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7Everyday Heroes at Food Bank of the Rockies help feed growing number of people in need

7Everyday Heroes at Food Bank of the Rockies
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Posted at 10:58 AM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 13:39:24-04

DENVER — At Food Bank of the Rockies, volunteers are quickly catering to a growing number of people in need of food.

Food Bank of the Rockies CEO Erin Pulling said she is seeing a greater need for food assistance than ever before.

"We’re seeing about a doubling in the number of people needing food assistance," she said.

Meeting that need takes dedicated volunteers like Kim and Phil Willett. Their charity work started at the organization three years ago. For all those years, twice a week, the couple volunteered in the distribution center, preparing food that will eventually go to people who need it.

Then, the coronavirus hit and everything changed.

"When our operations changed about eight weeks ago, and many volunteers started dropping off, (the Willetts) actually increased their volunteerism," Pulling said. "They said we know that more people are going to be turning to Food Bank of the Rockies than ever before and we’re going to be here in support as part of the solution."

Today, their service is more important than ever. The food bank has had to quickly adapt, now social distancing and moving its operations to drive-thru mobile food pantries.

"Two weeks ago, we served over 350 cars coming through and again it was the food bank food and the stuff that we packed here, and we see that the gratitude those people have," said Phil Willett.

Most families can only afford to pay with a thank you, but for the Willetts, that is more than enough.

"They have so much gratitude, and relief — I see a lot of relief on a lot of peoples faces because they don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal from sometimes, and this just puts them over the hump," said Kim Willett.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.