12.28.2009

Bobby



As told by Nola of Feeding America during an interview in Colorado.....

When we first reached out to the church where Bobby’s pantry is located, the Pastor insisted we interview this quiet, unassuming father of two teenage daughters first. In his pastor’s words, “Bobby is the backbone of the work we do here.” From moving pallets of food from the Food Bank of the Rockies trucks to their temporary spot on the pantry’s shelves, to reorganizing the chairs in the recreation room of the makeshift church, Bobby is there at least one day
a week to give the pantry a hand. He does this wholeheartedly, in gratitude of the food he takes home in a large box each week. With the cost of living steadily increasing, this 62-year-old retiree spends many days debating the pros and cons of coming out of retirement. While his wife still works managing the cafeteria of a local public school, the money she makes combined with Bobby’s Social Security check is not enough to keep the family of four fed.

With all the worries he has in life, it’s amazing to observe how Bobby never raises his voice in nervous excitement, never really lets the concerned strain creep through his serene cadence. In fact, through a calm smile, he chuckles about the future of his 17-year-old daughter, a senior in high school who jumps back and forth between joining the ROTC or going to college. “It seems like she’s changing her mind all the time,” he says of her teenage waywardness. What she chooses may cost them financially, so this former automotive technician and business owner now picks up the occasional odd job painting apartments and tending to plumbing. “We just do the best we can, when they need something we just sacrifice and get it. We always put them first.”

11.09.2009

Laurie


Laurie is one of the 15% of homeless individuals served through FBR's partner agencies. She calls the Cherry Creek bike path home and is hungry most days. Going without basic necessities is commonplace for her and so many of our Colorado neighbors.

Photographer: Tiffany Mulherin

11.02.2009

Lives in Transition






These are portraits of lives in transition -the people associated with Denver Rescue Mission -homeless transients, program residents and volunteers. Denver Rescue Mission offers food and housing for the homeless as well as long term rehab and transitional housing programs. These men are working toward a better life.

Photographer: John Walthier

10.15.2009

Seeds of Tomorrow


Warren Village is a non-profit organization that assists formerly homeless, low-income, single parent families in achieving sustainable personal and economic self-sufficiency.
The folks at Warren Village view their theme “Seeds of Tomorrow” from two perspectives. By planting seeds, the children learn a lesson similar to that of a fisherman. “Teach them to fish, and they’ll eat for a lifetime.” They believe that teaching them to grow a garden will begin their journey towards a life of self-sufficiency. From another standpoint, they see these bright young children as “Seeds of tomorrow” with hope that they’ll grow up to be responsible human beings, fostering inspiration, leadership and love.

Photographer: Joan M. Hill

10.05.2009

Charles



Charles Alcott of Denver sits on the bank of the Cherry Creek near Speer and Lincoln. To the right of the photo is the site where Charles recently risked his life by diving into the raging water to save the life of a drowning victim. In April, a man slipped on the bank of the river and fell in. A witness called 911. Downstream, from the ledge that was providing shelter from the snow, Charles dove into the icy water and dragged the victim ashore, where Denver Rescue crews were just arriving, and brought the victim to the hospital, and ultimately to safety.
Charles calls this area his home and has been living near the path for years. He is a Native American from the Crazy Horse People and is a mix between OgaLaLa Lakota and Dine. His family still lives on a reservation, but he calls the parks of Denver Home.

Photographer: Joe Morahan

9.14.2009

3 Sisters








World hunger is a global problem and one usually associated with Third World countries. But what happens when you receive an email that asks you to seek out and share the stories of people in your community that are struggling with hunger? You start out on a journey that leads you to the most unexpected place – a story to share with others about your own family’s struggle with hunger.

Go back one year to find out that your cousin’s husband lost his job. Your mind automatically goes to the most visible issues – losing the house, losing the car, losing the identity and dignity of being the breadwinner of the family. Never once, from the outsider’s perspective, does the mind go to the issue of how to support a family of 5 on nothing. Without such places as Food Bank of the Rockies, or the Douglas County Task Force, I’m not sure what my cousin would have done.
My cousin graciously allowed me to share her story with an amazing degree of candor and humor. Even in the face of adversity, a simple afternoon at the park brings forth her children’s innocence and sheer happiness.

Photographer: Katie Lienert (Top photo is the winner of the amateur category for the Faces of Hunger Photo Contest).

8.18.2009

Ruth


5 years ago, Ruth came to Colorado from Mexico with her husband and 5 children. The violence in Mexico threatened their safety and they wanted a better life for their children. A fresh start. She found a local food pantry to help them keep food on the table and decided to give back by volunteering at the pantry while her husband works as a full time painter. As long as they need help to stay afloat, she wants to give back.

7.28.2009

Daniel


Hunger is so often an invisible problem. This is especially evident in the eyes of a child. You can see the joy in Daniel's eyes, despite the fact that his family doesn't always know where their next meal will come from. The bad things don't seem so bad to Daniel - he loves the fact that he can get doughnuts and play at the local church pantry. Daniel's parents both work. Every day. But they don't make enough to make ends meet for Daniel and his siblings. The local food pantry is their lifeline for food, fellowship and programs for the kids.

6.29.2009

D'Andre



D'Andre and his wife both work full time. He was recently laid off, but finds landscaping jobs to keep him busy while he looks for steady employment. When she's not at work, his wife is going to school for medical transcription. In the mean time, they have six kids to feed. Six friendly, polite, outgoing kids who are more than willing to share a smile or joke with listening ears. D'Andre and his wife visit a local church pantry for food boxes and are extremely enthusiastic about the support of the pantry and the church staff. What would they do without this support? They're not quite sure.

6.11.2009

Leslie




In 1999, Leslie was acting as caretaker for her mother and was having a tough time making ends meet. She started visiting a local food pantry and senior center and hasn't stopped since. Her SSI and food stamps help, but without the food boxes she picks up a couple times per month, she wouldn't get fresh produce and healthy items offered at the pantry. Leslie values this home away from home more than words can express and spends much of her time volunteering and giving back to the people who help her so much.

6.03.2009

Denver Magazine Faces of Hunger Photo Contest

video

In an effort to raise awareness about the reality of hunger in our community, we've joined forces with Denver Magazine, Channel 2 The Deuce and FOX 31 for the Faces of Hunger Photo Contest. There are hundreds of thousands of people living in our own backyard who are struggling to put food on the table. It could be your neighbor, your hair dresser, your child's bus driver, your class mate.

Amateur and professional photographers are invited to take photos of a hungry Coloradoan and submit their photos and application to FBR for judging. Mayor Hickenlooper's office, FOX 31's Natalie Tysdal, FBR's Kevin Seggelke, professional photographer, Greg Cradick and Denver Magazine's Michael Ledwitz will judge the entries and winners will be featured in both Denver Magazine and on FOX & The Deuce's morning shows. Top entries will be displayed at a gallery event, open to the public, on September 2, 2009 at Fat Tail Art Gallery.

Visit http://www.foodbankrockies.org/ for the application. We hope to see your photos of faces of hunger very soon.


5.14.2009

Robert



On a mild week day morning in April, Robert took his place in a line that stretched a city block. This line is worth waiting in for all these folks because it means a meal. Even if it's the only one they get that day. Robert was in prison for years and when he was released he found himself with no one. And no place to go. With no identification, it was impossible to find employment. Fortunately, he found a number of organizations who were more than willing to lend a helping hand. They helped him get on his feet, gave him a place to rest his head, food to keep him nourished and made sure he was able to renew his barber's license.

Robert was happy to share his story. He's not proud of his past, but he is proud of where he's headed and promises that "When I get back on my feet financially, I'm definitely giving back."

4.13.2009

Claudette


71 year old Claudette tells me that lately, it's impossible to make ends meet. For over 28 years she worked for Montgomery Ward and had to retire due to her husband's epilepsy and health issues. Until a few years ago, they managed to make ends meet without assistance. That's just not possible anymore. They're both on social security and rely on a local pantry for food - "a blessing from God," says Claudette. "We live in a small apartment. The energy costs, high cost of food, car insurance, gas...it's overwhelming. Growing old isn't for sissies. Throw in some health problems and before you know it, you're broke."

3.31.2009

Curtis



For 10 years, Curtis worked as a Senior Program Analyst for the Denver Newspaper Agency. He made a good living and spent much of his free time volunteering with the company's ACTS Volunteer Program. For the past 2 years, Curtis has spent all his vacation days volunteering at FBR.

In October of last year Curtis was laid off. In a matter of minutes he was without income. After a couple months of unsuccessfully looking for work he called Olive at FBR and asked if he could volunteer at FBR. Curtis shows up at FBR every single morning around 8:30am, leaves mid afternoon and spends the rest of his days looking for work. "Volunteering here is how I get through my days. I was getting really depressed sitting at home looking for work and wondering what I was going to do." Curtis may not be working for a pay check right now, but he's definitely working to make a difference for countless people who are struggling to make ends meet.