FAQs

Answers to our most commonly asked questions.

If your question isn’t here, please contact us.

GENERAL

 

A food bank, like Food Bank of the Rockies, is a large, centralized resource that acquires and distributes food and necessities to smaller, direct service-only Hunger Relief Partners, which are food pantries. Many food banks, again, like Food Bank of the Rockies, also have programs that directly distribute to those in need. If it’s helpful, you can think of food banks as distribution centers and food pantries as corner stores. The former offers large-scale efficiencies and impact, and partners with the latter to deliver much-needed food and necessities at a hyperlocal level.

We procure food and necessities from a variety of sources, including a robust grocery rescue program, which reduces food waste while providing quality food for people in need. We also receive direct contributions from partners throughout the food industry, from farmers to restaurants. A smaller but still sizeable portion of our food is purchased using donated funds and other means of foundational support. And because we can purchase food in bulk quantities at wholesale prices, we can make that funding go further, providing about the equivalent of four meals for every dollar.

We use this metric as a general way to explain how donated dollars have major purchasing power through Food Bank of the Rockies. 

$1 helps provide four meals thanks to Food Bank of the Rockies’ robust purchasing power, grocery rescue program, federal government allotments, donations, and lower bulk pricing from agricultural and retail partners. 

Ultimately, $1 helps provide 4 meals because of the way we are able to leverage the power of donated food. More than 80% of our food is donated by retailers, manufacturers, and agricultural partners or funded through government programs. Although there are costs associated even with donated food (i.e. the freight to pick up the food, the cost of running our distribution center, the cost of labor and freight to distribute the food), it’s still an incredibly efficient model. 

While Food Bank of the Rockies currently spends nearly $1 million/month on purchased food, that food represents a fraction of the food we’re distributing thanks to donated and government-funded food. Additionally, we are purchasing food for much less than what the average person would spend at the grocery store, which helps us stretch donors’ dollars further.

Our two processes for food distribution are through direct services and Hunger Relief Partners.

Direct services are programs run wholly by Food Bank of the Rockies and our associated teams. These include our fleet of more than 70 mobile pantries that bring food to where it’s needed most, our Food for Kids programs that provide afterschool and summer nutrition support for families, home delivery of food boxes for older adults, and much more.

Hunger Relief Partners are locally based relief organizations located throughout the regions we serve who receive resources through Food Bank of the Rockies. Our partners are the lifeline between Food Bank of the Rockies and communities throughout Colorado and Wyoming, and we are so proud to currently be partnering with more than 800 organizations.

We’re proud of the fact that 96 cents of every dollar donated to us goes directly into our Hunger Relief Programs. And we have been given a 4-Star rating on Charity Navigator for 11 years running.

We are strident stewards of the funding and support that is so generously provided by our community and partner organizations, and we strive for maximum transparency by offering our financial statements for all to see. 

That’s a question almost as big as the problem of hunger itself. 

In Colorado and Wyoming, the number of individuals estimated to be food insecure in 2021 was 1 in 8. For children, that number was even higher: 1 in 7 in Colorado, and 1 in 6 in Wyoming. 

One of the biggest recent impacts has obviously been the economic devastation of the pandemic, where we saw need in our region explode by upwards of 150%. Recovery from the ongoing pandemic will be a very long road for many of our neighbors in need. 

However, even before the pandemic food insecurity in America was on the rise due to an incredibly complex web of factors, from systemic inequalities to infrastructure failings to global economic shifts. 

In 2021, we provided more than 110 million pounds of food to individuals, children, older adults, and other neighbors in need across Colorado and Wyoming. That’s the equivalent of more than 245,000 meals every day.

Our clients’ backgrounds and needs are as varied as you can imagine, encompassing heads of households who have lost their jobs (or even just hours) to recent graduates finding career paths suddenly closed off. So often, we hear from our clients that they never thought they’d need the kinds of services we provide.

Which is why we will remain diligent and ready to answer the challenge of hunger wherever and whenever it rises. 

All of our clients receive our food and support either through direct programs or one of our more than 800 Hunger Relief Partners

VOLUNTEERING

Our 45th Avenue Distribution Center is open Monday–Saturday, with shifts from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and from 12:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of your shift.

Our Nome Distribution Center is open Monday–select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

You should dress in weather-appropriate attire, as well as wear closed-toe shoes (sneakers, work boots, etc.) and clothing appropriate for a warehouse workplace setting. No clothing that is overly revealing or suggestive is allowed. Shirts/tops must have a strap over each shoulder and the bottom of shirts/tops must meet or be longer than the top of the pants so that the midriff is not exposed. No halters, tube tops, or single-shoulder strap shirts are allowed. No undergarments may be visible when in normal posture (sitting or standing). No clothing that has a derogatory message or promotes, suggests, or depicts violence is allowed.

Court-ordered volunteers sign up online to get started. We will consider misdemeanor court-ordered community service on a case-by-case basis. Please note: we are unable to accept court-ordered volunteers during our busy seasons of summer and the holidays.

Please register in advance! You can see what shifts are available and sign up through our website.

All volunteering occurs within our warehouses, so we encourage contacting our office first. We will examine each situation and try to accommodate all individuals to the best of our ability.

Yes! Just let us know before you start your shift and we’ll make sure the agency you choose to help receives VIP credit for your volunteer time.

We can take up to 100 volunteers per shift with advance arrangements. Groups will be split into multiple areas.

Yes. Please bring in any paperwork you need filled out and let us know when you start your shift. We’ll have it signed for you at the end of your shift.

We have some small lockers available for purses and jackets, but advise that you only bring what you really need. Items left in vehicles must be placed out of view and locked. Food Bank of the Rockies is not liable for stolen items.

Volunteers must be at least 8 years old (accompanied by an adult) or 16 years old to volunteer on their own. Volunteers must be 18 years or older to volunteer in our kitchen. On Saturdays, prior authorization is required for younger volunteers.

Food Bank of the Rockies is committed to providing a safe, healthy, and productive environment. Volunteers are prohibited from possessing, using, being under the influence of, or selling drugs and alcohol that can alter judgment, as determined in the sole discretion of Food Bank of the Rockies. The possession, use, consumption, and/or sale of such substances, including marijuana for either recreational or medicinal purposes, while volunteering for Food Bank of the Rockies will not be tolerated.

Yes, you can access our Volunteer Handbook by clicking this link.

EVENTS

A promotion with Food Bank of the Rockies is a mutually beneficial partnership we enter into with another business or organization. Typically, the promotion raises funds as a percentage of purchases from that partner. For example, if someone eats at a partner restaurant, a percentage of their check (as previously determined by the parties involved) will be donated to Food Bank of the Rockies.

Thank you for thinking of Food Bank of the Rockies. We would love to know more about your event or promotion idea. Please fill out our Corporate Partnership Cause Marketing & Event Form and return via email to Justin Petrochko: jpetrochko@foodbankrockies.org

Each invitation is considered on a case-by-case basis. We do ask for adequate lead time for staff planning, with a recommended 15 days advance notice.

Staff and/or volunteer presence at an event is considered on a case-by-case basis and never guaranteed. We recommend requests be made at least 30 days prior to the event.

There is no minimum; Food Bank of the Rockies accepts gifts of all sizes. See above to find out how $1 helps provide enough food for four meals.

Presence on the Food Bank of the Rockies website is never guaranteed and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Food Bank of the Rockies cannot guarantee social media posts during a campaign. Posts are determined on a case-by-case basis. Please feel free to tag us @FoodBankRockies so we have the opportunity to like or possibly share!

Yes, however the logo must adhere to our style guidelines and we must approve any materials that contain our name and/or logo. Approval can be done via email.

Food Bank of the Rockies can provide you with our media release template, but cannot send information out on your behalf. We can also provide a quote from a member of our team that you can use in your release.

Food Bank of the Rockies does not share media contacts or relationships.

External events and promotions cannot be executed by our staff or volunteers.

Food Bank of the Rockies does not supply any funding for outside events and will not be responsible for any debts incurred.

Food Bank of the Rockies does not have resources in place to act as an accountant for outside groups. Bookkeeping should be done by the event/promotion organizers.

Use of the Food Bank of the Rockies tax ID number is provided on a case-by-case basis, following review by the Food Bank of the Rockies Leadership Team.

Food Bank of the Rockies requires verification that the sponsoring organization has adequate insurance coverage and must receive a certificate of insurance that names Food Bank of the Rockies as an additional insured no later than 15 days prior to the event.

Food Bank of the Rockies is a member of Feeding Colorado, an organization comprised of all five Feeding America-member food banks serving Colorado. Funds would be split with the respective sister food banks based on service-area boundaries.