Food Bank of The Rockies reaches milestone by distributing over 83 million meals

Colorado News

FILE – In this June 26, 2020, file photo, volunteers Juanita MacKenzie, front, and Dave Stutman carry boxes of food to a waiting car at a large mobile pantry set up by the Food Bank of the Rockies in the parking lot of Empower Field at Mile High in west Denver. In an effort to keep Colorado residents fed and employed this winter, Colorado’s Legislature is concluding a special session Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, by passing bills offering assistance to restaurants and food pantries struggling to keep their doors open during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

DENVER, Colo. — In 2020, Food Bank of the Rockies distributed more than 100 million pounds of food for the first time in its 42-year history. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout Colorado and Wyoming, Food Bank of the Rockies has doubled down since March 2020 on drive-up distributions, home delivery to vulnerable community members, and working hand-in-hand with its Hunger Relief Partner network to meet the increased need for food assistance. In the previous year, Food Banks of the Rockies distributed 71.5 million pounds of food. That is over  43% increase in food distributed in 2020 compared to the previous year.

“We’ve seen an entirely new level of demand for food in our communities,” says Erin Pulling, Food Bank of the Rockies President & CEO. “We’re serving many people who have lost their jobs and are facing food insecurity for the first time. More than 30% of the people we’re serving report never needing food assistance before this. And families and individuals who were already vulnerable have found themselves in dire need.”

According to Pulling, Feeding America is projecting that this increased need for food assistance may last for the next two years. “Hunger can be found everywhere – often where you least expect it. And we are committed to being where we are needed most by continuing to work with over 800 hunger-relief partners throughout Colorado and Wyoming to mobilize resources to keep pace with the increased need for food and necessities,” Pulling says.

Food Bank of the Rockies has grown the sourcing and distribution of fresh produce and dairy by 125% since 2019, and those items amount to 54.6% of the total products distributed. And the organization will continue to make fresh produce a priority. Additionally, the organization will expand the reach of its signature programs like mobile pantries, food for kids including afterschool/summer meals and snacks and Totes of Hope take-home food bags, and home delivery services for community members who are high-risk.

Food Bank of the Rockies will continue to do everything possible to increase distribution of food to more people in need. Funds and volunteers are greatly appreciated at this time. To find the closest locations providing emergency food assistance click here.

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