By Lynne Thielen
Behind every organization, whether for profit or nonprofit, there are champions and individuals who spark the flame and fuel the fire. Food for Thought is lucky to have such a great core that has allowed us to grow into such a thriving organization in such a short time. We’d quickly like to shine the spotlight, despite their reluctance, on Food for Thought’s founders, Bob Bell and John Thielen.
Both Bob and John, quietly pedal around behind the scenes, and are critical to the initial and continuous success of Food for Thought, no matter what they try to tell you. Bob, owner of Mile Hi Property and people-person extraordinaire, teamed up with John through the Arvada Sunrise Rotary. The duo was destined for greatness from the get-go.
John, president of Roth Living, assisted in the partnership with Metro State, University of Denver Hospitality and other partners. Like all great networkers, they began to tap into their rich network of social and business contacts, Bob and John got to work on transforming Food for Thought from a project to a full-on, citywide effort.
Though Food for Thought is still a ‘young’ organization, they have packed and delivered over 40,000 powersacks to date. And that number is only going to increase. “There is not an element of Food for Thought that I don’t love with my whole heart,” Bob explains. “The happiness of the children is incredible, but the constant and energetic support of our community on a consistent, passionate basis is absolutely humbling, encouraging and motivating.”
“Every day, as Food for Thought continues, it becomes clear that the need in Denver is something we need to continue to educate and act on,” John says. “We have been truly lucky to have a hard working core of volunteers as well as the support of the community, and each and every person who comes out to pack powersacks on Friday mornings.”
With attitudes like that, it’s not a surprise that Food for Thought has taken off, and carried the truly genuine and good-spirited approach to attacking Denver’s hunger within schools.