DENVER — The journey through life can take you to many places. Peggy Nelson knows this well. When her journey took her through a layoff from her retail job more than a decade ago, she knew she was at a fork in the road. So, she found a life on the road.
"I really wanted to do something else," Nelson recalled of the transitory time in her life. "And, the food bank just sounded like a really great place to work."
Nelson spends every work day driving across the Denver metro area, delivering meals for the Food Bank of the Rockies "Everyday Eats" program. The service connects income-qualifying seniors with monthly meal kits. Many recipients pick up the kits themselves, but not all are able. That's where Nelson comes in. She estimates she drives 100 miles or more some shifts as she delivers to dozens of individuals and families.
"I have 28 stops today, so I'm going to be pretty busy all day long," Nelson laughed as Denver7 joined her along one of her delivery routes. "But, that's good!"
The meal kits Nelson delivers certainly nourish their recipients physically. But, maybe just as important, their hand deliveries nourish a need for connection as well, among a group of people who might not always get enough of it. Yolanda Howard, a Denver resident who moved to the city from Florida in 2013, also knows the unpredictability of life's journey. In recent years, she has had to deal with both her own disability and that of her husband's. While she is thankful they are each doing well, she doesn't know where she would be without the help of the "Everyday Eats" program.
"It's hard, because when you're on a fixed income you never know what the day tomorrow is gonna bring," Howard said. "You just thank God for what you get."
Howard said she is appreciative of each of Nelson's visits and has raved to her neighbors and friends about the help available from the Food Bank of the Rockies.
"Call the Food Bank of the Rockies. Call them and let them know," Howard told her friends. "There is help out there. If you want it, there is help. [Leave] your pride behind and call."
As for Nelson, she plans to continue the long days on the road delivering, enjoying every minute of the journey. Seeing the difference made for the recipients, she said, makes it all worth it.
"You know, it just really warms my heart when I know on their door and they open it and they say, 'I was just thinking about you Peggy!' And I'll go, 'really?!' They're so grateful," Nelson said. "They very much appreciate it."
Denver7 is teaming up with the Food Bank of the Rockies all week for the “7 Days to Help End Hunger” campaign. Donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Denver7 Gives and help the Food Bank of the Rockies as they distribute enough food every day for 181,500 meals. You can learn more and donate here.