Dear Hunger Relief Partner,
Food Bank of the Rockies has joined forces with the other Feeding America food banks serving Colorado and the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger to secure state funding for emergency food purchasing funds for food banks and food pantries.
We are pleased to announce Governor Polis and the Colorado Legislature has designated funding to aid individuals impacted by rising food prices combined with the end of SNAP emergency allotments resulting in a reduction in benefits. The intent of these funds is to get the most nutritious food to the most impacted Coloradans statewide, quickly. Food Bank of the Rockies is applying for funds with which we will purchase food and distribute that food at no cost to our Hunger Relief Partners and secondarily through our mobile pantries. With any funding received, Food Bank of the Rockies will not charge overhead or cover any of our expenses such as fuel and labor with state funding.
Fresh produce and culturally responsive food comprise more than half of the food that Food Bank of the Rockies purchases and roughly one-third of our fresh produce is sourced in Colorado, priorities which we will maintain with new state funding. Additionally, we’re excited to launch a community-driven process to inform the best use of state funding, turning to our Hunger Relief Partners in Colorado to have a voice in how Food Bank of the Rockies can most effectively leverage its massive purchasing power to meet local community needs. Ensure your voice is heard by attending upcoming town hall sessions, accepting requests for listening tours, and getting in touch with us; your input is essential and very much valued. More information about the funding we’ve applied for will be released soon.
As we weather these difficult times together, we deeply appreciate your support and patience. Despite increased expenses (labor, fuel, a tripling in food costs) due to inflation and the end of COVID relief programs, we know how much the communities you serve depend on our partnership. We will continue finding new and innovative ways to be the best partner possible to you. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our Partner Support Team at email@example.com .
Thank you for all you do and for being part of our network!
Vice President of Programs
Food Bank of the Rockies
Welcome to the New Western Slope Newsletter!
This month marks the first edition of the Western Slope Partner Newsletter! Along with statewide information from the Food Bank of the Rockies team in Denver, we will bring you a newsletter each month highlighting regional updates and Western Slope Hunger Relief Partners. We are excited to offer the opportunity to celebrate our uniqueness here on the Western Slope. And we want your feedback to continue to drive the content of this monthly newsletter. Please let us know what you want to see here by contacting Christina Gumbiner, Programs Manager for the Western Slope Distribution Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue Ellen Rodwick
Western Slope Director
Important Dates to Remember
Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope will maintain our usual schedule on Good Friday and the Monday following the Easter holiday, but please remember to order ahead in preparation of clients’ needs for celebrations.
Staff will be attending the Feeding Colorado Conference in Denver;
- May 4 – Closed from 12:00 p.m.
- May 5 – Closed
- May 29 – Closed in observance of Memorial Day
Commodity Supplemental Food Program in Colorado
Feeding Colorado is celebrating the recent unanimous passage of HB23-1158 from the House Public Health Committee, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program Grant. The bill will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee in the coming days. HB23-1158 increases state support for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), a program that provides monthly food boxes to low-income older adults in Colorado. Food Bank of the Rockies refers to this program as EverGreen Boxes™, a program of Everyday Eats. HB23-1158 has been endorsed by The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, Colorado Coalition on Aging, AARP, and the Colorado Social Legislation Committee. To lend your voice to this important piece of legislation, please contact members of the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support HB23-1158.
Are you interested in sharing why you care about fighting hunger with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Gregory at Feeding Colorado (email@example.com) to learn more about opportunities to testify on legislation related to hunger in the 2023 legislative session!
Farm Bill Watch
The Farm Bill is due to be reauthorized later this year. Check out Feeding America’s Farm Bill Legislation Watch Page, which includes our network’s Farm Bill priorities, fast facts, and an overview of this important legislation.
National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference (Co-sponsored by Feeding America and the Food Research & Action Center in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum)
Join thousands of your fellow anti-hunger advocates from across the country at the 2023 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, May 7-9, 2023. We’re excited for you to join us virtually from wherever you find yourself or in-person in Washington, D.C., at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. You will attend content-rich sessions, learn legislative best practices, explore innovative advocacy methods, and form personal connections to help you better fight hunger in your community. For more information:
- Find the latest updates on the conference here!
- Register here or apply for a scholarship here.
- The conference schedule, including information on workshops, can be found here.
Update on EverGreen Boxes™, a program of Everyday Eats
The income guidelines for the EverGreen Box™ (CSFP) Program have been updated for 2023. The applications were also updated to reflect these changes and can be found on the Partner Portal page of our website, under “Partner Forms and Documents > EverGreen Boxes™ > CSFP Application,” and on the CDHS website.
|Household size||Monthly maximum household income||Annual maximum household income|
|Add per extra family member||$557||$6,682|
To reflect these new guidelines, we have revised our EverGreen Box™ Outreach Flyers. We would greatly appreciate it if you would share these with anyone who may be interested in applying for the program or may have connections with eligible individuals. We welcome neighbors to call or email for assistance in connecting with their nearest partner administering this program.
Food for Kids Update
Almost Time for Summer Food Service Program
Spring has hardly begun and we’re already looking ahead to summer! The Colorado Department of Education is beginning training for the upcoming 2023 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Our team is diligently working on getting up to speed with any changes and will be releasing the program application in late March or early April. If you have any questions about SFSP and its requirements, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ramadan began on Wednesday, March 22, following the sighting of the moon over Mecca. Ramadan will end 30 days later on Friday, April 21, with the celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr starting on Saturday, April 22, or Sunday, April 23.
During Ramadan, community members of the Islamic faith may fast during daylight hours, beginning their day with Suhoor (morning meal) before the first prayer of the day and breaking their fast traditionally by eating dates before Iftar (evening meal), which is normally eaten with friends and family. Eid al-Fitr, meaning “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is the important holiday that follows the month of Ramadan. It is a time for great feasts, the giving of gifts to children, and spending time with friends and family.
Foods that will be available for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr on Partner Express, first come first serve:
- Halal chicken drumsticks
- Dried dates
- Vegetable Oil
- Canola Oil
- White Rice
- Jasmine Rice
- Canned Chickpeas
- Minced Garlic
As a reminder, you can find more information about cultural food preferences on our Partner Portal.
National Nutrition Month
This March marked the 50th anniversary of National Nutrition Month, an annual celebration of the impact food choices and eating habits can have on individual and community wellbeing. This year’s theme, “Fuel for Our Future,” highlights the importance of sustainable eating across one’s lifespan.
Try sharing some simple tips for nutritious eating with neighbors this month: Tips for Plant-Based Eating (English, Spanish); Eating Right for Older Adults (English, Spanish); or Snacking Tips for Kids (English, Spanish). Discussing ways to use food items can help open up more conversations around culture and cooking with neighbors. Visit our growing recipe library for more ways to use common food bank items.
Go Paperless with Link2Feed
Attention Link2Feed partners interested in going paperless: TEFAP paperless audits have resumed! If you are a TEFAP site and have been using Link2Feed, you have an opportunity to ditch the paper.
To schedule a TEFAP paperless audit, email email@example.com.
TEFAP paperless audits check for proper signage, processes, and TEFAP record-keeping, so be prepared and ask questions if you’re not sure what we’re looking for!
Link2Feed Training and Office Hours
April training dates have been posted to the Link2Feed training portal at: https://www.foodbankrockies.org/partner-portal/link2feed/
Western Slope Words of Wisdom
Welcome to our monthly Western Slope Distribution Center and operations feature. Here you will find helpful reminders, seasonal information, tips, and communications that apply to the operational, transportation, and inventory aspects of our services. We would love to hear ideas and feedback on items that would help to make things better for everyone. Reach out to Becky Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org with input and ideas.
Spring brings warmer weather and opportunities for spring cleaning! To assist our drivers in being efficient, we kindly ask that you please:
- Neatly stack all pallets in an accessible place that is not on top of dirt
- Return all RPC (Meadow Gold milk crates)
Friendly reminder that closed toe shoes are mandatory in the distribution center, including the Fresh Food Center. Also, temperatures and signatures are required for all delivered products.
Please check all invoices to ensure they match your delivery. Any discrepancies need to be reported within 72 hours.
Western Slope Staffing Highlights
Like you, our operations team works from the wee hours of the morning to late in the evening ensuring that you, our Hunger Relief Partners, have what you need to support our neighbors. Through every type of weather, six days a week, this group of people make magic happen for all of us.
We are thrilled to welcome three new partners from Ouray and San Miguel Counties!
Angel Baskets, in Telluride, was founded in 1981. Throughout its 40+ year history, Angel Baskets has remained flexible, expanding geographically and adding new programs to meet changing needs. Angel Baskets now operates five programs (Food Security, Childhood Nutrition, School Supply, Pharm Aid, and Holiday Gifting) in San Miguel County and the west end of Montrose County.
Christ in F.O.C.U.S., Norwood Food Bank, in Norwood, serves over 125 families at their food distributions. Their goal is to meet needs and create a fun atmosphere for their volunteers. They are part of the Angel Baskets community and are an all-volunteer organization.
Ouray County Food Pantry, in Ouray, was established in 2012. Their goals are to serve the residents of Ouray County in an efficient and respectful manner as well as to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for individuals who have a common interest in serving their community.
Join Our Find Food Page – Help Neighbors in Need
Families across the Western Slope are facing tough decisions as emergency pandemic-related SNAP benefits ended on March 1. Food Bank of the Rockies is here to help. Neighbors in need can visit our website to find the locations and schedules of our Hunger Relief Partners and Mobile Pantries.
If your organization is not listed and wishes to extend assistance to neighbors in your community, please complete the website referral form and return it to email@example.com. Also, if you are listed and see any errors in the information, please use the form to communicate updates.
Check if your pantry is listed here: foodbankrockies.org/food.