Hunger is Real in Rural Colorado

Janie Gianotsos Faces of Hunger, Newsy

In the small Colorado town of Yuma, a long line of men, women, and children work their way into the fairgrounds to receive food from Food Bank of the Rockies’ mobile pantry. Mothers with babies in their arms wait patiently next to older adults, some in wheelchairs or using canes for mobility. The ages, ethnicities and situations differ among those in the line, but one thing unites them all – the struggle to pay for groceries, and the fear of not having enough food to meet their basic needs.

Imelda didn’t want her picture taken, but she did want to express her gratitude. “I hope this program continues. I can’t afford grocery shopping and many times don’t have anything to eat,” this grandmother of six told us. “My son is working, but many times we just don’t have enough money.” Imelda expressed appreciation for the mobile pantry and the variety of items provided. “Without it, I’d go hungry,” she shared.

Alma, pictured above, lost her husband in 2011. At 77, she struggles with diabetes, COPD and mobility issues after knee, shoulder, and hip replacements. Medical bills used up the small savings she had. She can no longer drive, so her son brings her to the mobile pantry. “Health issues cost a lot and every little bit helps. I appreciate it,” she said.

Elizabeth volunteers at the pantry and told us her family is getting back on their feet. She, her husband, and their five young boys moved to Denver, hoping for better opportunities, but it didn’t work out and the family faced homelessness. They moved back to Yuma where extended family and friends are helping them. “Sometimes things just happen – not because of drugs or alcohol. Once you’re down, it’s hard to get back up. Thank you to everyone who makes this program possible. It really helps us a lot,” she explained.

We’re able to distribute food at mobile pantry locations 48 times a month thanks to the generosity of our community. Because you care, people facing hunger have hope. We’re so grateful for your support and the difference it allows us to make in all the communities we serve. Thank you!

Food Bank of the Rockies depends on generous gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations to ensure we have nourishing food for families across our service area, including rural communities like Yuma.  You can donate to our programs here.

We also rely on grocery retailers and food manufacturer to help us fill our racks. Walmart is Food Bank of the Rockies’ largest food donor and they’re stepping up to give their shoppers a chance to help too. Now through May 20, 2019, you can help us Fight Hunger and Spark Change with Walmart stores across our service area.  Make a donation at the register or purchase select products to make an even bigger impact. Learn more here or visit your local Walmart to make a difference!