DENVER – November 2013 – For many Americans Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family around a delicious meal to celebrate all that the past year has provided. Whether you look forward to spending quality time with family, cheering on your favorite football team or enjoying a home-cooked meal, there are many reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving. This time of year, the Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association encourages everyone to take a moment to be thankful and think about ways to help others who are less fortunate.
According to Feeding America, around 6.2 million households across the United States received aid from food banks in 2012. Coloradans were hit especially hard this year due to the damage caused by this summer’s wildfires and floods. The Food Bank of the Rockies reports that one in seven Coloradans worry about where they will find food next and sadly, nearly half are children.
CEP, a membership organization representing seven farms, has an unwavering mission to provide high-quality eggs to Coloradans and is committed to giving back to the community. In fact, so far in 2013 CEP has donated more than 1.2 million eggs to local charities, including food banks and homeless shelters, to help feed those in need. CEP also coordinated the second annual PJs & Eggs event that benefitted the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver. Over the past two years the event has collected more than $5,500 and nearly 500 pairs of pajamas for seriously ill children. This year a portion of the collected pajamas were provided to Colorado families affected by floods. In response to the floods CEP also donated more than 32,400 total eggs to the Community Food Share in Boulder and Broomfield counties and the Food Bank for Larimer County. CEP will also increase its normal donation to the Weld Food Bank through the end of the year to help families struggling to put food on their tables. This will include an additional 48,600 eggs throughout the holiday season.
“As local farmers we are dedicated to helping the community all year-round, especially our neighbors who don’t know where their next meal will come from,” said Jerry Wilkins, CEP president. “That’s why we donate more than a million eggs to food banks across Colorado every year and we are thankful for the opportunity to give back. Eggs are one of the best foods for quick meals or snacks – they have 13 essential vitamins and nutrients and they keep us full for longer than many other options.”
CEP is also proud to be a part of the Good Egg Project, an initiative from America’s egg farmers that aims to educate people about where eggs come from and to encourage Americans to help conquer hunger in the U.S. Since 2009, The Good Egg Project has donated more than 48 million eggs to America’s food banks and charities.
Interested in giving back? Here are some ideas for you to help those in need this holiday season:
• Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Establishments that accept volunteers include the Denver Rescue Mission, SAME Café, Denver Catholic Worker Soup Kitchen, Native American Nutri Aid, Inc., Metro Food Bank and Helping Hands for the Homeless Food Bank.
• Donate food to local charities and food banks. If you’re strapped for time this holiday season there are still ways to give back. Simply drop off non-perishable items at local food drives, food banks and charities.
• Involve the kids. Volunteering is a great way to teach your children the value of giving back and helping them realize that some people live in circumstances very different from your own. Some places don’t allow children to volunteer so ask in advance if they allow kids to help out.
• Visit people in need. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with close family and friends, yet many will be unable to see their loved ones this year. Make someone’s holiday truly special by stopping by a hospital or nursing home to see if anyone staying there could use some company.
While Thanksgiving is a time to join your family around the dinner table to share a wonderful meal, it is also important to remember that not everyone has that opportunity. Take some time during this holiday season to help others in Colorado. You will likely improve someone else’s holiday season as you make yours more meaningful.
Learn more about CEP and our efforts to combat hunger at coloradoeggproducers.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for recipes, agriculture news, interesting egg facts and more.