Feeding Minds-Enriching Lives is organized exclusively for charitable purposes relating to childhood hunger and academic enrichment. To this end, Feeding Minds-Enriching Lives has established and manages a non-profit food pantry supporting basic nutritional needs for young children and supplementing educational enrichment by providing access to science and liberal arts.
We are completely secular, non-partisan, and non-political. Our only mission is to feed and enrich the academic lives of children. Addressing hunger in our communities in an issue we must all face. A one dollar ($1) donation to Feeding Minds-Enriching Lives is converted to over (15) pounds of food, including staples, fruits and vegetables.
Feeding Minds-Enriching Lives, a 501(c)(3)(b) founded in February, 2009, by Jefferson County school teacher, Alexandria Ralat, is single-mindedly and passionately dedicated to alleviating the true face of childhood hunger in Jefferson County. In contrast with almost all traditional food pantries, Feeding Minds-Enriching Lives operates on a model gleaned from Walmart business practice of centralized warehouse distribution. We do not accumulate large volumes of food for a ‘rainy day’ but instead, rapidly, assertively and compassionately identify and intercede on-site at schools most directly impacted by poverty. Average time from donation to table time for our clients is less than three hours, because both pantry and clients are physically located on school property and strong bonds of trust have been established.
We address the reality of severe childhood hunger in Jefferson County by targeting teacher identified at-risk and disadvantaged families (some going so far as living in cars) in schools experiencing upwards of 98% free lunch, with the long-term goal of increasing physical and mental well-being and a chance to thrive. While Colorado leads the nation in both childhood hunger and homelessness, our clients along the Jefferson County, Colfax urban corridor, are characterized by a gross income of only $9,000.
We began our food pantry in 2005, with personal funds and no IRS status after observing severe behavioral problems including attention deficits, aggression, exhaustion and irritability among third grade students. During one class, Ms. Alexandria Ralat (Executive Director) was prompting a writing exercise regarding pets. One child stated that “I have a rabbit Ms. Ralat”, Ms. Ralat, in turn, thought she was referring to a pet “tell me about your rabbit, honey”, asked Ms. Ralat. “The rabbit’s in my tummy, we were hungry last night and so my dad hit it in the head with a rock and killed it so we could eat”. This is a family of six (6) and one scrawny rabbit along the West Colfax urban corridor. Thus informed, we began our endeavor. Our initial impact during our teacher led pilot project based out of Molholm Elementary fed 32 families of four (4) for 12 months on only $3,200 with significant teacher-based data indicating lower behavioral disturbances and greater academic achievement as measured by score based tests for positively impacted children.
- To establish our reputation as a professional, trustworthy and fiscally responsible non-profit dedicated to childhood well-being.
- To alleviate hunger among impoverished children in Jefferson County.
- To encourage donor partnerships in order to fund cultural events for impoverished children.
- To encourage and foster positive relationships with generous donors, foundations, corporations and fundraising efforts in order to maintain stable annual funding.
Molholm Elementary ranks number 1 in all of Jefferson County as having the highest number of free and reduced priced meals for breakfast and lunch of 96 % in the second largest district in Colorado.
Feeding Minds Facts:
- Children in food insecure families at Molholm typically fast 17.5 hours per day. Molholm Elementary ranks number 1 in all of Jefferson County as having the highest number of free and reduced priced meals for breakfast and lunch of 96 % in the largest district in Colorado
- 1.2 out of every ten students in our service area suffers homelessness, spending the night in shelters, church basements, or cars, most after being abandoned by the father
- Base consists of single mothers with 4-6 children with a gross monthly income is $750.00 or $9, 000 per year, less than 50% the U.S. Poverty income threshold
- 23.8% of Colorado’s households with kids reported food hardship (hunger) according to a recent Gallup poll
- CO has the fastest growing rate of child poverty in the nation according to Kids Count 2011
- CO ranks in the bottom 10 nationally in participation in nearly every federal nutrition program
- Students with free access to healthy snacks throughout the day increased test scores by 40% We added 180 preschool families (about 900 little tummies) last month because the need is so great
Why donate to us? We empower women by providing families with food assistance, alleviating significant financial burdens, allowing mothers to become financially healthy and to dream of a future. Our friends at Hunger Free Colorado always support a creative environment where efforts to alleviate childhood hunger may take flight. We are all in this together – all connected- creating a web of hope.