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!

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!

Food = Hope

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.

me as a little kid

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

graduation

 

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!

Rachel’s Story

 

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.

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.

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:

Beverly

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.

Beverly-smaller

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.

Mitch-Ron-Kevin-7-everyday hero

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.

Ron-7 Everyday Hero

Dawn’s Story and Hungry Kids

Colorado weather is full of surprises. Spring break in Colorado could mean fun in the sun or playing in the snow. It could also mean hunger. Imagine not having the energy to run and play because you didn’t have any food to eat today.  Sadly, there are children right here in our community who don’t have to imagine.  School breaks and weekends should be a time for kids to make happy childhood memories, but for 1 in 4 Colorado kids, it’s a time to worry when and where they’ll find their next meal.

Dawn volunteered with us along with her work group from Sage Hospitality. She shared her powerful story about growing up in a struggling family where she often received food from shelters and through the generosity of programs like Totes of Hope™ and our partner agencies.  She was excited to be able to give back and wanted people to know their gifts really do matter.  “As a kid, you do remember the kindness and you do remember having something to eat.”

Listen to her story and make a contribution if you can.

Success stories like Dawn’s are only made possible through the kindness of our community. Thank you!

 

Spring Break Can Be Heartbreaking for Hungry Kids

The clock springs forward and the days get longer. Green shoots pop up in the flower beds and the birds chirp a little louder, signaling a change in season.  Today is the first day of spring and for most of us, it’s a happy shift to warmer weather.  For many kids, it means a week off from school and a vacation from studies.

IMG_6379

But for 1 in 4 Colorado kids, it can also mean a vacation from school meals and after school feeding programs, which is no vacation at all. Having nourishment is critical for developing and growing kids. A child going hungry in this land of plenty is simply unacceptable, yet every day, there are too many children who don’t have enough food, especially during the breaks from school.

One of our volunteers recently shared her story with us. She said her parent made “bad choices” when she was a child, forcing her and her siblings to live in shelters and always wonder if they’d have a meal.  She remembers dreading school breaks because that could mean going hungry.  She also remembers getting food through programs like Totes of Hope™ - Children, After School Snacks and Kids Cafe.  “I was too little to really know where the food came from but I was always so happy to be able to eat a good meal or bring something home to share with my family. Now I know it come from places like Food Bank of the Rockies and I want to give back because I know how important those programs were to helping me succeed in life.”

You can help make sure Colorado kids have enough to eat this spring break and all year long by making a gift to our children’s programs and Fighting Hunger Feeding Hope. Thank you for caring about our hungry kids and their families. Hunger knows no season.  We appreciate your support!