Like so many others across the globe, the past year has affected Jeanette B. and her family in ways they could never have anticipated. In March of 2020, just as the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic was making itself known, Jeanette lost her job as a truck driver for English Transportation in Wiggins, Colorado, due to a fall that injured her back.
“Money was short,” Jeanette says. “My family has four adults and one child. Everybody’s trying to work. Rent is high. Everything’s skyrocketing, so everybody just works together and tries to get the bills paid. We also have some animals that we have to feed.”
To make ends meet, Jeanette visited our food distribution site at the fairgrounds in Brush, Colorado, after learning about it from a community member. When we spoke to her for this story, she and her husband, Shane, were gathering what they needed from the mobile pantry in Fort Morgan.
“Without [this assistance], we wouldn’t have had food,” says Jeanette. “We’ve been blessed. That’s what I can say.”
Jeanette and her family aren’t alone in needing extra support this past year. One in seven people—and one in five children—are currently facing food insecurity in Colorado. And of the millions of people who visited a food bank or drive-through distribution site in 2020, 40% had never before received food assistance.
Since March of 2020, Food Bank of the Rockies has distributed more than 118 million pounds of food to individuals like Jeanette; in 2020 alone, we distributed 100 million pounds—a 43% increase over 2019.
To meet the still-growing hunger needs of our service area, which includes most of Colorado and all of Wyoming, we have more than 70 drive-through mobile pantry sites in addition to distributions hosted by our more than 800 Hunger Relief Partners. This has allowed us to distribute more than 98 million meals since the pandemic began, on average distributing enough food to provide more than 250,000 meals every day.
By channeling 96.5% of our financial gifts directly into our food distribution programs, Food Bank of the Rockies is able to help families like Jeanette’s not only get by, but plan for the future.
“Being able to get food for our family has allowed us to cover our utilities and other basic needs,” Jeanette says. “Once we get back on our feet, we plan on donating back to the food pantry.”
Do You Need Help?
We understand—it’s an incredibly hard time for many people. We are here to help in this new, “normal” world as many of us worry about feeding ourselves and our loved ones. You are not alone. Reaching out for help when you need it shows strength, and we are dedicated in our efforts to help.
If you need food assistance, please reach out. To find the closest locations providing emergency food assistance, use our Pantry Locater.
How Can You Help?
While we will continue to do everything possible to increase the distribution of food to more people in need, funds and volunteers are always greatly needed. Your support is deeply appreciated. A $1 gift helps provide the equivalent of four meals for families in need. Give today.
Want to do more? Consider signing up for a volunteer shift.