IMG_0525During the holidays, many businesses want to give back to their communities. Often, the first thought when wanting to help food banks is to host a traditional, non-perishable food drive. Food Bank of the Rockies accepts food drive donations and encourages people to clean out their pantries and donate unwanted but still nutritious items, especially during large food drives through 9Cares Colorado Shares in the fall and summer and the National Association of Letter Carriers in the spring.

But because Food Bank of the Rockies can shop at wholesale or less through the Feeding America network and procure large donations from generous grocers, manufacturers, wholesalers and the agricultural community, we strongly encourage organizations to host virtual food drives rather than going out and purchasing food on our behalf. Hard earned funds can go much further when you let us do the “shopping.”

Every dollar raised allows our food bank to distributed five pounds of food, including perishable items like produce, dairy and meat. We’re good stewards of donor funds, receiving a BBB accreditation and 4-Star (highest) Charity Navigator rating. 96 cents of every dollar we receive goes to food distribution.

And virtual food drives are easy for organizations to host - just ask Slalom Consulting!

Slalom Consulting, a business and technology consulting firm, has had tremendous success hosting virtual food drives, raising nearly $15,000 over the past three years – enough to provide almost 60,000 meals and 75,000 pounds of food!

The Slalom Consulting team lives and works in the communities they serve, and strives to make them better and stronger. Knowing that many people along the Front Range struggle with hunger, they decided to focus their efforts on helping Food Bank of the Rockies.

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Since the team serves clients across the Front Range, and often doesn’t make it back to the office on a weekly basis, they decided to utilize the virtual food drive service provided by Food Bank of the Rockies. Through the virtual food drive, they were able to actively engage their team and clients to contribute from any location with an internet connection. Their team found the ease of contribution through the virtual food drive a key factor in their increased donations year over year.

It has also lead to increased awareness and participation in their onsite service days volunteering at the food bank warehouse. The added benefit of the virtual food drive is that Food Bank of the Rockies, in conjunction with their community partners, is better able to source and meet the needs of those struggling to put food on their tables within our community.

“Based on Slalom’s experience with the ease of setup, maintenance, and contributions through the virtual food drive, I encourage  businesses and organizations to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Joseph Kennedy, client service lead at Slalom Consulting. “We can all have a direct and lasting impact on food scarcity across the Front Range community.”

Food Bank of the Rockies is grateful for Slalom Consulting and the tremendous results they've achieved through hosting virtual food drives!

If your organization would like to learn more about hosting a virtual food drive or partnering with us, please visit our Community Partners page. And if you’re ready to get started on your drive, here’s the link.

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The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that Hunger Is, their joint charitable initiative to fight childhood hunger in America, has awarded over $1.3 million in grants to 198 local charities to connect hungry children living in neighborhoods to healthy food throughout the country.

The Hunger Is campaign kicked off in April with a month-long, in-store fundraiser in more than 1,300 Safeway stores across the U.S. Additional funds were generated through online donations at HungerIs.org. Managers from each participating store nominated a local food or hunger charity serving their immediate community. The selected charities received $1,000 for each nomination.

27 Safeway managers across the state nominated Food Bank of the Rockies to receive the award.  This morning, managers and representatives from Safeway visited the food bank for a tour and awarded FBR with a $27,000 check, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday!

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We are so grateful for this generous contributions and being nominated by the mangers.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to Safeway stores and the foundation, EIF and all the grocery shoppers and Safeway team members for making it possible for FBR to distribute 108,000 more  meals to our community!

Thank You CHS for Your Harvest for Hunger!

Last week we were extremely grateful to receive a generous contribution from CHS employees, customers and partners!

Everyone had a good time raising funds too. M&M Cooperative group held its first Cajun boil and mouse race in Yuma to benefit the Harvest for Hunger campaign. This event alone raised enough to provide 36,300 meals to  Food Bank of the Rockies! See photos from the event here.

Other events included food drives, grain donations, pie throwing contests, pancake breakfasts and dances.  Thanks go out to CHS employees, partners and communities who helped make this years’ Harvest for Hunger campaign an amazing success, resulting in more than 106,000 meals going out to our neighbors in need!

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l to r: Buck Boze (Food Bank of the Rockies), Jim Lengel (M&M Cooperative), Mel Domine (M&M Cooperative), Carolyn Arens (Grainland Coop) & Austin Tharp (Grainland Coop)

To see results from CHS Harvest for Hunger results from across the nation, click here. 

Look What Four 5th Graders Can Accomplish!

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Teachers from Brown International School reached out to us with four students wanting to learn about hunger and help those in need in our community.

At first the students were going to host a food drive.  After researching our website, touring our facility and learning about our Quarters for Kids campaign, part of the Kung Food Fighters® Kids Club, and how 25 cents contributed to FBR becomes a meal, they decided to collect quarters (and dollars) instead.  Over just a few weeks, these four enthusiastic kids raised enough money to provide 667 meals (the equivalent of 833 lbs) for kids and families in need!

Three of the four students stopped by to bring in their contribution and took a few minutes to tell us what they learned. They even made a video about their experience for the class.

We love it when kids want to help others and learn about hunger!  If your group, class or family would like to take a tour and help us fight hunger and feed hope, please visit our Kung Food Fighters® Kids Club page and reach out to us, kidsclub@foodbankrockies.org. We’d love to have you visit!

Boy in the Box Again!

20140426_114545Derek McKee has been taking the magic world by storm and gets to rub elbows with famous folks like Lance Burton and David Blaine.  Traveling the world, sharing his magic and positive energy, he’s already an acclaimed, award-winning magician. When you meet him, what really stands out about Derek is his genuine, down-to-earth compassion for those who are less fortunate.  He’ll tell you about how he spent a scary night on skid row with a team of people to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be homeless.  It’s obvious he really cares about making the world a better place and he’s doing that by helping to raise awareness, food, and funds for Food Bank of the Rockies.

He once again lived downtown on the 16th Street Mall, spending nearly a week in a homemade plexiglass box.  His efforts provided non-perishable food and funds for Food Bank of the Rockies.

Thank you Derek for giving us a week of your time and magical energy to raise awareness and provide needed food to our hungry neighbors!

#Surprisingly TCF!

 

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Perhaps you caught a glimpse of the TCF team popping up around town surprising people with free lunch, free coffee and more. You may also have noticed Food Bank of the Rockies barrels at TCF branches throughout Metro Denver.

TCF Bank decided to make a difference in a different way last month, helping the hungry in Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago and Denver. They contributed a dollar for each item donated and for each person using #SurprisinglyTCF on social media. And today, they brought in 1,000 food items and a check for FBR totaling $10,000!

“Today TCF Bank was honored and excited to present Food Bank of the Rockies with a $10,000 donation and over 1,000 nonperishable food items. I would like to thank our customers, employees, and the Denver community for helping us reach the goals of our TCF Surprisingly Rewarding Moments campaign and present these items today. Food Bank of the Rockies is a very important resource for the Denver community and we are very pleased and proud to support their great causes,” said Tim Meyer, Mountain West Branch Banking Director.

FBR is thrilled TCF Bank’s campaign was so successful and we’re excited to be able to share 40,000 meals for our hungry neighbors thanks to TCF Bank and their customers’ kindness. What a nice #Surprise!

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The TCF Team tours our Denver warehouse.

Hear Jeff’s Story and Help Stamp Out Hunger!

Jeff is a letter carrier and volunteering to head up Colorado's Branch 47 for the National Letter Carriers Association (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Helping to fight hunger is important to Jeff and his enthusiam for the drive is delightful! Jeff has taken this drive to heart because he knows first hand what it's like to not always know where you're next meal will come from. His story moved us and we are greatful to him for sharing. He's working to make a difference because today in Colorado, one out of every seven people worries where they'll find their next meal. You can help!

Please leave a can or two or ten by your mailbox, Saturday, May 10 or make a secure contribution online - every $1 = five pounds of food for the drive! Stamp Out Hunger is the nation's largest food drive and we're hoping to make this year the best every!  Donations in the Denver Metro area will help FBR member agencies stock their shelves during the summer months. We appreciate your support.

And if you or someone you know needs help,  please visit our zip code locator or contact our office, 303.371.9250 for a referral.

Fighting Hunger is Disc-y Business!

IMG_1553Wonderful friends of the food bank for many years, Mile High Disc Golf Club visited FBR to tour our warehouse and share contributions raised over the past disc golf season.   This generous organization and its players have been giving to the food bank for a very long time, helping to fight hunger in a big way.

This year, we were surprised to see their contribution more than double what it’s been in years past.  They stepped up their fundraising efforts, raising more than $18,000 and had one generous player kick in the remainder to write us a check for an even $20,000, enough to provide 80,000 more meals to our community!

Ray Woodruff, Mile High Disc Golf President said they wanted to give back after the holiday season, when school meals end with spring and summer breaks and many families struggle to find enough to eat.  We are so grateful for the generosity of this terrific group and we know many families in our community will have a better spring and summer because of their kindness. Thank you Mile High Disc Golf Club members; you’re all winners with our team!

First Graders Help the Food Bank Provide 828 Meals!

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Peabody Elementary first grade classes greeted us with a warm welcome last week. Over the holidays, the three classes participated in the Kung Food Fighters Kids Club's Quarters for Kids  campaign. The students raised $207.05 which translates to 828 meals!

We visited the school to pick up the coins and had a chance to talk with the students.  When asked if they had to do anything special for their quarters, many said they cleaned their rooms, raked leaves, helped with the dishes, walked the dog and even helped out their neighbors!  These bright kids were quick to say what it feels like to be hungry and shared how tummies growl and it's just "terrible"! They learned that many people can be hungry and it's hard to tell if someone is struggling to find food just by looking at them.

We appreciate the wonderful team of teachers who decided to team up with Food Bank of the Rockies and were moved to see everyone’s enthusiasm about the project.  Thank you Peabody Elementary for your warm welcome and big hearts.  We appreciate your efforts to help us Fight Hunger and Feed Hope!

Want to learn more about the  Kung Food Fighters Kids Club? Visit our webpage or email kidsclub@foodbankrockies.org.

Never Too Small To Fight Hunger

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Not long ago, one of our youngest donors stopped by to drop off a contribution and tour the food bank.  Hannah is only five, but as soon as you meet her, you immediately realize she has wisdom and compassion far beyond her years.  This caring kindergartener saved her allowance and brought in $12 to share with hungry kids.  We were happy to let her know her gift will provide 48 meals and every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference to someone who’s hungry.   We were happy to tour Hannah and her family. Meeting her brightened our afternoon and gave us renewed hope for the future.

Hannah, you are an awesome Kung Food Fighter and we are grateful for your kindness!

Do you know about our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club?  It’s free and easy to join.  Please visit our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club page to learn more.