× 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 2024 Western Slope Partner Newsletter  

Volunteers working in a warehouse.

Dear Hunger Relief Partners,

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we want to express our profound gratitude for the dedicated individuals who power the mission of Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope. Behind the scenes, our volunteers play a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless operation of our distribution center, which directly benefits our Hunger Relief Partners.

Recently we’ve seen a remarkable surge in volunteerism, reflecting a growing commitment to our cause. These volunteers, including many new faces, contribute their time and energy to various essential tasks within our Etkin Family Distribution Center. From sorting through food rescue donations to repacking items for partner pantries, their efforts are instrumental in supporting our distribution team and maintaining the cleanliness and efficiency of our operations.

Moreover, our volunteers actively participate in our robust dehydrator program, helping to minimize waste and create nutritious add-ons that enhance the supplies available to our neighbors across our network. Their involvement in these initiatives not only amplifies our impact but also strengthens the support we provide to you, our esteemed partners in hunger relief.

Adrianna Jacobson and Caroline Rodgers, our dedicated volunteer operations lead and specialist, respectively, emphasize the indispensable role of volunteers in our organization. Their steadfast commitment underscores the vital importance of their contributions to our collective efforts.

As we recognize the extraordinary achievements of our volunteers, we also want to express our heartfelt appreciation for your continued partnership and support. Together, we have built meaningful relationships and made a significant difference in addressing hunger in our community.

This Volunteer Appreciation Month, let us celebrate and honor the incredible individuals who embody the heart and soul of our organizations. Thank you for your unwavering dedication and collaboration as we continue our shared mission of providing essential support to community members in need.

With gratitude,
Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope Team

Did you know?

As a Food Bank of the Rockies partner, there are important compliance pieces to consider. One of those is to have both your and our drivers’ signatures on your agency receipts and invoices, along with any pertinent temperatures. Please be sure to monitor these requirements for each delivery and touch base with your driver before they leave to ensure that this has been completed. Thank you for helping us create a smooth and comprehensive process!

Western Slope Community Research Opportunity

Researchers at Colorado State University along with the Mountain Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security are interested in hearing directly from residents (18+ years) in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties about issues they face related to food access. We are looking for residents to participate in an interactive research project called photovoice. Photovoice is an activity where participants reflect on their communities, photograph features in their communities related to food access, and come together in a group setting to discuss strengths and areas for improvement in their communities. The project takes place over three, two-hour sessions across four weeks. If eligible to participate, participants receive $100 compensation for completing photovoice.

We are currently recruiting for three cohorts: two English-speaking in Rifle and Glenwood Springs, and one Spanish-speaking cohort in Carbondale. Dates are based on participant availability. Click here to apply in English. Click here to apply in Spanish.

Please share this information with neighbors you think might be interested.

Advocacy/Policy Update

Join Advocacy Training Hosted by Feeding Colorado – April 4!

Mark your calendars! Join us for a virtual presentation April 4 at 1:00 p.m. with Feeding Colorado. Feeding Colorado is the state association representing the five Feeding America food banks in Colorado. This is an opportunity to learn more about the work of the state association, state and federal priorities, an overview of the Colorado legislative session, and opportunities to get involved in advocacy. Registration is not required — please add this date and time to your calendar and share it with others who may be interested.

At the start of the training, please join by Zoom:

This training will be recorded and shared with partners. We will be planning for future training dates through the year to keep Hunger Relief Partners updated on all advocacy and legislative priorities affecting our work.

Farm Bill

In March, congressional leaders reached a deal to temporarily extend current federal government funding to avoid a partial government shutdown and fund the farm bill. Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our congressional delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the farm bill. We will continue to keep partners updated on the government funding deadlines and how it may affect our work to provide to neighbors in need.

Tell Congress to pass a strong farm bill to help people facing hunger! Use this link to make your voice heard in advocating for a strong farm bill with investments in keep programs like TEFAP, SNAP, and Everyday Eats. Your letter will automatically be delivered to your representatives once you enter your information.

State Session

The Colorado 2024 State Session convened on January 10, 2024. You can find our state policy priorities, designed to guide our actions and position for this year’s session, here on our website. We are excited to find solutions to hunger and work with our state legislators to support our network and communities we serve.

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.

Get Involved! New Resources Below!

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? Fill out this form to learn more and get involved! https://forms.office.com/r/2sauRbHR0n

Senator Bennet wants to hear from you! Use the form below to share your story with the Senator about the challenges and successes you’re seeing in reducing hunger in our neighbors’ lives. If you give his office permission, they might use it in a speech or video to ensure real experiences are driving the debates in Washington. https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/share-your-story

Program Updates

Quarterly Regional Partner Town Halls – Save the Date

Thank you to all Hunger Relief Partners who were able to join the Regional Town Hall meetings in January and February. We appreciated the open conversation and updates from our partners. Recordings and slides were shared out to all partners in each region. If you did not receive them, please reach out to Chris Taylor at christaylor@foodbankrockies.org

Our next sessions are scheduled for May as follows:

  • Mountain – May 8, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • Western Slope – May 15, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

More information with an agenda and a Zoom link will be shared in the next newsletter, an email to partners, and on our Partner Facebook page. We hope you’ll join us!

Partner Review Site Visits

The partner support team has been busy visiting all of our Hunger Relief Partners for bi-annual partner reviews. These visits provide us with an opportunity to understand the important work you engage in, learn how we can better support your mission, and ensure your agency is following all food safety, civil rights, and other Food Bank of the Rockies requirements.

If we haven’t visited your site in the last couple of years, keep an eye out for communication from Jill “JT” Davis to set up a visit!

Click here for information regarding how to prepare for a site visit, and feel free to reach out to jilldavis@foodbankrockies.org with any questions.

Colorado Emergency Fund

We are almost a year into making food items available to partners at no cost through Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) and so excited about everything we’ve done together in utilizing the $5.4 million in CEF received at the end of May 2023! In January, we were notified of additional funding to bring our total to over $6.5 million. We continue to procure food items based on feedback received from our partners in the partner network meetings held last spring.

Thanks to the input from partners:

  • 110 items have been made available
  • 5,331,266 lbs. of CEF product have been distributed to our neighbors
  • 453 partners have participated in the CEF program

Partners should search Agency Express for items labeled as CEF when placing orders. These are items available to our partners at no fee. To ensure equitable access for our neighbors, we will limit the amount of CEF free products each organization can order. When you see the CEF items on the shopping list, the quantity you see is YOUR allocation. Don’t miss out — order it up!

Here is some feedback from a few of our Western Slope partners who have benefited from the CEF program:

Preparing a soup with CEF items at Little Bird Creative Community Kitchen
Preparing a soup with CEF items at Little Bird Creative Community Kitchen

“Your incredible support utilized through the Colorado Emergency Fund has been nothing short of amazing for our little kitchen nonprofit here in Eagle County. In the past six weeks alone, with the help of CEF foods, we were able to create Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks, Irish Wedding Soups, bags of granola, and s’mores kits, which have been a hit! These goodies have not only filled our community’s bellies but also warmed our hearts. It’s safe to say that the CEF food donations, along with the FRESH Program, have been the secret ingredient in making our community a little brighter.”

– Little Bird Creative Community, Eagle County


Basket of CEF items at Telluride Food Pantry
Basket of CEF items at Telluride Food Pantry

“Thank you so very much from all of us at the Telluride Food Pantry! The food we receive from the CEF grant helps us provide a wide variety of food to our grateful clients!”

– Telluride Food Pantry/Angel’s Baskets, San Miguel County.






Government Programs

Everyday Eats

Thank you to everyone who attended our rescheduled Everyday Eats 2023 Recap Meeting! We welcome you to review our slides and share questions with Britni Stupin at bstupin@foodbankrockies.org.

The income eligibility guidelines for Everyday Eats have been updated for 2024. Brand new applications have also been issued for 2024 in English, Spanish, and Russian for our use.

The new applications are available here on CDHS’s website as we work to update the documents in our partner portal.

We kindly ask you to begin using this new information immediately. Thank you!

Household size Monthly maximum household income Annual maximum household income
1 $1,632 $19,578
2 $2,215 $26,572
3 $2,798 $33,566
4 $3,380 $40,560
5 $3,963 $47,554
6 $4,546 $54,548
Add per extra family member $583 $6,994


If you or anyone at your pantry needs a TEFAP training or has any questions regarding the program, please contact Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager, at vderington@foodbankrockies.org.

TEFAP income eligibility guidelines have been updated for 2024! Please dispose of any outdated applications and begin using the updated forms immediately. Applications are available here in English, Spanish, Chinese, Dari, Pashto, German, Russian, and Vietnamese.

If you encounter any neighbors speaking languages that are not currently listed, please inform Vic Derington at vderington@foodbankrockies.org so that translated documents can be made available.

Food for Kids Update

Helping Nourish Children with Summer EBT and Summer Meals

Our Food for Kids team is excited to announce the start of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) program, in tandem with the Summer Food Service Program. Summer EBT offers $40 per child to families who qualify in hopes of offsetting the burden of grocery costs for families.

Families that participate will have the opportunity to utilize these additional monthly funds at any stores that accept SNAP benefits. Families can submit household income information for eligibility through districts’ communication channels. This information can be collected through free and reduced lunch applications, a combination form, or the Family Economic Data Survey form.

For more information, including a detailed description of the program, eligibility requirements, and contacts for questions, check out Hunger Free Colorado’s fact sheet on the program here.

Our Summer Food Service Program application will be ready soon. If your organization provides programming to children 18 and younger over the summer and you would like to provide them with meals, please contact Food for Kids to learn more: FFK@foodbankrockies.org

Thank you for your continued support in nourishing our neighbors. The Food for Kids team is delighted to see such a positive step forward to address the gaps in service for the children served by our partners and our programs.

For any questions regarding Food for Kids programming, please email FFK@foodbankrockies.org.

CRFI Update

Food Traditions in Celebration of Ramadan

This month you’ll find almonds, cashews, chickpeas, cooking oils, dried dates, halal chicken, long grain white rice, pistachios, and raisins available on Partner Express to support your neighbors’ observation of Ramadan!

Ramadan began at sundown on Sunday, March 10, 2024, and lasts through Tuesday, April 9, 2024. During the month of Ramadan, people who practice Islam will fast from sunrise to sunset. Food traditions vary around the world, but both the suhoor (pre-dawn) and iftar (evening) meals contain fresh fruit, vegetables, halal meats, bread, cheeses, and sweets, including dates.

As a reminder, you can find more information on food preferences by culture and holiday celebrations saved on our Partner Portal — scroll to Cultural Resources. If you have any questions, please contact CRFI@foodbankrockies.org

New Staff Highlights

Scott Prince, Agency Operations Specialist

Scott PrinceScott Prince, our new agency operations specialist, hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and brings years of experience in operations within the commercial food industry, including from large companies such as Sysco Foods, United Natural Foods, and WR Produce.

Scott is a passionate soul who believes in seizing every moment. Whether indulging in fine dining experiences or finding solace in the company of furry friends at the humane society, his zest for life is infectious. Scott embodies the spirit of adventure with hobbies such as camping, backcountry snowboarding, and adrenaline sports.

Having traversed the nation as a truck driver, Scott has witnessed and experienced firsthand the abundance and the struggle present in our nation, which fuels his commitment to hunger relief. His decision to join Food Band of the Rockies Western Slope stems from a deeply personal journey of overcoming adversity and recognizing the importance of helping people in need.

All of our partners who come to the Fresh Food Center will have the opportunity to meet and get to know Scott. He is approachable, engaging, and committed to customer service through your shopping experience.

The Value of Partnership for Homeless Neighbors in Grand Junction

In September, the City of Grand Junction closed off Whitman Park, considered the center of the homeless community. Several Western Slope Hunger Relief Partners served weekly meals at this location. Many in the community were surprised and frustrated by the city’s decision, and have rallied around a common solution.

Grand Junction City Council voted to approve funds to support equipment and operating costs for the new HomewardBound-United Way Resource Center, meant to replace many of the functions service providers used at Whitman Park. The decision means that HomewardBound and Mutual Aid Partners can now offer their services to the homeless community under shelter. The center operates with low barriers to entry and includes portable restrooms, showers, and opportunities for meals to be provided, along with a centralized space for service providers to offer resource navigation for unhoused community members.

Ready-to-eat meals are also provided, as well as other food options to accommodate the needs of neighbors being served in the new location.

A Neighbor showing love at new resource center
A Neighbor showing love at new resource center

Neighbor Resources

It’s Tax Season!

AARP Tax-Aide is a tax preparation service for older adult or low-income individuals. Services are provided at libraries, churches, senior centers, and recreation centers in many locations in Colorado through mid-April. Some locations require reservations and some work on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis. Hours vary depending on location. Find a location near you by visiting the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide locator web site.

Don’t miss out on your TABOR refund

In 2024 only, eligible Coloradans can receive a refund of $800 or up to $1,600 for two qualifying individuals filing jointly. Eligible Coloradans should file their state tax return by April 15, 2024, to receive the refund. File your taxes securely and for free at GetAheadColorado.org or HaciaAdelanteColorado.org. For more information about the TABOR refund, visit the Colorado Department of Revenue website.


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