9:42 AM on Monday, July 13th, 2015No Comments
I firmly believe that it is important to give back to the communities we live in and, personally, it has been life changing. One way to give back is by serving on a board of directors for both large and small nonprofits.
Serving on a board is an incredible opportunity to share one's expertise and it's very rewarding to help advance the mission of nonprofits. Board volunteer experience empowers one to stay connected to the community and be involved in the causes you care deeply about. Most importantly, you can make a real and lasting difference in the lives and well-being of others!
The first board I served on was the Valley Athletic Association in my hometown, which promoted youth participation in athletics. It was exciting to be part of an organization that increased the number of kids that were able to play on boys and/or girls' sports teams. Since then, I have been involved with seven other boards and I am currently the board chair for the Colorado Nonprofit Association and a board member of RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching).
It doesn't matter what cause inspires you to act. There are several steps you can take to find a nonprofit you are passionate about. Perhaps you or a family member or someone you care about has received assistance from a nonprofit and you want to give back. You can ask family, friends and coworkers about the causes they believe in and work with. Another avenue is to explore board positions online (organizations like Metro Volunteers often post board positions for nonprofits online). Last but by no means least, spend time researching the mission and accomplishments of selected organizations and follow them on social media.
Once you find an organization that interests you and might be a good fit for your talents, volunteer there and see for yourself. This provides you an excellent opportunity to speak with other volunteers, employees and clients of the nonprofit. Do they enjoy themselves? Do they make a difference? Are my particular skills needed? If your interest is piqued, request a one-on-one meeting with the nonprofit's executive director or board president. During this meeting, ask them about the nonprofits goals/outcomes, critical issues, financial stability and how you could best serve the organization. Find out the size of the board; only you know if you would be more comfortable in a smaller or larger board.
Understand Your Commitment
Before making a commitment to serve on a board, it is important to review the nonprofit's bylaws. Bylaws outline how a board functions, specify the roles and duties of board officers, identify board committees (if any) and responsibilities, determine board meeting times and many other important processes.
Next, it's important to understand your legal duties as a board member. Colorado law requires board members to follow various regulations and, generally, act in good faith. Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado (published by the Colorado Nonprofit Association) outlines various topics including board governance, advocacy and fund development. This is an outstanding tool for new and existing board members alike to use as a guide for moving an organization's vision forward, while ensuring compliance with state regulations and laws.
Finally, serving on a nonprofit board typically requires you to make some form of minimum time and financial commitment to the organization. Make sure you can commit the necessary time for board meetings, committee meetings and volunteer requirements. Feel good about your ability to make a meaningful financial contribution to the nonprofit and, perhaps, comfortable asking others to do so as well.
The bottom line is that nonprofits in our community need passionate and caring people to volunteer and serve on its board of directors! Explore your personal passions, understand your obligations and take an active role in building our community. It might just change your life and, more importantly, someone else's.
6:02 PM on Tuesday, July 7th, 2015No Comments
When a creative group of people put their heads and hearts together, they can make a huge difference in the lives of hungry men, women and children. And even have fun in the process.
The good folks at Caliber Collision did exactly that during their 2015 Rhythm Restoration Food Drive. They heard how families can struggle in the summer months when school is out, forced to find more resources, not only for food, but also for day care and transportation. And summer isn’t the season when most people think about giving back. We’re grateful the Caliber Collision team decided to help this summer!
After a successful food and fund drive last year, the team was determined to raise even more money and food this year. They put their heads together and came up with all sorts of ways to help Food Bank of the Rockies.
From paying to throw a pie at their co-worker to asking for contributions from their vendors, customers and business partners, even tasking their kids with collecting food and funds, this dynamic bunch raised enough to provide nearly 150,000 meals to our community!
Thank you Caliber Collision! We applaud not only your amazing efforts to help us nourish our community, but also your generous and fun-loving spirit. Because of your kindness, many families will have less to worry about because they’ll have enough to eat this summer.
Our friends at Ardent Mills know that people cannot live by bread alone. Sometimes you need to raise a little dough!
The largest flour miller in the U.S. has been a tremendous hunger fighting partner with Food Bank of the Rockies since their headquarters moved to Denver last year. This year, not only did they donate food, their staff also volunteered more than 500 hours helping in our warehouse and recently they held a golf tournament on our behalf.
Because of their generosity and contributions from their team members and partners, FBR will be able to distribute more than 440,000 meals to hungry men, women and children.
Thank you Ardent Mills for rising to the challenge and helping us feed hope to our community!
10:08 AM on Wednesday, June 10th, 2015No Comments
Chef Paul spends his weekdays at the food bank preparing kid-friendly meals and snacks. Sometimes he caters amazing lunches for staff and our board.
Today, he was asked what he would make using some of the products often found at a food pantry. He came up with some great ideas and shared them on 9News.
You don't have to be a food pantry participant to enjoy these tasty treats! And if you are one of the fortunate folks who has enough to eat this summer, we hope you'll contribute to help those who don't - every dollar we receive becomes four meals for our hungry neighbors!
Cranberry Chicken Salad
- 2 - 5 oz. cans chicken
- ¼ small onion, diced
- ½ rib celery small, diced
- 2 Tbs mayonnaise
- 2 Tbs jellied cranberry
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread on your favorite bread.
- 2 – 5 oz cans tuna (drained)
- 1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes w/ chilies (drained) (Ro-Tel brand works great)
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbs mayonnaise
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 Tbs minced onion
- 2 Tbs minced celery
- 2 Tbs chopped parsley
- ½ tsp worchestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients, mix well, shape into patties and fry in a pan with a bit of cooking oil.
Canned Sweet Pea Guacamole
- 2 – 10 cans peas (drained)
- 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies (drained)
- 1 small red onion diced
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp jalapeño minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce to taste (Tabasco works great)
Add all ingredients into a bowl, mix and mash until peas are mostly smashed to a guacamole consistency. Serve with chips or as a spread on your favorite bread.
Sweet Pea Hummus
- 2- 10 oz cans sweet peas (drained)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce to taste (Tabasco works great)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Serve on crackers, bread, chips or veggies.
Peanut Butter Banana Pops
- Peanut Butter
- Dry Cereal (chocolate oat cereal pictured)
- Pretzel Sticks
Slice bananas in half, spread with peanut butter, roll in dry cereal, add pretzel stick. Freeze if desired or serve at room temperature.
Cranberry Fruit Pops
- 1 15 oz can cranberry sauce – jellied
- 1 – 15 oz. can fruit cocktail (drained)
- 1 cup water or juice drained from fruit cocktail
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix ingredients in a bowl, pour into paper cup. Cover with paper circle and place a wooden skewer or plastic knife through the paper. Freeze and serve.
7:05 AM on Monday, June 1st, 2015No Comments
It might surprise you to hear an affluent suburb like Greenwood Village feeds nearly 100 families each week. Covenant Cupboard is a collaboration between three local churches to help the hungry in the southeast metro area. The churches provide funds, volunteers and rely on Food Bank of the Rockies for a large portion of what they distribute.
We visited on distribution day and were honored to listen to stories from participants and Karyl Meyer, a longtime volunteer. Food Bank of the Rockies works with hundreds of pantries very similar to Covenant Cupboard and we estimate more than 411,000 people are struggling each day to put food on the table.
Thank you for watching their stories and helping us make a difference through your gifts of time, food and funds.
Together we can solve hunger!
4:19 PM on Thursday, May 7th, 2015No Comments
Beverly suffers from cancer, lives on a fixed income and struggles to find enough money to pay for basic necessities. She receives food through one of our partner agencies and is so grateful for the nourishment to help her through the month.
May is Older Americans Month. Many of the seniors we and our partner agencies help are dealing with serious health issues, living on small fixed incomes and making difficult choices about whether to eat or pay for rent, utilities, transportation or medicine. After working their entire lives and saving what they could, too many seniors find themselves living in or near poverty.
This month we recognize the needs of seniors in our community and can report we’re making a difference for them. In addition to serving seniors through our partner agencies, our mobile pantry and Senior Totes of Hope®, each month we provide USDA food boxes for more than 10,000 low-income seniors throughout our service area.
We couldn’t do what we do without your support! If you’d like to help us help our senior citizens there are many things you can do.
- Follow our social media posts and tag #solveseniorhunger to spread the word.
- Groups of 10 or more can help us pack USDA boxes and individuals and smaller groups can help us fill agency orders or sort donations in reclamation.
- Every dollar we receive becomes four meals for all our hungry neighbors.
- Reach out to your U.S. Senators and Representative; ask them to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, co-sponsor the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act and champion UDSA nutrition programs like the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
Thank you for supporting our efforts, reading our emails and taking time to make a big difference in the lives of hungry men, women and children.
Happy Earth Day!
Did you know Food Bank of the Rockies is “green”?
In addition to recycling our cardboard and plastic, we recycle food! Last year we safely picked up and distributed enough food from local retailers through our Denver’s Table Food Rescue program to provide more than 8.1 million meals. Instead of filling up landfills, this nutritious food will fill the plates of people in need!
Thank you for helping to support our efforts. Every dollar we received turns into 5 pounds of food or 4 meals for hungry men, women and children.
We are amazed by the tremendous efforts of CHS Country Operations in Wray, Washington and Yuma!
Through three Cajun Boil & Mouse Race events, the local business unit of CHS Country Operations raised $38,221 and with added contributions by CHS of $22,625, they raised a grand total of $60,846 as part of this year’s CHS Harvest for Hunger food and funds drive!
$1,000 each will be donated to Manna Pantry in Wray, Rural Communities Resource Center in Yuma, and Washington County Connections in Akron. The remaining funds raised will be donated to Food Bank of the Rockies to help us provide 231,384 meals to our community.
“The community support for the H4H Program has been extraordinary, thank you all for your participation in the event,” Mel Domine, Managing Director of CHS in Yuma. “Our Business Unit took the overall lead with this successful program, a reflection of our people in Colorado.”
This year’s CHS Harvest for Hunger food and funds drive raised a record $550,000 and nearly 270,000 pounds of food for hungry families nationally. More than 4,000 employees from 50 Country Operations business units participated in the 2015 Harvest for Hunger drive held March 1-20, 2015.
Thank you to everyone who donated, supported, and partnered with CHS to fight hunger in our local communities!
When we moved into our current location in 2006, we estimated we’d need to expand in about 15 years to keep meeting the demand. We didn’t anticipate the Great Recession and the population growth our region is experiencing. Thanks to expanded relationships with generous local retail, wholesale and manufacturing partners, we’ve grown faster than expected to meet the increased need. Nine years later, we are faced with serious storage issues as we receive more fresh and frozen food donations and as we source more food and find more food donors to continue working to meet the need. We’ve reached a critical point where we’re forced to find a solution to add more space or choose to cut back on products we share with our agency partners and the programs directly serving our community, an option we didn’t want to consider. Options to expand our storage capacity included moving to a larger warehouse, seeking an additional warehouse, leasing additional space or maximizing our current space.
Warehouse space is at a premium in Metro Denver and while we could sell our current building easily, finding a new or additional warehouse at a price we could afford was not an option. Since we anticipate continuing to grow, leasing, our current solution, is expensive on a long-term basis. After consulting with experts, we learned that by making a few changes to the interior of our current warehouse, we could increase our storage capacity considerably. This was clearly the most cost effective option.
The new lay-out will remove walls, provide more room for additional racking space to increase our current pallet storage capacity by 47% and increase refrigerated space by 228%. We’ll replace our 40-year old roof. We’ll also make changes to the layout and flow of the building for easier and safer pedestrian flow for our volunteers, visitors, staff and agency shoppers.
We intend to continue serving our community with minimal interruptions to food distribution and estimate the project to be complete within about 16 weeks of starting, sometime in mid- late August. We’re working to raise an additional $2.65 million to complete the remodel and have selected I2 construction as our general contractor. Watch for more information and please pardon our dust as we begin remodeling work this month!
8:07 AM on Monday, April 13th, 2015No Comments
Each year, in loving memory of long-time volunteer Betty Van Hook, we select a volunteer who exemplifies outstanding commitment to our mission. This year, we've selected Paul Berteau, who’s been helping out FBR since October, 1997.
Paul first learned about the food bank after reading an article in Parade magazine about how important the gift of time is, particularly to food banks. After volunteering with Denver’s Table Food Rescue and distribution, Paul filled in for an absent volunteer in reclamation and never left. He loves working in reclamation and tells us, “In my regular job as an insurance broker, there are days when I don’t feel like I've accomplished anything further at the end of the day than at the beginning. I never feel that way in reclamation and always know I've accomplished much when my shift ends.” Paul also says he enjoys helping first time volunteers, making sure they have a good experience so they’ll come back.
Paul drives down from the mountains an hour or more, 40 miles each way, to volunteer with us every Wednesday morning and two Saturdays a month. “I have a hole in my heart if I don’t get to volunteer,” he says. He also gives his time to help FBR with many special events and shares his knowledge on our Operations Committee.
When asked what advice he has for others thinking of volunteering he offers, “Volunteering with FBR is joining a committed family with passion for what they do.” And he warns us with a smile, “Try it more than once. There are many opportunities and when you find the one that’s right for you, it’s addictive.”