We love our friends at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage!
Not only are they saving the world one bag at a time, they’re also helping us feed hope and nourish our neighbors. Natural Grocers does not offer plastic or paper bags. Shoppers can bring in their own bags or use recycled boxes provided by the store. Every time you bring in your own bags while shopping, Natural Grocers makes a contribution to Food Bank of the Rockies! This year we’ll be able to distribute 56,000 meals to the community because of this generous program. And that’s in addition to funds raised for Check Out Hunger - a program to help us fund our Children’s Programs.
Thank you Natural Grocers for caring about the 1 in 7 people struggling to put food on the table and our environment too. And thank you to all the shoppers who bring in their bags. Every bag credit makes a difference to our hungry neighbors. Together we can solve hunger!
Thank you to guest blogger Rhonda Richmond, EdD who shared her story about growing up in poverty. We were moved by what she shared and hope you will be too.
My grandmother raised me in Denver, CO. She was a maid; a foster mother and she raised most of my siblings and cousins. It was not uncommon for there to be anywhere from 13 to 18 people (mostly children) in our home at one time. We often received food baskets, used Commodities and got food from the food bank. I cannot express to you how thankful I am that groups like you are around to fill the gap.
I also get defensive about the need for people to have food. I remember one year, I was in college and a gentleman began telling the class how hunger in America was a choice. He said that people, who are poor, choose to be poor and for that reason, we should stop giving them stuff to make them want a hand out. I remember how bitter those statements made me on the inside. Then I realized that he had never experienced poverty or hunger in his entire life. He never knew what it means not to have the basic things one needs to survive from day to day. Of course he could call it a choice, he had never felt the whip of the violence that poverty is.
My grandmother (single with only a 4th grade education – a former cotton picker) had known poverty her entire life. She raised us not to think of the things we needed to survive as a handout and she told us not to be too proud to ask for help.
By contributing to FBR, people are saving lives.
Rhonda Richmond, EdD
Education: Teaching and Learning
Higher and Postsecondary Education
We agree with Dr, Richmond. Food is a basic need. No one should go hungry. Thank you for reading our blog, advocating for the hungry and for helping us feed hope!
Hunger knows no season.
In 2010, Food Bank of the Rockies began distributing food in rural areas where more help was needed by launching a Mobile Pantry program. In 2011, we brought the program to Metro Denver, serving areas where the need was especially high. Last year, we distributed enough food for more than 3 million meals in high need areas throughout our service area.
Right before Christmas, we met some of these struggling neighbors who were kind enough to share their stories about why this program is so important to them; important enough to wait in chilly winter temperatures for a few hours to receive much needed food, including produce and perishable items.
Your contributions of funds and time help make programs like this possible!
- If you'd like to help fund programs like this, please click here to give. Every dollar becomes four meals for hungry men, women and children.
- If you'd like to volunteer to help us distribute food, please visit our volunteer page by clicking here.
- You can advocate for our programs by signing up for emails on the left side of this screen.
- And if you are in need of food, please click here to find a mobile pantry or nearby partner agency.
Rachel watches her two granddaughters while her daughter works the night shift at a nearby hospital. Her partner works for $9 an hour and she receives $150 every two weeks while she looks for part-time work. Rent is high and Rachel and her partner struggle to pay the bills. The help she receives from Project Access Resource Centers, a member agency of Food Bank of the Rockies, allows her to provide healthy food for her granddaughters when they come home from school. This food has been a big help for Rachel and her family.
The Scott family struggles to make ends meet. Three teens and their hard working mom don't always know where their next meal will come from. They are not alone. 1 in 7 men and women and nearly 1 in 4 Colorado children live in food insecure households.
The holiday season is wrapping up and for Food Bank of the Rockies and many other charities, the giving season is slowing down as well. 65% of all the funds raised come in just 60 days. We are so grateful for the generosity of those who help us during the holidays! We work hard to stretch your contributions to last the entire year, but it's important to remember people are hungry, not just in December, but all year long.
If you'd like to help feed families like the Scotts all year, consider joining FEED365™ and make a gift to FBR each month. Learn how easy it is to get started by clicking here.
2:35 PM on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014No Comments
If you've already given, thank you! If you haven't or want to share a little more before the New Year begins, here's some inspiration for you!
1. Your donation is tax deductible.
2. 96 cents of every dollar we receive goes to food distribution.
3. We’re BBB accredited.
4. We’ve received a 4-star (highest) rating from Charity Navigator for 5 consecutive years (only 4% of charities can claim this distinction.)
5. 1 in 7 people in the area we serve are struggling to put food on the table.
6. Nearly 1 in 4 kids live in food insecure households.
7. Through Denver’s Table Food Rescue program, we saved 9.7 million pounds of nutritious food from ending up in a landfill and instead, landing on plates of hungry people.
8. FBR mobile pantry sites throughout metro Denver and in rural Colorado in fiscal 2014, distributed enough nutritious food for more than 3 million meals.
9. Every Monday – Friday during the school year, more than 2,600 kids across our service area will sit down to healthy dinners through our Kids Cafe program. Even more will enjoy a healthy lunch during summer break.
10. 4,800 needy kids will take home weekend food through our Totes of Hope™ Children program and 800 kids will receive healthy daily snacks through our After School Snacks program.
11. 1,000 low-income seniors will receive monthly food through our Totes of Hope™ Seniors and 9,000 seniors will receive USDA food boxes, distributed through FBR.
12. More than 800 hunger relief agencies (pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, etc…) depend on FBR for an average of 61% of all the food they distribute to their clients.
13. Families like Colin’s, Beverly’s and Mark’s would go hungry without food provided through FBR, our programs and our partner agencies. Read their stories on our blog.
14. Hunger Knows No Season. Your gift today will make a HUGE difference to hungry men, women and children in our community, all year long!
11:40 AM on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014No Comments
During 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.
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.
Mark 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.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Earlier 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,
On 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: