Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you can fully realize how a little bit of support can change your life. This is certainly the case with one of our supporters, Connie. As a child, her mom, Joanne, worked extremely hard to provide for her family, but as many people know, a paycheck can only be stretched so far. Many times, the choice came down to whether Joanne would pay the electric bill or put enough food on the table for her family. In desperate need, Connie’s mother turned to community support, and because of faith in her community, they were able to make it through. These kinds of life-changing experiences, no matter how young we are when they occurred, tend to stick with us throughout our lives.
Unfortunately, heartbroken parents choosing between keeping the heat on or having enough food to sustain themselves and their children is a decision more common than one may think.
Childhood Necessity Becomes Adulthood Giving
For Connie, the experience of watching her mother struggle changed her perspective on giving. Along with her husband, Charlie, this couple has been committed supporters of Food Bank of the Rockies over the last 20 years. “People helped my family all of our lives, and now, I’m finally able to give back. I’m glad to be in a place where I can help another family that needs assistance, because I can’t imagine anything worse than not being able to feed your children. Families facing food insecurity are already dealing with so much. They shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” Connie says.
Connie’s story is echoed by many in our area, including people who need just a little extra help to get through the day. Parents across our area have seen a reduction in hours or complete loss of work while still needing to provide more nourishment as their children stay home from school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lesly is one of those parents who just needed some extra support to get through these trying times. As she struggled to put food on the table after her job reduced her hours, she called it a very “scary and stressful time,” for herself, her partner, and her beautiful little six-year-old girl.
It was then that Lesly reached out to the St. Augustine Food Pantry, a Food Bank of the Rockies Hunger Relief Partner. She received meat, fresh produce, diapers, baby supplies, and more to help sustain her family.
“We’re grateful to have received a wide variety of food and other items from the food pantry,” Lesly said.
Luckily, there is a brighter side to this story. Lesly’s partner is now back to work full time. However, there are months and months of lost wages that they are still scrambling to make up for – the children have grown, bills have fallen behind, and simply getting one paycheck isn’t going to get everything back on track.
But Food Bank of the Rockies brings hope to amazing families, just like this one. By putting fresh meals on the table, it makes their transition back just a bit easier. This way, families are able to use their paychecks to catch up on rent, bills, and more. “We greatly appreciate that food banks like you exist to help families like us,” Lesly said.
Scaling to Meet the Needs of Our Community
Volunteers and supporters are so impactful to our journey as we scale distribution and drive-through assistance efforts throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.
We work hand-in-hand with over 840 Hunger Relief Partners to ensure that the people who need assistance get it quickly, easily, and safely.
We know that together, we are stronger. It is due to the caring support from people like Connie and Charlie that families like Lesly’s can get through these hard times healthily and happily. “A society is judged by how you treat the most vulnerable, and you have to help people who need it,” Connie says. “When I give money to Food Bank of the Rockies, I know that it will be used in the best way possible to help people. I want to make an impact and it feels like that happens at this food bank.”
How We Will Continue to Provide During The COVID-19 Epidemic
As the months have continued to pass, our distributions have become more efficient. We believe practice makes perfect, after all. And luckily, there is an end in sight with the pandemic. No matter what happens, the Food Bank of the Rockies will continue to work hand-in-hand with people like you to mobilize resources and keep pace with the increased need for food and necessities. We will be there, day in and day out, unwavering in our commitment to meet all people where and when they need us most, and we hope you’ll be right there with us. Because together, we can truly make a difference.