AROUND TOWN: Filling hungry tummies the Care and Share Food Bank mission

By Linda Navarro Updated: March 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm • Published: March 21, 2018 0

The words of one little boy stunned a crowd of 1,186 adults.

His words are why they were in Broadmoor Hall for the 10th annual Care and Share Food Bank Recipe for Hope Luncheon.

Hunger is a part of life, children said in the luncheon video. And the bags of food that go home with area kids each week, 17,000 of them last year, help fill hungry tummies on weekends and "mean good things are going to happen."

Whew, those food bags are heavy, said one little fellow happily, but "that heaviness is love." Enough said.

After listening to the honest words of little ones and the stories from featured speakers, those attending donated more than $320,000, which means 2.6 million meals for those in 31 southern Colorado counties considered "food insecure." All money raised went toward the nonprofit's mission; the luncheon had been paid for by sponsors.

The Care and Share mantra is, "We have one belief: No one should go hungry."

One of those families experiencing hunger first-hand was Cyndi Corcoran's. She, husband Darrin and sons Kevie, Jacob, Landrum and Marley Wiley had carefully planned and saved for their move to Colorado. "We thought we were prepared, both working full time." Instead, there were times when there just wasn't enough money for food.

She recalled when she had just enough for 1 pound of hamburger and some buns for supper. The four boys got half a burger each, and the adults did without. The boys never complained, she said. But one son admitted in the video, "When you're hungry, it's a bad feeling in your stomach. It hurted."

Their first holiday here, Cyndi was devastated that as a mother, she couldn't give her boys regular life experiences, such as a Thanksgiving turkey and dressing that all the other kids at school enjoyed. Care and Share to the rescue, and the family's car joined a long line. Decorated boxes were filled with everything for a full holiday meal, she recalled, and she broke into "happy sobs." Her boys "belonged" when they went to school and kids asked what they ate for Thanksgiving. "Care and Share was there for us." A food pantry at school also provides help when needed, and now the family volunteers at Care and Share as well. The boys said how proud they are of their mother.

Tiko Hardy's family lived in Chicago's South Side, a neighborhood of gangs, violence and generational hunger. Dad was a pimp, and mother a prostitute who turned violent anytime Tiko and her five brothers said they were hungry. "Whenever I saw someone with food, I imagined what that food tasted like," she said.

Filled with shame, they visited the big white truck for government commodities, that big block of cheese, powdered milk and rice. Nothing fresh. "I wish Care and Share had been there for my family," she said.

Today Tiko Hardy is a success, having earned a GED and eventually her Ph.D., with a strong family and teaming with another professor to bring a food pantry to students at Pikes Peak Community College.

Hearing the stories, all Care and Share board member Vance Brown could say was "Wow." He's waiting for the day that hunger is eradicated. "I want to be a part of that," Brown said.

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