Like so many seniors, Delores struggles with diabetes. Thanks to the Totes of Hope-Senior program, she is able to receive food items needed on a daily basis. This resource helps supplement her pantry so she can afford the more expensive items needed to care for her health.
Carlene has a story incredibly similar to so many other seniors. Her husband passed away, she lost her home, she lost a majority of her income and she now needs food assistance as a result. Carlene is so grateful for the Totes of Hope-Seniors program and for all hunger relief programs that exist to assist men and women just like her.
Pam's husband works full time as a tow truck driver. She babysits in their home. They have 3 sons and they both work hard. Very hard. But it's not enough to pay the bills, pay their mortgage, buy food and pay for insurance for the family. They can't do it all, no matter how hard they try and how determined they are to make it on their own. We met Pam at a local food pantry where she goes to get food, knowing she'll be treated with respect and dignity. The pantry meets one of their basic and most essential needs and allows them to focus on paying their mortgage and keeping the lights on. Insurance is offered through her husband's employer, but at a cost they can't afford right now. When we met them, Damian had a nasty cold , but as Pam explains, "Who's willing to see a child who comes uninsured?" Unless it's an emergency, they're left without good options.
And yet Pam and Damian smile genuine smiles. Their family focuses on giving back to those who are supporting them through this trying time. She wants her boys to grow up with an appreciation for lending a hand to their community.
Click here for Pam's first hand account of what lead her family to needing food assistance. We think you'll agree that it's worth your time and it's worth sharing.
We met Bill Sr. and Billy at Crossroads Church Pantry a couple weeks back. Bill Sr. recently injured his back for the 3rd time working at a lumber yard and was told by his doctor that he needs a change of vocation. His wife works full time to help support the family. They've been waiting for 30 days for his workers comp to kick in, but haven't started receiving checks yet. He and his wife looked at each other that morning and realized that it was time to reach out for help. So, after a pep talk from his wife, he walked through the doors of this pantry and asked for help for the first time. He said it was the most humbling and the most difficult thing he has ever had to do.
Never did he and his wife think that they’d find themselves asking for assistance. In fact, a number of months ago, they started a foundation to help people with clothing and food. Now they’re the ones needing help and have put their foundation goals on hold. Bill holds on to his faith and is confident that someday he’ll use this humbling experience as a story of growth and hope. He is so in awe and grateful at what he was able to take home for his family as a result of FBR. Both Bills walked away with smiles and we walked away humbled by a story that is so close to home.
Watch Bill Sr.'s story below....
Christy and her husband took over the family painting company after her husband's father passed away suddenly. Once a lucrative business, the company fell on hard times with the troubled economy. Christy, her husband, young daughter and mother-in-law are trying to keep up on bills, but are struggling to put food on the table. They're currently waiting for food stamps and are trading services for painting as a creative way to make ends meet. Simply going out for painting bids is difficult with the price of gas. They're having a baby any day and worry about how they're going to manage all that life is throwing at them. Christy relies on a local food pantry to ease worries about feeding her family and is grateful for the help. This family resides in the 7th wealthiest county in the nation. Imagine that.
Why is our job so vital? We provide food to places that people like Christopher rely on to survive. Watch his story - he captured our hearts immediately.
Vikki was visiting a food pantry for the first time when we sat down with her. She lost her job during the summer of 2009, discovered she had stage 3 cancer in November of that same year and has since taken on the responsibility of caring for her disabled father. During their year of hardships, her husband’s work hours began dwindling and insurance costs went up. Vikki hasn’t been able to get adequate medical coverage due to her “pre-existing” condition. Following five months of cancer treatment, her family was forced to file bankruptcy in July, 2010. They are days away from losing their home and remain two months behind on bills and mortgage payments. They cannot find a way to catch up. Her four year old son is her driving force and it’s because of him that they finally came to the conclusion they need help. The food pantry she visited will provide one less worry for Vikki and her family.
Dorothy retired from a local medical office years ago. She had worked hard and decided it was time to move on to the next phase of her life. Her son got sick shortly after and Dorothy became his care giver, which has pushed her financial situation to its limits. She receives government assistance once per month, but this has not been enough to adequately provide for her family. As a result, Dorothy relies on a local food pantry to get them through the month. Without this pantry, she would be forced to come out of retirement and find employment.
The food pantry Dorothy frequents has become her social network and support system. She volunteers three days per week wherever needed and has become like family to the staff and volunteers.
This photo comes to us via Denver Magazine's Faces of Hunger photography contest....
Sharon stops by a local food pantry for her weekly box of food. She is incredibly thankful for the help provided by this pantry. It's so difficult to provide enough food for herself, due to the current economic situation.
Photographer: Holly Laing