The Heart of our Volunteers

National Volunteer week is winding down.  We celebrated our volunteers all week and want to whole heartedly thank all of you who donate time toward fighting hunger and feeding hope.  This place wouldn't and couldn't operate without you. 
While we're on the topic of volunteerism.....have you met Olive?  If you've volunteered at FBR, she was most likely the shining face welcoming you, answering your every question, retreiving bandaids, rubber gloves, offering a cold beverage and ensuring that all our volunteers were being taken care of during their time with us.  Olive has been with this organization since we opened our doors 32 years ago.  Take a minute to watch the video below for her story and you'll get a glimpse of the passion she has for volunteerism and all those who donate their time with Food Bank of the Rockies.  Volunteers are at the heart of our organization and at the heart of our volunteers is Olive.   


Rita's fiance passed away last June.  And she lost her job shortly after.  She and her four children have been trying to make ends meet ever since.  Rita lost her car and she couldn't keep up with utilities, rent, get the drill.  She's been on hold for receiving food stamps for months, so she comes to a local pantry for food and clothing for the kids.  And for a sense of family.  They try to make it without asking for help, but that's been pretty tough lately.  But she smiles and laughs.  And she makes it work for the sake of her family. 

Little Andrea

This photo comes to us via Denver Magazine's Faces of Hunger photography contest....

Little Andrea Espinoza waits in the food box line at the Community Ministry of Denver with her mother, Cecilia.  Where would little Andrea be without resources like this food pantry?  We don't even want to guess. 

Photographer: Holly Laing

The food bank received this letter yesterday:

"Dear Food Bank of the Rockies,

My name is Nathan.  I earned this money by playing guitar at Pearl Street Mall.  I received $37.48 by playing.  I'm also inclucing 13 more dollars from my charity allowance.



Photo by RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post, 3/1/2011

Nathan sent us a clipping of this photo from the Denver Post. He's laughing because a passer-by asked for his autograph.

The FBR team also thinks you're quite a Super Star!

Thank you Nathan for caring about others.  You inspire us and we are very grateful for your wonderful gift. 


"Samantha" moved with her two kids to Colorado from Michigan a couple years back to be closer to her mom.  For two years, life was great.  Just like that, it all turned.  We spoke to her this past April about what brought her to a Denver food bank we were visiting.  Check out "Samantha's" story.  I think you'll be surprised at how real her life story is and how close so many of us are to the position she's in.  One month of no income.  So often, that's all it takes.   


Red explained to us that sometimes during the month food runs low. After the bills are paid, there's not much money left for basic necessities like food. "It’s really helpful to come to a place like this pantry. Fresh food is what I can’t afford, so I can get it here. I've worked since I was 12 and due to physical problems, I can’t work anymore. SSI isn’t enough to afford everything I need to survive."


Arturo and his wife are here from Chile working with the poor in NW Denver. He has a small salary that doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. “We get our food mostly from whatever is available at the local food pantry. The food in the grocery store is too expensive. I am diabetic, so I need to be eating healthy foods. I rarely buy anything from the store because the prices keep getting higher. With the help of the food pantry, we can eat much better.”

We Turn Our Heads Away

The intent of these photos is to capture the emotion and story of those living on the streets in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Denver. Every day these people put aside their dignity and beg for help. Without prompting for any special poses or postures, these photos give a glimpse into their lives. These photographs give us a chance to look into their eyes, when our usual reaction is to turn our heads away.
Photographer: Joel Rafferty

Mrs. Simbrion’s sons

Mrs. Simbrion brings her sons Christopher, Jonny, David and Anthony to a food pantry sponsored by Heart Resource Center in Aurora. This helps them get her through the month by providing staples for growing boys as well as special treats they can’t afford.
Photographer: Douglas Bowen


As told by Nola of Feeding America during an interview in Colorado.....

When we first reached out to the church where Bobby’s pantry is located, the Pastor insisted we interview this quiet, unassuming father of two teenage daughters first. In his pastor’s words, “Bobby is the backbone of the work we do here.” From moving pallets of food from the Food Bank of the Rockies trucks to their temporary spot on the pantry’s shelves, to reorganizing the chairs in the recreation room of the makeshift church, Bobby is there at least one day
a week to give the pantry a hand. He does this wholeheartedly, in gratitude of the food he takes home in a large box each week. With the cost of living steadily increasing, this 62-year-old retiree spends many days debating the pros and cons of coming out of retirement. While his wife still works managing the cafeteria of a local public school, the money she makes combined with Bobby’s Social Security check is not enough to keep the family of four fed.

With all the worries he has in life, it’s amazing to observe how Bobby never raises his voice in nervous excitement, never really lets the concerned strain creep through his serene cadence. In fact, through a calm smile, he chuckles about the future of his 17-year-old daughter, a senior in high school who jumps back and forth between joining the ROTC or going to college. “It seems like she’s changing her mind all the time,” he says of her teenage waywardness. What she chooses may cost them financially, so this former automotive technician and business owner now picks up the occasional odd job painting apartments and tending to plumbing. “We just do the best we can, when they need something we just sacrifice and get it. We always put them first.”