By Chris Casey | University Communications
DENVER - During the past month, volunteers from six different departments and offices stepped up to lend a hand at the Food Bank of the Rockies (FBR) as part of this year's CU in the Community campaign announced last fall.
(Photo: Steve Tapp, web manager, and Karen Klimczak, director of marketing, load pallets at FBR warehouse.)
A few individuals participated in the overall program by volunteering at FBR during December and January. Then things really picked up this month starting on Feb. 1 with members of the University Communications team rolling up their sleeves to hoist canned, bottled and boxed food and beverages onto pallets
More than a dozen members of the team, which handles marketing, advertising and media relations for the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus gathered at the Food Bank of the Rockies' warehouse at 10700 E. 45th Ave.
The following week, a dozen colleagues from the University's Finance Office stepped up to the task. Then, just a week later on Feb. 15, another group from the Finance Office followed in their foot steps.
"Volunteers are the backbone of what we do at Food Bank of the Rockies," said Gwen Vogelzang, media and public relations manager. "Volunteer hours donated through the year equal 64 full-time employees. Fighting hunger and feeding hope for our neighbors in need would not be possible without the dedicated individuals and groups who sort and clean food, pack boxes, pull orders, stuff envelopes, beautify our landscaping and much, much more."
Just as this year's CU in the Community is wrapping up, at least one more team from Human Resources is scheduled to tackle tasks at FBR on March 1.
Through CU in the Community, all faculty and staff are allowed one half-day of work time (four hours) to go into the community and participate in a volunteer activity of their choice. This year the program, which has Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver as featured partner, has been expanded to include students and alumni.
"It's great to have CU support us in undertaking volunteer opportunities like this," said Leanna Clark, vice chancellor of University Communications. "Food Bank of the Rockies does so much to help those in need in our community. It was an honor to do our part to help, and to do so as a team was an added bonus."
Since 1978, the Food Bank of the Rockies has provided nearly 472 million pounds of food to member agencies, which translates to 369 million meals for people in need. Last year, FBR distributed 41.3 million pounds of food, enough to provide 88,000 meals each day to children, seniors and families in need.
FBR runs efficiently, with 96 cents of every dollar contributed going toward food distribution. Every dollar received provides four meals. According to the FBR website, one in seven Coloradans worry where their next meal will come from. Nearly half of the food distributed goes to hungry children.
FBR has a staff of 112 employees in warehouses in Denver and the Western Slope. It has a pool of more than 10,000 volunteers. "It's an honor for us to work with our amazing volunteers," Vogelzang said.