Caring Unexpectedly for Grandchildren Who Need Nourishment and Healing

Janie Gianotsos Faces of Hunger

Jan (named changed to protect identity) realized something wasn’t right with her four grandchildren when the oldest, then 4 years old, would arrive for a weekend stay at grandma’s house, only talking gibberish. By the end of the weekend the child was speaking fine.  Weekend after weekend, she would go through the same process with her grandchild.  After a series of events and the involvement of the law, Jan learned her daughter-in-law was drugging the children in order to keep them sleeping so she could continue her own drug habit.

Jan emptied her 401K and her husband’s as well, struggling for years of legal battles to protect her grandchildren. Their living expenses increased when Jan and her husband took custody of the children and needed more space. All four children required medical attention and therapy – another expense.

Today, the children are happy, healthy and growing.  Jan shares, “I couldn’t have done it without my local food bank.”  In addition to shopping when she needs extra help, Jan has received holiday meals for her family, presents and clothes for the kids, and assistance with medical expenses.  Because of the size of her family, the food bank provides larger meats like full turkeys or hams.  This allows Jan to stretch the food for many meals.  Jan also commented on the cost of fresh vegetables and the ability to get greens and fruits for the children. “At one point, the only thing I could feed one of the kids was smoothies,” she tells us, explaining how the food and help she receives is invaluable.

Four years after taking custody of their grandchildren, Jan and her husband are slowly getting back on their feet.  “After hitting rock bottom, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Jan says. She never imagined herself needing help from a food pantry, and feels blessed to have these resources available.

Your kindness allows Food Bank of the Rockies and our partners, who depend on us to fill their shelves, to provide needed nourishment to families like Jan’s. Every dollar provides four meals and immeasurable hope.  Thank you for your support!