DENVER (KDVR) — With the pandemic and all the financial challenges that come with it, many families are finding themselves in need of food assistance.
So the Denver nonprofit Amp the Cause expanded their hunger initiative called Fill the Void, providing funding to families who need help feeding their children.
“It’s been such a help to our families,” said Minnie Pescador, the Family Liaison at Vaughn Elementary School in Aurora. “We definitely do have a lot of kids who are experiencing hunger.”
Pescador sees the impact hunger has on the students. “We have seen kids that sometimes because of that food insecurity have that anger or sadness or just really act out because they don’t know if they are going to be able to have a meal.”
She is grateful for the Fill the Void program. It offers families in need a $250 gift card to their local grocery store.
Fill the Void works with school districts, foundations, police departments, and more to help identify families who need support.
The program was expanded in summer 2020 due to the pandemic.
“Since then we have given out over $320,000 worth of gift cards to over 1,200 families in our community,” said Julia Simmons, president of Amp the Cause.
She hopes the Fill the Void program offers something different from other food assistance programs.
“It’s different because it gives dignity,” Simmons said. “We want these families who are in such great need to really be able to go into their neighborhood grocery store and buy whatever they need,” she added.
Food insecurity has always been an issue, but Simmons says the pandemic made it worse.
“We serve people who tell us that they wouldn’t have food that night,” she said.
Funding for the program comes from grants, COVID funding and individual donations.
If you would like to donate you can find more information on their site.