Colorado Academy Essay by Abby Colodny

Abby Colodny is a sixth grader at Colorado Academy. She volunteers with her mom at Metro Caring. Her school challenged the sixth graders to write an essay about a non-profit that could benefit from a $1000 grant from the schools Philanthropic Society. Out of 80 students, Abby WON!!

 

Hunger (noun): A feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. Synonyms: lack of food, emptiness.

Hunger. Hunger is a young boy on the street, a full belly a distant memory for him. He doesn’t know where, or when, his next meal will come.

Hunger is a single mom of four, living in her beat-up car, afraid to move into a shelter. All her kids know is the occasional tasteless food refuged from scraps.

Hunger is one of the number one issues facing our world today. Nearly 20% of children in Colorado struggle with hunger, just like that young boy; not knowing when or where their next meal will come from.

One in seven Coloradans are hungry. One in six children. One in seven senior citizens. You could put these statistics aside, saying, “that's not me. I don't need to worry about that. It's just numbers; that's right. Just numbers.” The truth is, though, they are not just numbers. These supposed ‘just numbers’ are people. They are human beings, just like us. They are Colorado citizens, just like you, just like me. They have families and friends. They have things they love, things they hate, their quirks. They have lives. And they have hunger.

What if there was something that could end this? Something that could solve that single mom’s money problems, and get food in her little ones’ stomachs? What if a full belly didn't have to be such a distant memory for that young boy?

At the corner of 18th Avenue and Downing, there is such a place. Metro Caring is more than a building; it is a refuge. Set up close to the heart of downtown Denver, Metro Caring is a grocery store style food pantry where participants can feel like normal people––which is what they deserve; just out shopping, buying food for their family. Each participant is allowed to come once a month and obtains a week’s supply of food, the loose guidelines based off of the number of residents in their households. There is a large variety of fresh produce, non-perishables, breads, dairy, baby products, non-food items such as animal food, hygiene products (i.e. soap, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, etc.), and winter clothing items, and even meat supply, and though Metro Caring gives suggestive limits, customers make the decision about how much they decide to take.

Metro Caring doesn’t just offer food. In addition to the main market area, they offer many other services, such as utility assistance, out-of-state ID assistance, classes in things like cooking and gardening, job training, herbs and vegetables to start a garden at home, and help with enrollment in programs like SNAP and LIHEAP.

Metro Caring has a small amount of staff to pay. The staff are in charge of the volunteers, which make up most of the work force at Metro Caring, meaning that 94¢ out of every dollar they receive goes directly to their cause. In the grand scale of non-profit organizations, that is an impressive percentage. However, many of the donations they receive are in food; donations from grocery stores, farms, bakeries, and so on. With the $1,000, Metro Caring could use the donation for more than just their market and cooking programs, and spread it across their organization to some of the more poverty oriented programs.

When I have volunteered at this organization before, the participants are really nice, interesting people, who are just down on their luck. The volunteers and staff are so kind and supportive to everyone, and people almost always leave looking happy and content. That is what Metro Caring strives for. And that is what we all should strive for: to make people happy.

If Metro Caring gets the $1,000, that single mom’s money problems will be solved, her kids given food, and she will be given a job opportunity. That young boy’s belly will be full, and he could be supplied with an ID for a chance at being adopted. These are just a small percentage of the people who will be helped if Metro Caring receives the money. Donate to Metro Caring, and build a better Colorado for all.

Metro Caring