This article appeared in the September 2014 issue of Local Color Magazine.
September has been designated as “Hunger Awareness Month”, by Hunger Free Colorado (a statewide Nonprofit) and “Hunger Action Month” by Feeding America (a nationwide Nonprofit). At Brighton Shares The Harvest (a very local Nonprofit), we work to create hunger awareness and solutions year-round.
Did you know that our community food pantries are providing food assistance to over 900 Brighton area families every month? This includes seniors living alone, homeless individuals, single parents with young children, multiple generations, several relatives living as one large, blended family, and any other combination of individuals you can imagine.
Thousands of people in the Brighton community are “food insecure”, meaning they are not sure where their next meal will come from, or how they will manage to provide nutritious food to their family in the next week. In June, our five local food pantries provided over 66,000 pounds of food. Here’s a quote from a woman who receives some of this food assistance: “I am a local senior who is widowed, and I rely solely on Social Security benefits – I have very little each month to cover my basic needs. Thanks to our local food pantries, I don’t have to worry about being hungry… I am so grateful for the fresh fruits and vegetables; they are essential to my diet.”
There are a number of ways that you can assist these Brighton area families, including activities that may strengthen relationships within your own family, youth organization, work place, etc..
- Arrange a healthy food drive. Request donations of low-fat and low-sugar items, such as canned meats, canned fruits (in “lite” syrup), canned vegetables (low- or no-salt added), dried beans, whole wheat pasta, etc.. Remember that food pantry clients need access to healthy choices. You can organize a healthy food drive for a small group, or set up a “challenge” between multiple organizations. This can be a great opportunity to highlight the value of foods that are nutritious, as opposed to the highly processed foods that are so often donated during a food drive.
- Coordinate a fresh produce donation. This involves some scheduling challenges, but it’s worth the effort to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to food pantry clients who might not otherwise have fresh food to eat for several days or even weeks. Contact Linda Young at Brighton Shares The Harvest at 720-301-0949 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get a fresh produce drive and donation set up at any time of the year.
- Cash donations are always appreciated, and can help food pantries to purchase large quantities of processed food from Food Bank of the Rockies. A donation to Brighton Shares The Harvest will help us fund programs to assist local gardeners to grow extra produce to donate to food pantries through out the summer.
|To make a donation to a local food pantry, call them for days and hours of operation:Calvary Chapel Food Pantry, 303-669-8139Chapel Hill Food Pantry, 303-659-0745His Hands Food Cupboard, 303-659-5456
Seventh Day Adventist Food Pantry, 1-719-469-2879
St Augustine’s Community Food Pantry, 303-654-1040
To make a donation to Brighton Shares The Harvest, to fund programs to help gardeners grow and donate more produce, visit our website www.BrightonSharesTheHarvest.org for a Pay Pal donation, or mail a check to PO Box 993, Brighton CO 80601.
If you need food assistance, please call the Hunger Free Hotline at 720-382-2920 or 855-855-4626 for information about Food Pantries and food assistance resources.
All of Brighton’s Community Food Pantries are always in need of healthy nonperishable foods for their clients. If you can’t grow fresh produce to donate, and when it’s out of season, you can always help by donating purchased food to our pantries. See the “Donate Produce” tab for their locations and days of operation.
Healthy, affordable options to donate include:
- Canned lean protein (tuna, salmon, chicken)
- Dry beans
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Canned soups with lower sodium
- Canned vegetables with no salt
- Fruit canned in water or “lite” syrup
- Olive oil
- Cooking spray
- Spices such as cinnamon, chili powder, salt-free Mrs. Dash
- Oatmeal and other whole grain, low-sugar cereals
- Peanut butter
- Plain or roasted nuts, such as almonds and walnuts.
You can help Brighton Shares The Harvest meet our goal of putting more fresh produce on more tables in Brighton in many ways:
- Like us on Facebook. Like and share our posts, which helps us increase our exposure.
- Purchase a King Soopers Gift Card from us, pre-loaded with $10, $20, or $25. It’s worth that amount of anything you want to buy from King Soopers, including groceries, prescriptions, and gas. And when you reload money on the card, King Soopers gives us 5% of the amount you reload, at no cost to you. Contact Linda Young for more information, and to make a purchase.
- Sell King Soopers Gift Cards for us to your friends, co-workers, family, and neighbors. We will provide you with the pre-loaded cards and marketing materials.
- Purchase tickets to/attend and support our fundraising activities and events. Every year we sell tickets to the Chamber of Commerce Duck Race and hold a number of “Dine and Donate” or other fundraising events, and we could really use your support.
- Sell tickets or other fundraising materials for us when we’re doing a fundraiser! Advertise these events for us. Put up flyers, send email, post on Facebook.
- Instead of doing an Internet search with Google, use www.Goodsearch.com. It will ask you who you Goodsearch for. Fill in Brighton Shares The Harvest and we’ll get about one penny every time you do a search! Ask your friends and family to do the same. 100 Goodsearches a day = $365 a year.
- When you’re ready to purchase flower or vegetable seeds for your garden, go to our website home page and click on the banner for Botanical Interests, then shop on their website. If you enter their website through our website, they will rebate us 20% of the price of your order, at no cost to you!
- Help out with activities and events that support our programs, such as harvesting vegetables at Happy Belly Farm, holding a fresh produce drive, and delivering food to local food pantries.
- We always appreciate, and can always use, cash donations. You may donate on our website through PayPal, or send a check to Brighton Shares The Harvest at P O Box 993, Brighton, CO 80601.
Thank you very much for supporting our programs, so we can continue to put more fresh produce on more tables in Brighton!
Brighton Shares The Harvest