To lead and engage our community in the fight against hunger.
Weld Food Bank is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization which alleviates hunger and poverty by providing food and services to people in need since 1982. We are a private non-profit organization and are not a part of county government. We are an affiliate of Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States.
We work to educate the public about the nature of hunger and poverty. We recognize the need for emergency and supplemental food programs and of other non-profit organizations that meet the critical needs of low-income families. When we provide our services we strive to do so with compassion and respect for the dignity of the people seeking food assistance.
Weld Food Bank collects, stores, and processes food to distribute it to low-income people. We glean food from manufacturers, farmers, distributors, grocers and community food drives in order to make it available to hungry people in our community.
We serve individuals at our warehouse in Greeley through our Emergency Food Boxes and Senior Feeding Program. Our Mobile Food Pantry and Farms to Families programs go to different sites throughout Weld County including Dacono, Kersey, Pierce and other high need rural areas. Half of our programs are geared to address child hunger. Our Kids Cafe and Summer Feeding programs serve kids mostly made-from-scratch meals while they aren't in school. Through our School Pantry Program, we help students who come to school hungry, and our Backpack Program provides food for children over the weekend. The furthest reach we have in this large county is through our partnerships with nonprofit agency partners who serve in areas like Ault, Gilcrest, Erie, Windsor and many more. Last year, we distributed 14.6 million pounds of food, 8.3 million of which was fresh produce, meat and dairy.
Stories tell of the impact Weld Food Bank has on the community, and they show the lives that your donation touches, especially during this incredibly difficult time.
A woman named Allyson called on a Wednesday afternoon to see if we were giving out food, which unfortunately we do not distribute at that time. She had just driven 30 minutes from her home and started to get choked up as she said, "okay, I'll have to tell my kids." It broke our hearts. Thankfully, we were able to catch her before she hung up to tell her about a Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) happening across town in Greeley. She said she would try to get there before hanging up. However, our staff felt we should call her back to make sure she found the MFP. When we reached her, she said she probably didn't have enough gas to get to the distribution and back home. We asked if she could come to our warehouse to get some food for the night, and she could. When she arrived and we started loading up her car, three of her four kids were in the truck with eyes full of excitement. Especially at the giant watermelon we gave them.
Allyson took a moment to share some of her story with our staff. The truck she was driving belonged to a friend because her car broke down that morning. Money was very tight for her family, because her husband works in the oil field and was without work for months. "He will probably be embarrassed that I'm here, because we've never had to ask for help before," she confessed. "He doesn't feel like much of a man right now not being able to provide for us." We suggested she tell him the food came from a friend, and we meant it. We are their neighbors and friends, and that's what we do: help our neighbors. Right before heading home, she said, "this means so much more than you know. Today has been a lightning strike day, but this food makes it so much better."
We met a single Mom of 3 children at one of our Mobile Food Pantries when the pandemic first started. She started to cry as she told us about losing her job and the struggles she's had making sure her children have food to eat. She skips most meals, but has been trying to eat at least one a day. She always feeds her two older children first to ensure they have enough. As she cried, she told us about her newborn baby who is nursing. She was consumed with guilt and worry that she would not be able to continue to nurse her infant, because her food intake had dropped so dramatically. We cried with her. No mother should have to make these choices. It is heartbreaking.
During COVID-19, we extended our Backpack Program to run through the summer because we knew children would need more help in 2020 and 2021 than ever before. We partnered with local school districts to help distribute the bags of food. One site reported back that a sweet second grader named Natalie gave all the volunteers a hug the first time she received a bag of food. She said she was so happy for the food because she had been getting it through the school year. However, she admitted she was worried about not having that food while on summer break. Natalie's mom Erin also shared how much the food helps their family especially during a time when she was furloughed from her job. "With no income coming in, I thought we'd end up going days without food," she said. "But, these bags of food she brought home every weekend and food from our church's pantry helped us get by."