Here at Denver Food Rescue, we’ve been fighting this issue every day since we were founded in 2012. We recognize the inequities of health and healthy food access 365 days a year, as 1 in 9 adults and 1 in 7 children are food insecure, despite 40% of food going to waste.
We certainly mourn the world-wide issues and deaths COVID-19 has brought, and we also know that 1 out of every 5 deaths across the globe is due to diet-related illnesses each year.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen and expect a continued increase in need. An increase in those who do not have the capacity to go out and get food. The need to nourish their bodies and the bodies of their family with the proper nutrient content to build a healthy immune system.
We are grateful to have also seen an increase in support. Foundations coming together to fund the innovative and creative ways that we are addressing this pandemic and the long-term sustainability for organizations that have been, and will continue, to do the work.
Organizations are forming networks and coalitions to leverage and maximize strengths and expertise, to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable communities—our communities— are met in an equitable, inclusive way.
Communities have stepped up in every way. From donating money and goods to organizations that are on the frontlines, to pulling out those old sewing machines and making masks for protection.
We are all also checking on our loved ones and neighbors, knowing that just that simple “Are you ok, do you need anything?” means a lot. These small things are potentially giving a glimpse of hope and light assuring that at the end of this, we will be okay because we stuck together and did all the humanly things possible to ensure it.
My question is this—
will we continue to work together to break down these challenges and barriers when this is over?
How will we reduce the cycle of holiday or pandemic support because of privilege and capacity and the time that our hearts need to feel full?
How will we lean on our neighbors with lived experience for their expertise to advance just systems? How will we continue to look at the community as a half-full cup, until the cup is overflowing in a way that not only feeds stomachs but feeds souls?
You are, we are, doing it now!
Impact comes when change is made, and change is not made overnight. Change is made when there is consistency.
A healthy meal does not make you a healthy person, it’s the change within a healthy lifestyle, that has the overall impact. It’s the same for ensuring communities have access to healthy foods.
Your engagement is necessary for systematic change, for worldwide impact and it starts with our community!
We invite you to be a part of ongoing changes in healthy food access during COVID-19 and beyond by signing up to give a financial gift of $5, $50, $500 or any amount each month.