× Child smiling.

2X Match Deadline Extended

Hunger is on the rise across Colorado.

Now through April 30, your donation will be matched to make 2X the impact for our neighbors.

Help address the emergency level of need in our region while your gift = 2X the impact!

× Child smiling.

Hunger is on the rise across Colorado.

Now through midnight on April 30, your donation will be matched to make 2X the impact for our neighbors.

Help address the emergency level of need in our region while your gift = 2X the impact!


April Partner Newsletter


Bowl of ginger root being displayed at an ourdoor event.

Dear Hunger Relief Partners,

My name is Max Chavez, and I am one of the culturally responsive representatives at Food Bank of the Rockies. My role focuses on understanding the cultural diversity of our service area, including our neighbors served and the partner organizations that support them. As spring continues and the trees begin to sprout their buds, I want to offer our Hunger Relief Partners, their staff, and volunteers the opportunity to grow their knowledge and gain more insights of the experiences neighbors around them may face when interacting with hunger relief organizations and services.

The culturally responsive team has developed a self-paced, online course to serve as a guide for our partners interested in reducing neighbors’ barriers to food access. This course is designed to support our partners in understanding what barriers may be present at their organization and provide strategies to think through addressing these barriers, making their organization more accessible for all.

As food pantry team members, it is important to recognize our positions of privilege and acknowledge that neighbors accessing our services come from various backgrounds and experiences. Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all begins with understanding the members of your community and making strides toward including them in meaningful ways. The Building Belonging Program and its accompanying Best Practices for Inclusive Food Pantries Guide supports Hunger Relief Partners in embarking on this journey.

For more information or questions, please reach out to our culturally responsive team at CRFI@foodbankrockies.org.


Max Chavez
Culturally Responsive Representative

Staffing Updates

Departure – Cindy Mitchell

We would like to share news that Cindy Mitchell, Vice President of Programs, has concluded her tenure at Food Bank of the Rockies.

Throughout Cindy’s 20 years at Food Bank of the Rockies, she supported the organization in quintupling the volume of food distributed across our service area and developed many of our programs from idea to inception. Over the years, she has worn many hats — her first job here was at the agency order window, moving up within the programs department until her final role as vice president, where she worked to strengthen the foundation of our programs. Cindy was an integral part of the programs team, bringing her talent, skill, and personality to our projects and daily interactions.

We know many of you have had long relationships with Cindy, whether grabbing coffee/lunch with her, hosting her at countless partner visits, or collaborating with her on initiatives to better serve our communities. Cindy was a fierce advocate for the work we do for our partners and always looked ahead for ways we could continually improve and expand our programs. She encouraged us to be bold, to think big, and to approach our work with humility and a sense of humor. Cindy made time for the questions and needs of individuals, despite her busy schedule. She valued the experiences and relationships formed during her time with Food Bank of the Rockies.

Her dedication and hard work made a significant impact on our team’s dynamic. Beyond her personal contributions, Cindy was a friend to many of us, and she will be greatly missed. We’re sure you will join us in wishing her success. As we look toward the future, we will work together with the same dedication and teamwork that Cindy exemplified.

Important Dates

  • May 7 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
  • May 11 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
  • May 23 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.; pick-up orders accepted for May 28 (holiday schedule)
  • May 24 – Pick-up orders accepted for May 29 (holiday schedule)
  • May 27 – Closed for Memorial Day
  • May 31 – Early closure day; pick-ups and Fresh Food Center until 11:00 a.m.

To sign up for orientation or for questions about any of the dates above, contact partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org. For our full, detailed calendars, please click here.

Advocacy/Policy Update

Get involved!

Feeding Colorado is our association of the five Feeding America food banks in Colorado, collaborating and leveraging our combined strengths to reach people in every county, every day, and advocating for programs and policies that address the many factors contributing to food insecurity. You can make a difference by speaking up and speaking out against hunger and its root causes. Are you interested in getting more involved in advocacy? Feeding Colorado will be offering an informational session on how to get involved with current policy priorities. Fill out this form to learn more: https://forms.office.com/r/2sauRbHR0n

Farm Bill and Government Funding

In mid-March, Congress passed — and the president is expected to sign — a package of six bipartisan appropriations bills, including the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) agriculture appropriations bill. In doing so, Congress averted a partial government shutdown of the departments and agencies funded by these six bills.

The FY24 agriculture appropriations bill (also known as the farm bill) largely protects funding for federal nutrition programs, increases program funding to meet expected program participation, and does not include harmful policy changes to nutrition programs, such as the proposed SNAP choice restriction pilots and limitations to USDA’s discretionary Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) spending authority. Importantly, the bill increases WIC funding to $7 billion, which will ensure vital nutrition support to an estimated 7 million eligible adults, young children and infants.

While we are celebrating this funding package that protects access to critically important nutrition programs, we are disappointed by the lower TEFAP administrative funding level. We will continue to emphasize to lawmakers the importance of robust funding to help food banks distribute TEFAP foods alongside our ongoing advocacy for a strong, bipartisan farm bill that fortifies and protects nutrition programs.

On March 23, Congress passed a package of six bills to fund all remaining federal departments and agencies through federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24). This ends the threat of a government shutdown for the rest of FY24 (which ends on September 30, 2024) and prevents disruption to the paychecks of active-duty military personnel and employees of the federal government and federal contractors.

Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our Congressional Delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the farm bill.

State Session

The Colorado 2024 state session is well underway with a record number of bills being introduced by our legislature. As always, you can find our state policy priorities, designed to guide our actions and position for this year’s session, here on our website.

One exciting update: the Joint Budget Committee supported the creation of the Community Food Assistance Provider Grant program, which combines the food pantry and food bank assistance programs. This would be ongoing, sustainable funding with an appropriation of $3,000,000 for the 2024-2025 state fiscal year. We are doing everything we can to uplift the immense need across our state and advocate for additional funding. Questions or concerns? Contact Mandy Nuku at mnuku@feedingcolorado.org

Interested in learning more about bills in our network? We encourage you to check out Blueprint to End Hunger’s policy platform and link to current legislation being considered this session: endhungerco.org/policy-platform

Feeding Colorado Presentation

Would you like to have Feeding Colorado staff present to your agency or local coalition on our role, state priorities, and how to get involved? If so, please reach out to Mandy Nuku at mnuku@feedingcolorado.org to schedule.

Media Training Workshop

Join us for Food Bank of the Rockies’ Media Training Workshop for Hunger Relief Partners!

Together, we’ll explore how to effectively pitch stories to media outlets, craft compelling messages and talking points, and shine in interviews. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your media outreach skills and make an even bigger impact in nourishing our community. We look forward to seeing you there!

Date: May 30, 2024
Time: 10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. (Optional lunch and mingling from 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.)
Location: Food Bank of the Rockies  |  10700 E 45th Ave., Denver, CO 8029

Spaces are limited, so advanced sign-up is required. Only 20 spots are available, so secure your spot today by registering here!

Program Updates

Stay Connected with Our Team

We know our team has changed, so to ensure you can reach us when you need us, please use the most current Programs Department Contact list. This document is updated as needed and can also be found on the Partner Portal.

Keep Closed-Toe Shoes Handy!

As warm weather approaches, we want to remind our partners that, for your safety, open-toe shoes cannot be worn in the distribution center or in the Fresh Food Center area. Please keep your toes covered! Partners will be asked to leave the area if they are not wearing proper footwear. Just to be safe, consider keeping an extra pair of closed-toe shoes in your car. Thank you for remembering this important safety message, and please share this with your shoppers and volunteers who may be visiting Food Bank of the Rockies.

Food Safety Training and Civil Rights Training

As many of you know, Food Bank of the Rockies offers free, online Food Safety Training and Civil Rights Training through NeoGov. Although we require at least one person per agency to take both courses at least once per year, we are more than happy to set up accounts for as many staff/volunteers as you’d like. If you’d like us to set up additional accounts on behalf of your agency, please email partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org with the names and email addresses of the people who you’d like us to set up accounts for. And just as a heads up, we’ll be reaching out to all Hunger Relief Partners this summer, ensuring at least one person takes the courses as part of our annual recertification process.

Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) Update

We are 11 months into making food items available to partners at no cost thanks to over $6 million in Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) received.  We have until June 30, 2024, to spend these funds and are on target to do so. We continue to procure food items based on feedback received from our partners. Are you getting the items you need for food pantries?

Thanks to our partners:

  • 129 items have been made available.
  • 6,511,874 lbs. of CEF product have been distributed to our neighbors.
  • 492 partners have participated in the CEF program.

Government Programs

Everyday Eats Neighbor Preference Survey

The Everyday Eats team will be distributing a neighbor survey to gain deeper insights into preferences for Everyday Eats boxes foods and supplemental items. We will contact neighbors directly, but wish for everyone to be aware in case there are questions.

We will also be sharing a partner survey to understand FRESH Program participation and any storage capacity or barriers you may be facing. We look forward to learning more about your interest in our fresh product bag supplement and how we need to move forward with expansion. We thank you in advance for your participation!

Food for Kids Update

Ready for Summer?

The Food for Kids team is gearing up for summer and the shift in kids programming opportunities it brings. When the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) ends with the school year, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) picks up, providing free breakfast, lunch, and/or supper to qualifying kids throughout the summer. The Food for Kids team will send out the application soon to former program sites. If you are interested in applying now, here is the application for summer 2024.

For additional information, please email the Food for Kids email at FFK@foodbankrockies.org.

CRFI Update

Best Practices for Inclusive Food Pantries flyer

Building Belonging Program is Now Available Online!

The Building Belonging Program assists Hunger Relief Partners in understanding and addressing the barriers to food access that our neighbors may experience. Topics include methods to learn about your community, cultural and religious food preferences, language barriers, ensuring simple access, culturally responsive outreach, and building trust and respect. These practices aim to support creating spaces of belonging and increasing equity in your distributions.

Available in English and Spanish on NeoGov. Takes approximately one hour to complete: https://www.foodbankrockies.org/partner-portal/partner-training

Contact CRFI@foodbankrockies.org for further information.

If you missed this quarter’s Building Belonging Lunch & Learn where we heard from Reem Farra, a registered dietitian at Kaiser Permanente, about serving Halal-observant communities, understanding Halal foods, and recognizing Ramadan’s impact on neighbor’s access and food choices. You can find the recording here.

 Helpful resources:


Visit our Online Recipe Library

Do you ever stare blankly into your pantry, wishing something tasty would magically appear? Us too. Throw together a super easy meal or snack using just five pantry ingredients or less, like Tuna Mac and Cheese, Honey Nut Cereal Bars, or 5-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies. Yes, we have shelf-stable milk (item #17021 or 19527)!

For more ideas featuring common food bank and pantry items, visit our recipe library. Tap the “Print” button to print some English/Spanish recipes for your next food distribution!

Food Sourcing Update

New Item Request Process

Is there an item your program would like to stock on your pantry shelves, possibly requested by neighbors, that you don’t see in our inventory? In collaboration between our partner support and sourcing teams, we have developed an internal process to receive requests from our Hunger Relief Partners and share with the souring team for consideration. If we can procure the item, it would be made available to all partners on Partner Express. The new process calls for a formal submission of requests with pertinent info contained in the requests including item description, desired pack size, price considerations, etc. Should you wish to submit a new item request, please contact partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Partner Highlight

Munroe Elementary School – Helping to Nourish Students
Munroe Elementary School – Helping to Nourish Students

Munroe Elementary School, located in Aurora, has been a Food Bank of the Rockies Totes of Hope™ partner since 2017, providing food to over 40 students and their families. Their team of volunteers is made up of some amazing moms wanting to give back and support their own! They volunteer their time to pack the weekly tote bags, do pick-ups from our Fresh Food Center to provide even more food, and get creative by using recycled boxes as totes. They are not only organized, but also thoughtful and a delight to be around. Thank you, Munroe team, for partnering with us and getting food out to the families in your community.

Neighbor Resources

Neighbor Information/Resources

Summer EBT is Coming to Colorado in Summer 2024!

Summer EBT is a new federal program that will serve as an additional support for low-income households. Families with children eligible for national free or reduced-price school meals will be eligible to receive $40/month per eligible child. For more information on eligibility requirements and the overall program, please visit the Colorado Department of Human Services webpage: cdhs.colorado.gov/p-ebt.  Interested in learning more? Check out the Summer EBT Factsheet.



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