COLORADO SPRINGS — Beginning March 1, the Gill Foundation will match donations up to $125,000 to some of Colorado’s leading food banks.

Care and Share Food Bank has reported an uptick in assistance requests since the pandemic started. Since Care and Share Food Bank couldn’t host their Recipe of Hope event – the biggest fundraiser of the year in March and this year, the Gill Foundation reached out to help.

The Denver-based Gill Foundation is one of the nation’s leading funders to secure full equality for LGBTQ people.

Throughout the pandemic, food insecurity has skyrocketed. In Colorado, Food Bank of the Rockies and Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado have reported a 30 percent and 50 percent increase, respectively, in assistance requests since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food Bank of the Rockies reaches nearly 60% of Colorado’s food-insecure population, while Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado reach 22% of the population. Care and Share covers 31 counties which is about half the state, and they serve 220,000 people.

“So people who donate to us really get a powerful impact on their foods,” CEO of Care and Share Food Bank Lynne Telford said. “So right now, each dollar that we raise, we are able to acquire about six meals of food. That is huge that we can match that and make it into 12 meals.” 

The food bank is having to purchase food since donations haven’t been coming in as often. They said they expect to help people for a long time since many have had to dip into their savings accounts to provide for their families.

“As a native Coloradan who has lived and worked here all my life, this is personal to me,” said Scott Miller, co-chair of The Gill Foundation. “No Coloradan should ever go hungry, least of all during a national health crisis. The Gill Foundation is committed to supporting our community and looking after our neighbors, who have helped make our work possible for the past 27 years.”

In 2020, the Gill Foundation granted more than $1 million in COVID relief across Colorado. In late spring, the foundation donated $800,000 between Food Bank of the Rockies, Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado, Project Angel Heart, and the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. In November, the foundation followed up with an additional $300,000 to the two food banks. And with an additional $175,000 leveraged through matching campaigns, more than 5.6 million meals have been provided to Coloradans in need through the foundation’s support.