We’re thrilled to announce that Bellco has just announced a major gift of $100,000 to FBR for the acquisition of two produce dehydration units on the Western Slope. The equipment will enable us to dehydrate thousands of pounds of Colorado produce that would otherwise go to waste and distribute it to local residents in need. This program will make us one of only six Feeding America food banks in the country to have such capabilities.
The donation is the cornerstone of a new community partnership with Bellco. To kick off the partnership, Bellco has been collecting non-perishable food items for FBR in its Front Range branch locations since this past December. A team of Bellco volunteers worked to process and sort those donations today and a check for $100,000 was presented to our CEO, Kevin Seggelke, during the volunteer event. This gift will fund the purchase of two dehydration units, as well as the professional kitchen space and equipment needed to house the units.
We are so deeply grateful to Bellco for its generosity as well as its overall partnership. One in seven Coloradans struggle with hunger. The dehydration units will enable us to provide nutritious food options to our partner agencies that we have not been able to provide prior to this generous gift from Bellco. Our children’s programs will benefit tremendously from these units. Dried fruits are expensive to purchase and will now be offered to more than 2,300 children per week as a healthy snack option.
The dehydrators will be housed in our Grand Junction facility, allowing for close proximity to the farms of the Western Slope. Produce dehydrated there – including apples, peaches, cherries, potatoes, onions, peppers, carrots and tomatoes – will be distributed both in Grand Junction and across the state to share with people in our service area. We expect the first shipment of dehydrated produce in the fall of 2012.
“Supporting Food Bank of the Rockies is our way of giving back to the people of Colorado who have provided more than 75 years of support to our financial institution,” said Doug Ferraro, CEO of Bellco. “With this gift, Bellco, along with our 200,000 members, is able to show our appreciation in a significant and ongoing way, ensuring that the resources in our state do not go to waste and make it into the hands of those in need.”
THANKS isn’t enough to express our gratitude to Bellco for making this new endeavor a reality for us and for our neighbors in need!