Gill Foundation Grants More Than $1 Million in 2020 to COVID Relief in Colorado
January 5, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the impact on Coloradans has been acutely evident in the long lines at food banks and reports of dramatic increases in food insecurity across the state.
In response to this crisis, Gill Foundation Board Co-Chairs Scott Miller and Tim Gill have directed more than $1 million from the Gill Foundation toward ensuring their fellow Coloradans do not go hungry. 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.
“We’ve been so moved by the compassion, generosity, and resilience of our fellow Coloradans in the face of this pandemic, and we are committed to helping our state get through this crisis,” said Scott Miller, co-chair of the Gill Foundation. “We are proud to support the work of these remarkable organizations to make sure no one in our state goes hungry.”
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 reaches 22% of the population.
Meanwhile, interruptions to the food supply and a decrease in food donations have made it more challenging to meet the increased need. According to Feeding America, there has been a 70 percent drop in donated food from retail and manufacturing partners since the beginning of the pandemic. These donations usually account for approximately half the supplies under normal circumstances.
In addition to the foundation’s donations, the team has been making an impact on the community through service on the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. Gill Foundation founder and board co-chair Tim Gill served on the Fund’s executive committee, while President and CEO Brad Clark served on the community voices committee. And staff members Denise Whinnen and Michael Dabbs joined separate committees tasked with helping review grant applications to help fuel state-wide recovery.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our communities will be felt for years to come,” said Miller. “The Foundation’s work in Colorado has always been focused on ensuring everyone in our state has equal opportunity to thrive. In the year ahead, as our state pivots from relief to recovery, the Gill Foundation will continue to support efforts to ensure our neighbors and friends are not left behind in this difficult time.”