Kevin SeggelkeBeverly suffers from cancer, lives on a fixed income and struggles to find enough money to pay for basic necessities. She receives food through one of our partner agencies and is so grateful for the nourishment to help her through the month.

May is Older Americans Month. Many of the seniors we and our partner agencies help are dealing with serious health issues, living on small fixed incomes and making difficult choices about whether to eat or pay for rent, utilities, transportation or medicine. After working their entire lives and saving what they could, too many seniors find themselves living in or near poverty.

This month we recognize the needs of seniors in our community and can report we’re making a difference for them.  In addition to serving seniors through our partner agencies, our mobile pantry and Senior Totes of Hope®, each month we provide USDA food boxes for more than 10,000 low-income seniors throughout our service area.

We couldn’t do what we do without your support! If you’d like to help us help our senior citizens there are many things you can do.

  • Follow our social media posts and tag #solveseniorhunger to spread the word.
  • Groups of 10 or more can help us pack USDA boxes and individuals and smaller groups can help us fill agency orders or sort donations in reclamation.
  • Every dollar we receive becomes four meals for all our hungry neighbors.
  • Reach out to your U.S. Senators and Representative; ask them to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, co-sponsor the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act and champion UDSA nutrition programs like the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Thank you for supporting our efforts, reading our emails and taking time to make a big difference in the lives of hungry men, women and children.

Warm regards,

Kevin first name tight

 

 

Watch Beverly tell her story here.

earth-dayHappy Earth Day!

Did you know Food Bank of the Rockies is “green”?

In addition to recycling our cardboard and plastic, we recycle food! Last year we safely picked up and distributed enough food from local retailers through our Denver’s Table Food Rescue program to provide more than 8.1 million meals. Instead of filling up landfills, this nutritious food will fill the plates of people in need!

Thank you for helping to support our efforts.  Every dollar we received turns into 5 pounds of food or 4 meals for hungry men, women and children.

 

chs-2015
We are amazed by the tremendous efforts of CHS Country Operations in Wray, Washington and Yuma!

Through three Cajun Boil & Mouse Race events, the local business unit of CHS Country Operations raised $38,221 and with added contributions by CHS of $22,625, they raised a grand total of $60,846 as part of this year’s CHS Harvest for Hunger food and funds drive!

$1,000 each will be donated to Manna Pantry in Wray, Rural Communities Resource Center in Yuma, and Washington County Connections in Akron. The remaining funds raised will be donated to Food Bank of the Rockies to help us provide 231,384 meals to our community.

“The community support for the H4H Program has been extraordinary, thank you all for your participation in the event,” Mel Domine, Managing Director of CHS in Yuma. “Our Business Unit took the overall lead with this successful program, a reflection of our people in Colorado.”

This year’s CHS Harvest for Hunger food and funds drive raised a record $550,000 and nearly 270,000 pounds of food for hungry families nationally. More than 4,000 employees from 50 Country Operations business units participated in the 2015 Harvest for Hunger drive held March 1-20, 2015.

Thank you to everyone who donated, supported, and partnered with CHS to fight hunger in our local communities!

Remodeling to Meet the Growing Need

plans_Page_1When we moved into our current location in 2006, we estimated we’d need to expand in about 15 years to keep meeting the demand.  We didn’t anticipate the Great Recession and the population growth our region is experiencing. Thanks to expanded relationships with generous local retail, wholesale and manufacturing partners, we’ve grown faster than expected to meet the increased need.  Nine years later, we are faced with serious storage issues as we receive more fresh and frozen food donations and as we source more food and find more food donors to continue working to meet the need. We’ve reached a critical point where we’re forced to find a solution to add more space or choose to cut back on products we share with our agency partners and the programs directly serving our community, an option we didn’t want to consider.  Options to expand our storage capacity included moving to a larger warehouse, seeking an additional warehouse, leasing additional space or maximizing our current space.

Warehouse space is at a premium in Metro Denver and while we could sell our current building easily, finding a new or additional warehouse at a price we could afford was not an option.  Since we anticipate continuing to grow, leasing, our current solution, is expensive on a long-term basis. After consulting with experts, we learned that by making a few changes to the interior of our current warehouse, we could increase our storage capacity considerably.  This was clearly the most cost effective option.

The new lay-out will remove walls, provide more room for additional racking space to increase our current pallet storage capacity by 47% and increase refrigerated space by 228%.   We’ll replace our 40-year old roof.   We’ll also make changes to the layout and flow of the building for easier and safer pedestrian flow for our volunteers, visitors, staff and agency shoppers.

We intend to continue serving our community with minimal interruptions to food distribution and estimate the project to be complete within about 16 weeks of starting, sometime in mid- late August.  We’re working to raise an additional $2.65 million to complete the remodel and have selected I2 construction as our general contractor.  Watch for more information and please pardon our dust as we begin remodeling work this month!

 

Paul Berteau

Each year, in loving memory of long-time volunteer Betty Van Hook, we select a volunteer who exemplifies outstanding commitment to our mission.  This year, we've selected Paul Berteau, who’s been helping out FBR since October, 1997.

Paul first learned about the food bank after reading an article in Parade magazine about how important the gift of time is, particularly to food banks. After volunteering with Denver’s Table Food Rescue and distribution, Paul filled in for an absent volunteer in reclamation and never left.  He loves working in reclamation and tells us, “In my regular job as an insurance broker, there are days when I don’t feel like I've accomplished anything further at the end of the day than at the beginning.  I never feel that way in reclamation and always know I've accomplished much when my shift ends.” Paul also says he enjoys helping first time volunteers, making sure they have a good experience so they’ll come back.

Paul drives down from the mountains an hour or more, 40 miles each way, to volunteer with us every Wednesday morning and two Saturdays a month.  “I have a hole in my heart if I don’t get to volunteer,” he says.  He also gives his time to help FBR with many special events and shares his knowledge on our Operations Committee.

When asked what advice he has for others thinking of volunteering he offers, “Volunteering with FBR is joining a committed family with passion for what they do.” And he warns us with a smile, “Try it more than once.  There are many opportunities and when you find the one that’s right for you, it’s addictive.”

A Whole Lotta Food!

IMG_2687Food Bank of the Rockies Get's Food From Whole Food's Feed 4 More!

We were excited to be recipients of Whole Food’s Feed 4 More, a donation program to encourage shoppers to contribute towards the feeding of a family of four. Across the nation, Whole Foods stores and their customers have set a nationwide goal to feed one million people across the United States.

Three Whole Foods Stores made deliveries to FBR.  We’ll get 25 pallets of food to help us fight hunger!

Thank you Whole Foods!

WholeFoodsIMG_2702

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whitecrown

Since 2008, White Crown Credit Union and their members have partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies, making a big difference for our hungry neighbors.  The credit union spirit is about “People Helping People” – a concept White Crown truly exemplifies.  Yesterday, they contributed funds to provide 14,600 meals, bringing their lifetime total to nearly 210,000 meals for our community!

They've found creative ways to raise the funds. They decorate their lobby with posters, sharing the progress of their campaigns.  They run promotions throughout the year, allowing members to skip a loan payment for a small fee; a portion of that fee is donated to FBR.  They also match member donations and during member appreciation week, donating funds for each loan application received.

They've set an even loftier goal next year to contribute 40,000 meals and already have plans in place and posters on display.

“We realize hunger affects too many people in our community and we want to do our part to help feed them, “ says Kerry Spradling, President and CEO of White Crown Credit Union. “We've partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies for the past seven years and are delighted to know our efforts, a little at a time, have added up to make such a big impact on our community.  We look forward to continuing our efforts with the food bank in 2015.”

White Crown team and members, we love your enthusiasm, your creativity and your dedication to helping us feed hope.  Thank you for being our partner. We appreciate you!

whitecrown2

Fighting Hunger is in the Bag!

IMG_2818We 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!

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!

Hunger Knows No Season

 

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!