Authored by: Maria Jamero
Thanksgiving season is one of the busiest times of the year for food banks, and as the pandemic continues to impact more families, food insecurity is steadily skyrocketing across the nation. With service to others as part of United Properties’ core, UP is fortunate to make charitable donations this year in lieu of holiday gifts to several food banks in the communities we serve.
United Properties supported Second Harvest Heartland, one of the largest hunger-relief organizations serving the Upper Midwest. Second Harvest Heartland has stepped up distribution this year due to the hunger crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus. From emergency food boxes and emergency grocery pop-ups to extra food deliveries, donations help ensure families receive the food and support they need especially during the cold winter months.
“Your gift offers hope and comfort to neighbors who are experiencing unemployment. They feel a sense of relief during these uncertain times after visiting a local drive-through food distribution,” said Allison O’Toole, Second Harvest Heartland CEO.
Because of your support, more of our neighbors across the heartland will be able to access the food they need to thrive. Without you, our work would not be possible. Thank you for your gift,” she added.
Food Bank of the Rockies provides food and supplies to more than 600 hunger-relief programs in Colorado. Since the first wave of the pandemic hit in the spring, their food distribution has significantly increased as more people need food assistance. A new survey shows one in seven Coloradans are struggling with food insecurity and one in five Colorado kids are facing hunger.
United Properties’ donation to Food Bank of the Rockies will help keep food on the tables of those struggling during the pandemic. “Unfortunately, we are seeing an incredible amount of demand at FBR but it is incredible seeing the overwilling amount of support from groups like United Properties to allow us to serve people in need. Thank you for your donation,” said Ryan Good, Food Bank of the Rockies Executive Vice President.
“Thank you for partnering with FBR to help us nourish our neighbors,” noted Mitch Jelniker, Food Bank of the Rockies Corporate Relations Manager. “Your generosity comes at a critical time. Your donation will help us provide 60,000 nutritious meals for families in need. Thank you.”
United Properties also partnered with Central Texas Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. With many people reaching out for assistance, Central Texas Food Bank adapted their distribution model for COVID-19 to allow for larger drive-through distributions through the Mobile Food Pantry Program.
The food bank is serving about 340,000 people a month, a 43% increase over previous monthly client numbers due to the pandemic. At the height of pandemic response in May 2020, the food bank served almost 370,000 individuals in one month. There was also a surge in first-time clients – in September they served nearly 13,000 households who had never visited a food bank before.
“Thank you so much for thinking of the Food Bank for this donation. We are so grateful that you wanted to help,” said Amelia Long, Director of Community Engagement. Other ways gifts will be instantly put to use are through CTFB’s summer programs, support for partner agency networks and referrals to community resources.
The tradition of giving back and giving thanks continues at United Properties, enriching and uplifting the local communities where we work and live.