The mission of Food for Hope is to empower and nourish the future of our community by providing healthy meals to students in need. Our desire is to give children a chance to succeed by providing nutrition that they otherwise would not receive.
The idea for a weekend food program began in early 2014 when Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams decided to take action in her community against the issue of hunger. She called together pastors of local churches to see if anyone was willing to assist in her effort. Pastor Ruben Villarreal of ThornCreek Church immediately jumped on board. Mayor Williams and Pastor Villarreal began to collaborate on what would become Food for Hope. The vision was that it would be a dynamic partnership with the City of Thornton, Adams County school districts, people of all faiths and walks of life, businesses, and residents. They wanted to have a weekend food program that distributed healthy food, specifically for children who required lunch assistance at their schools. It would not be funded by tax dollars, but by organizations and ordinary people that simply cared about children.
In May 2014, they brought in Emily Stromquist to be the Executive Director of their effort. After a summer spent researching the need and the backpack program model, a meeting was held at Thornton City Hall in August for all parties interested in participating. Over 30 people came, representing the City of Thornton, churches, businesses, and the Adams 12 School District. On that day, Food for Hope had its inception. Since that time, those supporting Food for Hope have been meeting with organizations within the community gathering resources for achieving its operating goals. Food for Hope is moving forward - pursuing financial sponsorship and healthy food donations. Our organization became an independent 501(c)3 organization in early 2015, and the hope is that the reach of this vision will only continue to grow.
"The kids in this school are so motivated in the morning now to come to school and stay instead of leaving because of nothing to eat in the morning. They come after school to grab something to eat from my desk because they know they can find something to take home for themselves and possibly their siblings. It has been amazing to see their faces and smiles to know they can always find our basket filled for them." - High School Coordinator for Thornton High School
"This program is great and we really appreciate what this Program provides to our students. Is nice to see this kids faces every Friday when they receive the bags. The benefit is they do not need to worry about what food they will have for the weekend, and concentrate more in school." - Carolina, Coordinator at McElwain Elementary
"This food is important because we didn't have enough food in our house." - Student at North Mor Elementary
"As an Elementary School Counselor in a predominantly middle-to-upper class school, Food for Hope has been, and continues to be, an extraordinary resource for our families in need. Before Food for Hope started bringing weekly bags of supplemental food for our students in need, I was spending money from my personal savings to try to help those families. I just could not bare to stand by while any of my students were not receiving adequate nutrition and experiencing hunger. The weekly bags of food from Food for Hope have ensured reliable and healthy food for our students whose families' are struggling financially. These families continue to express overwhelming gratitude to Food for Hope, and each of the parents have communicated that they sleep better at night knowing they'll have that supplemental food for their children each and every week. I received a phone call from one mother whose child just began receiving a weekly bag of food, and she cried while expressing her extreme appreciation for Food for Hope. She told me how ashamed she felt at not being able to provide for her children, and how much it means to her and her family that they can count on the extra food in a discreet and respectful way. Food for Hope helps to provide one of the basic human needs for our children, and there really are no words to express how crucial this organization is to helping our students grow, develop, and reach their full potential." -Counselor, Elementary School