September is Hunger Action Month

Kevin SeggelkeI’m enjoying the last days of summer outdoors in our beautiful state, knowing soon it will be fall and before we know it, winter.  As you enjoy the last few weeks of summer, please remember Hunger Action Month this September.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, you only think about hunger when you read our newsletters or see a report on TV.  But for those who aren't so lucky, thinking about hunger could happen daily.  1 in 7 Coloradans are struggling with food insecurity and 1 in 4 children live in these households.  They need our help. That’s why Food Bank of the Rockies is joining our fellow Feeding America food banks across the state and around the country to take action because we all believe no one should go hungry.  Can you join us?

Together, we can solve hunger.   Your support and action are much appreciated this September and all year long. Warm regards, Kevin first name tight     Kevin

An Onion Story That Won’t Make You Cry

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Paul Bockman picks up a newly harvested onion and chops off the green leaves. “Look at all that juice,” he says, pointing to the freshly cut top. “These are really sweet too.”

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This morning, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Council Members Marsha Berzins and Bob LeGare and Food Bank of the Rockies’ Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Janie Gianotsos visited Paul and his son as they started harvesting a ton of onions and potatoes. Paul uses just 1,440 square feet of ground, built with raised beds, each fitted with  a few rows of irrigation tubes. “I water each section for four minutes a day,” Paul tells us and then humbly responds, “Anybody can do this.”

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Bockman, 81, definitely has the green thumb. He’s been gardening his whole life and has a wealth of knowledge on how to grow a successful crop.

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Paul started growing the bulbs to sell to Chili’s five years ago. When Chili’s decided to go with a cheaper option last year, Paul chose to donate the produce to Food Bank of the Rockies. This year, he planted the crops specifically for the food bank. “It really bothers me that so many people are hungry,” Paul says. “You can grow a lot of food in a small space.” He wishes more gardeners would grow food to help feed people in need.

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FBR is grateful to Paul and his son for taking the time and energy to plant, grow and harvest these beautiful onions and potatoes for our community. His efforts this summer will make a lot of people very happy. Thank you Paul!

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Pedaling to Feed Kids

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On August 1, 2014, Michael McAllister, CEO and Founder of The CE Shop and CE Shop Foundation and Virgil Seibold, Vice President of Human Resources for The CE Shop began their journey to pedal 975 miles from Fargo, ND to Denver, CO raising money for children’s backpack programs across the nation, including Food Bank of the Rockies’ Totes of Hope™ - Children. Their goal was to raise enough to provide 2,000 backpacks to kids and their families.

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Today, they rolled into Food Bank of the Rockies’ parking lot, tired but smiling from ear to ear. Greeted by family, friends and team members from The CE Shop and FBR, these generous men with really big hearts took a few minutes to share what they observed on their adventure. “There are more kind, caring, and generous people in this great land than anything else, and one by one, or together we can make a difference!” they told the welcoming crowd.

We couldn’t agree more! Thank you Michael and Virgil, for not only being kind, caring and generous, but also for taking action and embarking on this journey. Your efforts will truly make a difference in the lives of hungry children and their families.

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Read more about their adventures at bikeforbackpacks.com.

Something Fishy in the Warehouse

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Quixotic Farming, has made a donation of over 8,000 lbs of  tilapia products to our Denver warehouse.

Raised in indoor, aboveground tanks, the tilapia on Quixotic Farming’s local farms in Colorado and Missouri live a life free of growth hormones, chemicals and antibiotics.

The tilapia’s life cycle, which all takes place here in the United States, is traceable from farm to table. Also, as part of the company’s dedication to sustainable farming, each tank is equipped with a state-of-the-art filtration and recirculation system that filters and reuses the water, and allows for the fish to thrive in a constantly flowing environment.

When Quixotic Farming decided to make its donation, they were excited to get the chance to share  with those facing challenges in Colorado.

"We are just happy we can give back to the community, and donate this safe source of quality protein to those in need," said Eric Ely, National Sales Director for Quixotic Farming.

The six pallets of product includes 11,800 units of tilapia cakes, which will help feed more than 23,600 Coloradans.

128On Saturday, August 9, volunteers picked, bagged, put on pallets and loaded 61,000 ears of sweet corn onto a semi in 3 hours! 90 volunteers, hailing from the Fort Morgan area and members of Calvary Chapel Aurora, joined forces and brought their heavy lifting skills out into the field to pick, pack and load all the corn. Corn was donated to Food Bank of the Rockies and our sister Feeding Colorado Food Banks – Care and Share, Community Food Share, Food Bank for Larimer County and Weld Food Bank.

Thanks go out to:

  • Mike and Kari Kosman and family. The Kosman’s grew the sweet corn crop, donating land, water, planting, equipment and crop management.
  • CPS (Tim Carpenter) for providing agronomic support and donating the agronomic inputs.
  • CHS (Ronnie Graff, Dan Widener) for providing the BBQ lunch, front end loader and volunteers.
  • Simplot (Jason Lorenzini, Rex May) for providing equipment and help lead picking crews.
  • Doug Linton for providing the pallet packing / truck loading crew.
  • Morgan County Young Farmers (Brent Kliesen) for providing volunteer pickers.
  • Pope Farms (Derek Pope) for providing sweet corn expertise, pallets and some of the mesh bags.
  • Wickham Tractor for providing equipment.
  • The Fort Morgan boys basketball teams for volunteering!
  • Monsanto's Seminis vegetable seed business for donating the sweet corn seed and volunteering.

Monsanto also made a cash contribution directly to the Food Bank of the Rockies.

Thank you to everyone who made this donation possible!

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Food Bank of the Rockies received a $25,000 grant from Morgan Stanley to fund its Totes of Hope ™  - Children, a child hunger initiative that helps to make sure kids are fed outside of school hours.  This grant is the second gift Food Bank of the Rockies has received from Morgan Stanley, bringing the total to $50,000.

The grant is part of the latest phase in Morgan Stanley’s more than $14 million commitment to Feeding America and its network of 200 local food banks that distribute millions of meals every year to children and families across the United States.  As part of the initiative, Morgan Stanley will award more than $4 million over three years to local food banks like Food Bank of the Rockies to launch, expand and sustain critical childhood feeding programs.

“We are grateful that Morgan Stanley has stepped forward another time to fund our efforts to deliver nutritious meals to children and families in need in Denver,” said Kevin Seggelke, President and CEO.  “Morgan Stanley is a terrific partner for our organization.  We are grateful for this grant and for the Morgan Stanley volunteers who show their support by spending so many hours volunteering for Food Bank of the Rockies.”

Food Bank of the Rockies’ Totes of Hope™ - Children,  works by putting nutritious food directly into the hands of children at risk of hunger by filling backpacks with staples such as peanut butter, milk and cereal, bread, and canned goods.  With this program, kids who are eligible to receive reduced-price or free lunch at school can get the nutrition they need, even when they are not in school over weekends or long breaks.

“We are honored to be able to help Food Bank of the Rockies another time in its important fight against child hunger,” said Morgan Stanley Managing Director T. Clarke Octigan.  “Giving back to the communities where we live and work is one of Morgan Stanley’s core values.”

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Morgan Stanley volunteers also helped in the warehouse, sorting food in the reclamation area.

Thank you Morgan Stanley for helping us feed children in our community. We appreciate your support to keep our Totes of Hope™ - Children program going strong!

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A new group of volunteers helped us ring in Warehouse Wednesday this week.  A team of hardworking employees from the newly formed Ardent Mills sorted food, filled orders and even paired up some donated crutches.

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Ardent Mills, the largest flour miller in the U.S., combines the operations of ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a joint venture of Cargill Inc. and CHS Inc.

Our food bank has benefited from contributions of food and funds from these organizations for many years, so when the new venture selected Denver for its headquarters, we were very excited. We had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Dye, Ardent Mills CEO, who shared his thoughts about how the organization plans to give back to our community.

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We’re so grateful for our new neighbor, Ardent Mills and their commitment to help us feed the community.  Thank you to all the team members who rolled up their sleeves and volunteered with us. Welcome to Denver. We looking forward to many more opportunities to work together!

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Summer Hunger? CenturyLink “Can” Help!

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In 37 states across the country, CenturyLink team members were brainstorming  ways to make summer a little brighter for their hungry neighbors, through the 2014 CenturyLink Backpack Buddies Food Drive, Denver area employees participated in the 3rd Annual CenturyLink Can-Sculpture Challenge.  Teams were asked to create designs around the theme of “Front Range Food Fight” (Colorado landmarks made out of food). 4 teams participated and the winning design, the Bronco's stadium, was selected based on employee votes. CenturyLink will make a donation in the amount of $1,000  to Food Bank of the Rockies in recognition of the winning team.

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Instead of purchasing food at retail for their challenge, the teams worked with Food Bank of the Rockies to stretch their dollars further, using funds to “purchase”  most of their can structure food from us. They also set up a virtual food drive to collect additional funds,  with every dollar contributed totaling five pounds of food.

 

Pulling Together for Hunger Blog

Every year, CenturyLink holds a company-wide summer food drive to an effort to fight childhood hunger in the communities where they live and work.  They realize summer is a crucial time for many community food banks with children out of school, without access to school hosted food programs and many families struggling to put food on the table.

The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams foundation is graciously matching to local food banks, $1.00 for every pound of food donated this year, up to $1 million company-wide.

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Red Rocks, the 1801 California tower, Bronco’s Stadium (the winning structure) and a train, complete with dry ice “smoke” and a light competed this year.

Thank you CenturyLink for helping us feed hope this summer!

Thank You Buckley Air Force Base!

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Not only are these brave men and women serving their country, they’re also serving their community. Today in our warehouse, team members from the base volunteered to pull food orders, an important task to help us get food to our partner agencies and neighbors in need.

Pulling orders is a bit like shopping at a discount food warehouse. Items are listed on a pick-sheet and marked with the row, space and quantity requested. Volunteers locate the items and place the cases on pallets to be tagged and shrink wrapped when completed. It takes a bit of muscle, a bit of patience and a big heart. Wayne, one of the Buckley volunteers, informed us the base focuses on jobs, community involvement and significant self-improvement – i.e. the Whole Person Concept.

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The Buckley team volunteers several times a year; they have donated more than 3,000 hours and are always incredibly hardworking. We are so grateful to these kind-hearted servicemen and women for their service to their country and their volunteer service to our community and Food Bank of the Rockies.

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Thank you Buckley Volunteers! We think you’re awesome!

School is out and summer lunches are served!

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Food Bank of the Rockies will be providing nutritious lunches to kids across our service area all summer. We’re supplying food for more than 70 sites, to kids who might not otherwise have enough healthy food at home.

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Kids munched on hamburgers or sandwiches, strawberries, sweet potato fries, salad and milk at College View Elementary, while being entertained by Miles, the Denver Broncos mascot. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Bronco Alumni, Ed McCaffrey, Darlene Barnes from the USDA and Tami Anderson from Western Dairy Association presented at the event.

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Food Bank of the Rockies provided the food for more than 200 children. Denver Public Schools, Colorado Department of Education, Denver Inner City Parish and Hunger Free Colorado also supported the event.

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