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Teaching moment

Meet Community Food Share Volunteer Lori Smith

Article by Barbara Gart

Photography by Sarah Dawn Photography

Originally published in Broomfield Lifestyle

The COVID-19 Pandemic not only shed a light on how many people were struggling with food insecurity, but it also gave families an opportunity to volunteer that may not have had the free time before. Lori Smith and her daughters are one of the families that discovered volunteering in March of 2020, and found it was a great way to avoid social isolation while helping those in need.

Lori began volunteering with her daughters at Community Food Share, a food bank fighting hunger in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Frankie Ryder, Marketing and Communications Manager, shares, “We provide fresh, nutritious food to more than 40 local partners and serve thousands of neighbors each year through our onsite and mobile pantries. Hunger is an invisible problem in our community. The pandemic helped showcase how many people were just one paycheck away from a financial crisis. Now the high costs of gas and groceries are bringing people back to their local food banks.”

In March of 2020, when BVSD transitioned to online learning, Lori saw her daughters sitting in front of the computer all day for school, and wanted to find a way to get everyone out of the house after school. They initially decided to volunteer to get away from the screens, but what they found was so much more. Lori shares, “I had helped out at a soup kitchen with my kids when they were much younger, and that experience stuck with me. We started volunteering with Community Food Share during COVID, and even after my kids went back to school, I stayed with it.”

Lori appreciates that volunteering has taught her daughters responsibility and not to waste. The most fulfilling part for Lori is the camaraderie she gets from spending time with the other volunteers. It is a fun social time that goes by quickly, all while doing important work for the organization. Lori’s home was destroyed in the Marshall Fire, and after the kids went back to school in January, she realized how much she was looking forward to volunteering again. “I felt like a fish out of water. Being able to go back to volunteering was something I had done before the fire, and to have a sense of normalcy was powerful and gave me time to not think about the fire. Everyone was so supportive, asking how they can help, when we were there to help others.”

For more information on volunteer opportunities, how to make a donation (every $1 donated helps provide $5 worth of groceries) or to learn more about food resources in our community, please visit