bank, we count our blessings every day! The contributions of food and essentials from businesses, farmers, wholesalers and ranchers, the monetary and volunteer gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations, these all allow us the ability to share hope in the form of a meal.  Thank you for helping us make the holidays, as well as all the other days of the year, a little less stressful for families barely getting by! We can only provide nourishment to families in need because you care.

This holiday season, I wish you the joys and comforts of good food, safe travels, a warm home, health, peace and happiness. If you are blessed, thank you for sharing a little of your abundance with hungry families.  And if you know a family in need this holiday, please refer them to Food Bank of the Rockies to find help and hope.  No one should go hungry!

Warm regards for a wonderful season of sharing,

Kevin Seggelke

 

 

 

Kevin

Wanda’s Story

IMG_3893It's a bright, sunshiny day as the food bank van rolls down the street to a small home in central Denver.  Peggy, FBR's driver is coming to visit Wanda and bring monthly USDA commodities made possible through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) administered by FBR. She also brings other items including some fresh produce, bread and even a bag of pet food for Wanda's furry companions.  Wanda's face lights up as Peggy walks up the steps.

Wanda worked for the city for many years, taking public transportation to and from her job and counting on her husband to do the additional driving. Living for many years on a fixed income and now widowed, she's home-bound and relies on help from Food Bank of the Rockies for her groceries.

"Sometimes I don't have the money to get food, so it's really important to me. I'm so happy to know we have the food bank. I'm so grateful for that," she tells us.

Wanda is one of more than 411,000 people in our service area who don't always know where their next meal is coming from. We're grateful for the support we receive from the USDA, food and fund donors and volunteers - making it possible to share nourishment and provide hope to struggling families.

Watch Wanda share her story.

Your gifts help Wanda and others like her. $1 = 4 meals!

Happy Trails to Olive Crawford

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People come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime.  For those who worked or volunteered with Food Bank of the Rockies anytime in the past 32 years, chances are, their lives have been touched by Olive Crawford.

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With both joy and sadness, on September 30, we wished Olive a bittersweet “Happy Trails” as she headed off for new adventures, retiring after 30 years as a paid team member and 32 years total if you count her volunteer time before she was officially hired.

Olive dedicated her time to many jobs with FBR, but the one we’ll remember her for most is her role as Volunteer Supervisor.  FBR relies heavily on volunteers to help distribute tens of millions of pounds of food each year.  More than 12,000 individuals contribute 130,000+ hours and Olive was responsible for making sure each and every one of them was on task, informed and had a memorable experience with us. She was amazing at her job and loved by both staff and volunteers.

Life hasn’t been easy for Olive. Struggling with poverty and hunger as a child and again as a young single mother, she understands why it’s important to give back. “I guess there were times I needed help,” she explains, holding back the tears. “And there were folks that helped me, and so I want to give back.”

Her past experiences may be the reason her compassion and understanding emanated throughout the food bank. You could always count on Olive to share a few words of kindness and a bit of motherly advice. FBR won’t be the same without her.

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“I tried it at 70 and I wasn’t ready,” she says about retiring. “And now I can tell it’s time.” At 74, we know Olive deserves to take a break from full time work and enjoy new adventures.

Reflecting on her work with FBR, Olive says, " It's a wonderful gift." We all feel the same about the devotion and joy Olive brought to her work at the food bank.

Thank you Olive, for putting your heart and soul into to feeding hungry families for three decades.  You are already missed beyond words and wished many “Happy Trails” ahead.

Watch Kathy Walsh’s coverage of Olive’s retirement on CBS4.

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What’s So Special about a Spoon?

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It’s hard to say how long spoons have been around.  They’ve been discovered with ancient Egyptian artifacts, unearthed with treasures from the Neolithic civilizations and found with relics used during the Shang Dynasty.

Spoons represent different ideas and cultures - “A Spoonful of Sugar.” “Born with a silver spoon in his mouth.” Spoons are units of measure – teaspoons, tablespoons. Some people collect souvenir spoons. Spoons can even be used as musical instruments.

But mostly spoons represent access to the most basic nourishment - a warm cup of soup, a hearty bowl of oatmeal, a simple dish of rice and beans, all consumed with a spoon.  And as we know, too many neighbors and families don’t always have food for their spoons.

This September is Hunger Action month, a time to reflect on hunger, take action and encourage others to make a difference too.  Food Bank of the Rockies, along with our fellow Feeding America food banks, is promoting “Spoontember” during Hunger Action Month.  We’re sporting orange, the color of Hunger Action Month and having fun with spoons by sharing selfies, balancing them on our nose. But what we’re really doing is bringing attention to hunger and reminding people they can make a difference, no matter how small.

Food banks across the country hear far too many stories of hard working people, seriously ill people, children in poverty, seniors on fixed incomes, all struggling to have enough to eat.  Together we can help them have food for their spoons, food for their health and food for their souls. By giving back, whether it’s through volunteering, calling Congress, sharing social media or contributing funds, you can brighten the lives of these families.

So thank you for participating in Spoontember and Hunger Action Month.  A simple, silly act can have a big impact. Through contributions of food, funds and time, families can be nourished.  Together we can solve hunger.

Honeymoon on 45th Avenue

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Food Bank of the Rockies enjoys many volunteers passing through Colorado from other parts of the country, but it’s not often we get to meet them on their honeymoon. Tim and Carrie-Lynn are no strangers to food banking. They met while volunteering at Greater Chicago Food Depository, a fellow Feeding America food bank. Now they’re both employed by the organization and even held their wedding reception in the food bank’s community room.

They love the mountains and decided to visit Colorado for their honeymoon.  On their way back to the airport, they had a few extra hours to spare and since Food Bank of the Rockies was right along the route, they spent their morning volunteering with us.

Carrie-Lynn is a big believer in giving back. She coordinates volunteers at the Chicago food bank and also volunteers through the White Sox Volunteer Corps. Carrie-Lynn shared that not only does she make a difference for the people and organizations she helps; she also gets so much joy back in return for herself.

Thank you Tim and Carrie-Lynn for sharing your time with us during your honeymoon and for emblemizing the spirit and dedication of volunteers everywhere who help make the world a much better place. We wish you many happy years together!

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Do All Kids Deserve to Eat?

A message from Kevin Seggelke, President & CEO, Food Bank of the Rockies

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As school starts up and summer ends, many families feel relief.  Not just because their kids are busy studying, but also because free and reduced cost school lunches and maybe even breakfasts are available again.  Nearly 1 in 4 kids in Colorado live in families struggling to pay for food. That’s too many. This fall, Congress will decide if these kids deserve to eat breakfast, lunch and even dinner through programs funded with the help of the USDA.

When Congress votes on Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) this fall, we need them to recognize the importance of these programs. Hungry kids can’t achieve what nourished kids can. Healthy, well-fed kids have a better chance to be happy, productive adults. We simply can’t afford to let kids go hungry.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides federal funds to after-school programs serving meals and healthy snacks to children during the school year. Food Bank of the Rockies serves our Kids Cafe dinners and snacks with the assistance of CACFP. Our summer lunches feed thousands of kids across our service area with help from the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Without the USDA assistance for these programs, many kids would go hungry. We are especially concerned about summer food access and issues faced by food banks and other organizations providing this food.

Congress needs to know:

  • Nearly 22 million children nationally receive free and reduced school lunch but less than 1 in 5 of these children receive summer lunch, with rural areas hit especially hard. In Colorado, 91% of the 253,000 children receiving free or reduced lunches during the school year don’t receive a summer lunch.
  • Currently, food banks and other nonprofits must operate afterschool and summer feeding sites through two different programs with two sets of administrative requirements. CACFP and SFSP serve the same kids the same meals, often at the same locations. Combining administrative processes, reducing unnecessary paperwork and aligning these programs would allow providers to focus on feeding hungry kids with consistent nutrition all year long.
  • Rural families would benefit from a summer child EBT program and meal options allowing kids to eat meals at home rather than requiring logistically difficult congregate feeding.
  • The program was passed 40 years ago to close the summer meal gap. Improvements are sorely needed to ensure children in hard-to-reach areas have access to nutritious and healthy meals.

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It’s appropriate this bill comes to the floor in September as we recognize Hunger Action Month.  Action couldn’t be more important. We need Congress to act on behalf of our children and we need our supporters to reach out now to their Senators and Representative.  Can you be our advocate? Tell Congress no child in our great country deserves to go hungry.  Working families need help.  Ask them to fund and improve these child nutrition programs so critical for thriving children and a bright future.

Thank you for supporting our efforts and championing the fight to feed our children.  We won’t rest until every hungry child in our service area is nourished. Together we can solve hunger.

Warm regards,

Kevin first name tight

Michael and Virgil Biked for Backpacks!

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Michael and Virgil have strong legs. They also have big hearts. This dynamic duo pedaled from the Denver Tech Center over the mountains to Vail and back on a 5-day adventure to feed kids.  This is their second year supporting Bike for Backpacks, a cross country bike tour to raise awareness and provide food for hungry kids by supporting food bank backpack programs through the CE Shop Foundation. In our service area, their efforts will support Totes of Hope® - Children through Food Bank of the Rockies.

With nearly 1 in 4 kids in Colorado living in food insecure homes, these programs are an important way to ensure kids have nutritious food, especially when school meals are not available. Food Bank of the Rockies funds these programs entirely through donations and funds are greatly appreciated to help these hungry little ones.

The pair celebrated another successful year by wrapping up their ride with a fundraiser at Slattery’s in Greenwood Village. They were greeted by many friends and supporters, including sponsors Realtor® University, National Association of Realtors®, The CE Shop and V Bar. Tired, but smiling, they continued to champion their cause and spread the message that kids should not go hungry.

Thank you Michael and Virgil for your generous spirit and for making a difference in the lives of hungry kids. We appreciate your kindness!

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