Food for Hope’s mission is to empower and nourish the future of their community by providing nutritious food to children in need.
There are thousands of children in Adams County who receive little to nothing to eat when they are not at school. Food for Hope is here to provide these children with nutritious meals on the weekends so they can grow, learn, and thrive along with their peers.
In addition to the backpack program, Food for Hope would like to expand to establish food banks in local high schools so that older students can acquire the food they need in a discrete and comprehensive way. Our goal is to one day serve every school district in Adams County and meet the nutritional needs of the thousands of students who don’t receive adequate food at home.
The idea for a weekend food program began in early 2014 when Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams decided to take action in her community against the issue of hunger. She called together pastors of local churches to see if anyone was willing to assist in her effort. Pastor Ruben Villarreal of ThornCreek Church immediately jumped on board. He felt God calling ThornCreek to be a more consistent presence in the community assisting those in need. Mayor Williams and Pastor Villarreal began to collaborate on what would become Food for Hope.
The vision was that it would be a dynamic partnership with the City of Thornton, Adams County school districts, people of all faiths and walks of life, businesses, and residents. They wanted to have a weekend food program that distributed healthy food, specifically for children who required lunch assistance at their schools. It would not be funded by tax dollars, but by organizations and ordinary people that simply cared about children.
In May 2014, they brought in Emily Stromquist to be the Executive Director of their effort. An interest meeting was organized in August of that year, and representatives from the City of Thornton, churches, businesses, and the Adams 12 School District were in attendance. On that day, Food for Hope had its inception. Since that time, those supporting Food for Hope have been gathering resources for achieving its operating goals. Food for Hope became an independent nonprofit organization (501(c)3) in early 2015.
The program is moving forward – pursuing financial sponsorship and healthy food donations to further the mission. As the number of families expands and new programs are developed, the hope is that the reach of this initial vision will only continue to grow.