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From the CEO’s Desk: Summer 2022 Update

volunteers at a mobile pantry

Dear Dedicated Supporters,

June marks the official beginning of summer, a season often associated with joyful gatherings of family and friends, vacation, and simply taking a moment to relax amid the busyness of the year. Right now, however, the glow of summer is overshadowed — by national and global tragedies, soaring inflation, and the continued challenges to people’s physical and mental health as we enter year three of COVID-19. Food Bank of the Rockies’ work is more critically needed now than perhaps ever before.

Our mission at Food Bank of the Rockies has always been to provide people with the familiar, nutrient-rich food they need to thrive. This has never been a simple undertaking, and today’s tumultuous economic environment has made it all the more challenging. Right now, we are spending more than $1.3 million every month to purchase food to distribute to people experiencing food insecurity. That is triple what we were spending pre-COVID!

There are multiple factors causing this increase, including:

  • Inflation is at a 40-year high, making basic necessities more expensive and causing more community members to seek food assistance to stretch their budgets. Food inflation is hitting those we serve as well as Food Bank of the Rockies’ food costs, with many staples up 30%–50% over one year ago. Currently, we are distributing enough food to provide upwards of 175,000 meals every day.
  • We have seen a decrease in donated food products from retailers, manufacturers, and agricultural partners — due to a global supply-chain shift, limited innovations in manufacturing, and inflation — or funded through government programs. This has resulted in the need to purchase more food than ever — now 25% of our total food supply.
  • Year-over-year freight costs have increased — some months as high as 60% — adding to the overall cost for receiving both donated and purchased food, and trucking food to our distribution centers and partners.

Food Bank of the Rockies is adapting to these times by working with food banks across the country to leverage overstocked items, purchasing fresh produce and other staples, as much local as possible, to continue providing an array of nutritious foods to our clients, proactively buying larger quantities to account for shortages or delivery delays, and doing whatever else we can to remove the burden of hunger for our neighbors.

As we weather these difficult times together, Food Bank of the Rockies is committed to showing up wherever and whenever we are needed most. We deeply appreciate your support; we could not do any of this without you. If you are in need of food assistance, please check out our food pantry locator to find a food distribution site near you. If you have the financial means or time, consider giving a financial gift or volunteering. Community support ensures that everyone has the resources they need to thrive.

Thank you again for partnering with us as a supporter. We are so thankful for you.

With gratitude,
Erin Pulling
President & CEO

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