Young Roxanne was eager to let other people know about The Lunch Lab, because she likes it a lot! “You get to get a prize after six visits and you get lots of yummy food,” she said, holding the prize she had picked out during a recent Lunch Lab visit at the Old Town Library in Fort Collins. Her favorite foods this summer were the Craisins and the popcorn chicken.
Roxanne’s mother Dani was thankful that The Lunch Lab provided not only meal support, but also a special activity with her daughter. “It’s been a huge help over the summer,” Dani said. “It’s been fun just being together and having something to go out and do, as well as just helpful, because I recently had to leave my job. It got us through a little bit of a hard time.”
Joanne has been visiting the Food Bank since 2019. “My experience at the Food Bank has been great. The food we get here helps my family so much, especially over the last year and a half,” she says.
Joanne typically visits the Family Medical Center pantry because it’s just faster and more efficient for her. She also likes being able to select the food she receives, which helps her feed herself, her husband, and her four grandkids. “I also love receiving the recipes that they give out. I can go home and make a whole meal out of what they provide!”
Mayte has been coming to the food bank for more than 10 years to help balance out her grocery budget. Shopping for groceries for a family of four can be very expensive, but Mayte has been able to keep her costs down by picking up things like milk, meat, fruits, and vegetables at the Food Bank before she heads to the grocery store for other items.
“I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You’re helping us, you’re donating your time and money, and you’re respectful to Hispanic people. And also, to the stores that donate their food/products, I want to say how grateful I am to them, because it’s a lot of help to us, coming to the Food Bank.”
Food Bank Client
“I never thought I’d be in this situation. I’ve had a staff, and a great job, and I’ve been secure my whole life, until my divorce a couple of years ago,” says a client in a recent conversation. We hear personal stories like this a lot, and it’s important to remind people that hard times can fall upon anyone and that everyone deserves compassion and support. This client went on to say that she is grateful for this service and for all of the kind and welcoming staff and volunteers, which makes our job even more meaningful.
“It’s my first time here at the Lunch Lab, but I think it amazing what you are doing here.” LeAnn says. She first saw the Lunch Lab food truck the last time she visited the Loveland Library. “It’s just convenient – really convenient – to have it at the library,” she says. “My kids are excited to have the fruit and veggies.”
Violet has been visiting the Food Bank’s Loveland pantry for a few years now, and she just beams with gratitude when she talks about her experience. “I appreciate all that the volunteers, staff, and donors do for us. I take apples and carrots to my friend who is in her 80s, and the rest comes home with me.”
Violet says her experience visiting the food bank has always been wonderful, but she especially likes the new drive-through system that was implemented at the beginning of the pandemic. With a gorgeous smile, Violet said, “I still work, but I need this extra help sometimes.” And we believe that everyone needs a little extra help sometimes.
“Variety is the spice of life,” Keith says as he loads bags of food into his vehicle. Keith is a chef who is also working at DoorDash to make ends meet. He says that the variety of foods that he gets at the Food Bank’s Loveland pantry is good, and he tries to have fun with it while cooking for himself and his daughter.
Keith has been visiting the food bank for about three months and really likes the drive-through format. Keith appreciates the “smiles going all around” when he visits. Keith also touches on something that many people resonate with. He says, “It’s a pride thing. But sometimes you have to push that aside. Everyone has to have food to be able to work and keep trying to survive.”
Holly & Craig
Holly and Craig have been visiting the Food Bank’s Loveland pantry for about three years, ever since their youngest child came along. Visiting the food bank takes a lot of stress off of them and leaves some financial room for other things.
While they both really like the drive-through system, Holly says that she really does miss being able to connect with the staff and volunteers inside. “But even now, when the volunteers see that we have kids in the car, they will run inside and get a small toy or sweet treat for each of them. It makes for a really special experience for our kids, and we are so grateful for the wonderful people here.”
“The food I get here is so high-quality. Everyone in my household eats vegetables and I can get enough to last the week,” Les says. “I pack them in my daughter’s lunchbox, and she loves them.”
Les has been visiting the Family Medical Center pantry for about three years and says one of the reasons he shops there is the staff. “Laura is amazing,” he says. “During COVID she kept it together and kept everyone going. The entire staff is awesome.”
Even though he enjoys shopping at FMC, he does have one small request. “I miss the book stand,” he says. “I love to read, and I used to bring books in to donate and take a few to read myself. It was a great book exchange. I hope it comes back once the pandemic is over.”