INSPIRED IMPACT :: Janie Gianotsos | Food Bank of the Rockies
INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
Janie Gianotsos is the Director of Marketing and Community Relations of Food Bank of the Rockies. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube and learn more at foodbankrockies.org.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Food Bank of the Rockies feeds our neighbors struggling with hunger. We help these men, women and children thrive by providing food and essentials through our programs and partner agencies.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Food is a must have. We do our best to get as much food to as many people in need as we possibly can. Food is hope and opportunity. Food is critical.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Last year we distributed enough food to provide 48.9 million meals.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
When we hear stories about people struggling to make difficult choices between food and medicine, food and rent, food and transportation we’re inspired to do as much as we can. About half our food feeds children, and knowing our food gives them nourishment and hope to learn and grow, inspires us too.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
In our dreams, no one would go hungry and people everywhere would have the nourishment they needed. There are many reasons people can’t always access the food they need, and while we can’t always change these reasons, we can work together with the community to solve hunger and make a difference.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Our number one need is money. It takes money to keep our trucks on the road, warehouse food, take food to the community… We’re able to turn every $1 into 4 meals – which is five pounds of food! We’re amazing shoppers and can procure food through retail, wholesale and agricultural industry donations. We can also buy the food we don’t get donated at wholesale or less through our partnerships and networks. Ninety-six cents of every dollar goes to food distribution. We’ve held the highest 4-star Charity Navigator rating for eight consecutive years, putting us in the top 2% of charities nationwide. We’re BBB accredited. We need volunteers too – especially in January and February.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Getting the food from the places that can donate it to the people who need it is daunting. We serve 30 counties in Colorado and the entire state of Wyoming. We continue to find partners to help us distribute food. We work with other hunger relief programs like soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries. We partner with volunteers to sort food, fill orders and help with our mobile pantries. We work with the food and agricultural industry to make sure food that’s safe and nutritious is donated and not wasted. It takes a team effort to ensure food gets to the people who really need it.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
We are true to our mission to feed hungry people. We can’t fix every issues in our community, but we’re good at procuring and distributing food. Find out what you can do best to help and then do it incredibly well, with honesty and integrity.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Give funds – $1= 4 meals. Volunteer – your time is priceless. Advocate – follow us and spread the word on social media, contact elected officials, tell your friends and neighbors what you learn about hunger. And sometimes the face of hunger might surprise you. Make sure anyone you know who might be hungry understands it’s OK to seek help and refer them to our organization.
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations serves those who serve others. We tell the stories of purpose-driven companies and nonprofits to amplify their voice and reach so they can increase their impact. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.