Hunger Free Colorado’s statewide food resource hotline serves as a lifeline for those in need of food assistance. The hotline helps people of all ages, backgrounds and zip codes get connected to food pantries, meal sites and nutrition programs like food stamps, so they have the fuel to reach their full potential.
Located in Denver, the hotline office is a hub of activity, fielding approximately 900 calls monthly. Assisting with the work flow is Brenda Neubaum, who has been a volunteer since July 2016 through Volunteers of America Colorado Branch’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). As a registered dietitian, Brenda brings a wealth of knowledge and experience which inspired her to choose the hotline as her volunteer placement.
Brenda has gained additional insight into the issue of hunger through this volunteer opportunity by making phone calls to food stamp applicants and entering data. Armed with empathy, Brenda makes follow-up calls which aid in tracking successful outcomes involving applicants, ensuring that they have participated in the eligibility interview. In the cases where an interview has not taken place, Brenda responds with a gentle nudge of encouragement.
On any given day, she may find herself calling food pantries and banks, community meal sites, meal baskets, summer meal sites for kids and teens, and many other resources that help people access the food needed for their health and well-being. Brenda points out that often someone may have to choose between food and medication—a predicament that can be eased with the hotline’s support.
Building stronger communities thrives in the midst of collaboration and the power of two small words, “thank you.” Brenda shows gratitude to the food assistance providers for their contributions and support for those seeking assistance, and in turn, she is thanked by applicants and providers for her efforts.
Brenda can now add another heartfelt THANK YOU from the RSVP team at Volunteers of America Colorado Branch and the staff at Hunger Free Colorado for her compassion and efforts to help ensure no Coloradan goes hungry.
This blog post was adapted from a volunteer profile on Brenda that was featured in a recent newsletter by our partner, Volunteers of America Colorado Branch.