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April Partner Newsletter

volunteers loading a food bank van

Welcome Letter

Dear Partners,

In the spring, we emerge from our winter hideaways bright-eyed and hopeful. The longer days of sunshine and the burgeoning new growth refresh both the mind and the body.

It is during this season that many of our Muslim neighbors celebrate the holy month of Ramadan through fasting, charity, and introspection. Agency Express offers a variety of foods to support the diverse cultures in our network that celebrate this holiday, including Afghan, Ethiopian, Somalian, Iranian, and Indian communities. You’ll find spices, fresh produce, dried legumes, grains, nuts, and our newest addition, halal meat. The easiest way to find these items is to search for “culturally responsive” in the description box. We hope you are as excited for these offerings as we are.

If part of your spring cleaning involves reviewing the services you offer, consider reflecting upon what makes your organization welcoming, inclusive, and responsive to your clients’ needs. If you desire additional support and resources to accomplish new goals, consider joining the Culturally Responsive Team in the next cohort of our Inclusive Capacity Building Program. You will receive in-depth trainings, customized support, food credits, and funding to address the needs of your neighbors and the barriers they experience. Read more about this opportunity below.

May the first full month of spring reinvigorate new life into our combined efforts to end hunger in our communities.

In partnership,

Anna Lisa Ferrante
Culturally Responsive Representative

Program Updates

Expiration Date Extended for iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

covid tests

We are excited to announce that the FDA recently extended the shelf life of iHealth Labs COVID rapid tests (Item #22655) from six months to nine months. They will expire in October 2022. Please share this information with your team and community members.

Contact Partner Support with any questions: partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Food Safety and Civil Rights Trainings: Updated Training Portal

neo gov logo

Food Bank of the Rockies’ Partner Training site is moving to LEARN, a new and improved learning management platform through NeoGov. Last month, we offered two webinar courses for partners to become familiar with LEARN and to take the annual Food Safety and Civil Rights courses. Please use this link to access the training.

All partner representatives should have received the NeoGov Account Activation email on March 23. Annual recertifications will start in July, so if you did not receive the activation email, please contact partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org to get entered into the system. NeoGov’s LEARN platform is available through our Partner Portal along with instructions.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, May 3:  Virtual partner orientation 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 11: Link2Feed Training 9:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 14: Open 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, May 19: Virtual partner orientation 1:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 26: Link2Feed Training 12:00 p.m.
  • Monday, May 30: Closed for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 31: Closed at 12:00 p.m.

Please visit the for the full schedule. For our full calendar of important dates, please refer to the 2022 calendar. If you have any questions, please contact Partner Support at  partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Grant Application Process / Proceso de solicitud de subvenciones

Grant Application Workshop Registration

OASH training grant graphic

Registration for the three-part workshop on the grant application process is now open. The workshops will be hosted by the Health Resources and Services Administration in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Denver.

Part 1, April 19 or 22: Grants Application Process

Participants will learn how to register to apply for HRSA grants, where to find funding opportunities, and strategies and tips for writing a strong application. Register Here for Part 1

Part 2, April 26 or 29: Overview of HRSA/OASH Community-based Grant Programs

Participants will learn about HRSA/OASH grants for which community-based organizations are eligible to apply. Register Here for Part 2

Part 3, May 3 or 6: Fiscal Aspects of Preparing Grant Applications

Participants will learn the standards for the financial management of federal funds, budget basics, and financial tips for applicants. Register Here for Part 3

Proceso de Solicitud de Subvenciones Registración

OASH training grant graphic

Ya está abierta la inscripción para la serie de 3 partes de talleres en español sobre el proceso de solicitud de subvenciones.

¿Preguntas? Si necesita ayuda registrándose contáctanos al samundson@hrsa.gov or 720-717-6726.

Parte 1, Abril 19 o 22: Proceso de solicitud de subvenciones

Los participantes aprenderán cómo registrarse para solicitar subvenciones de HRSA, dónde encontrar oportunidades de financiación y estrategias y consejos para escribir una solicitud sólida. Regístrese Aquí para la Parte 1

Parte 2, Abril 26 o 29: Descripción general de los programas de subvenciones comunitarias de HRSA/OASH

Los participantes aprenderán sobre las subvenciones de HRSA/OASH a las que las organizaciones comunitarias son elegibles para postularse. Regístrese aquí para la parte 2

Parte 3, Mayo 3 o 6: Aspectos fiscales de la preparación de solicitudes de subvenciones (fondos)

Los participantes aprenderán las normas para la gestión financiera de los fondos federales, los conceptos básicos del presupuesto y consejos financieros para los solicitantes. Regístrese aquí para la parte 3

How to Read Expiration Dates

Packaged food products often have different dates printed on them, which can be confusing when trying to determine whether or not the food is still safe to eat. Please see the definitions from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and FSIS below to help understand each date.

Best If Used By/Before: This is a quality assurance date that serves as a suggestion for when the taste and quality of food is at its peak. It is not a purchase or safety date.

Use By: This is the suggested date by which the food should be consumed. If food is a day or two past the use-by date, evaluate the quality of the food before consuming it. It is not a safety date except when used on infant formula. 

Sell By: This is not a safety date, but rather a date for retailers that helps them determine how long an item should remain on the shelf. According to the IFT, “one-third of a food’s shelf life remains after the sell-by date for the consumer to use at home.”

Freeze By: According to the USDA, this date indicates when a product should be frozen to maintain peak quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.

If you have any questions, please contact Partner Support: partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

There are additional resources available on our website.

Partner Support Updates

How to Select Date and Time in Partner Express

To create an order on Partner Express, first you must reserve your pick-up or delivery date and time. Go to Order Options and select “Scheduler.” Then select “Pick up” or “Delivery” (only for Delivery Partners) and your desired pick-up date and time. Select “Reserve,” then continue shopping as normal. See below for full details.

STEP 1: Before you go into the shopping list and add items to your cart, you need to reserve your pick-up/delivery date and time.

Go into Order Options, and select “Scheduler.”

  • On the Scheduler page, select “Pick up” (only select “Delivery” if you are a Delivery Partner), then select your desired pick-up date and time. Never select the “Shopping” option.
  • Select the yellow “Reserve” button.
  • Continue shopping as you normally would.

STEP 2: Shop and create your cart.

STEP 3: When you go to the checkout page, the only dates and times that will appear are the ones you reserved earlier. Select the respective dates and times. Submit your cart.

If at any point while creating your cart you decide you need a different pick-up date/time, you may return to the “Scheduler” page and delete your reservation. You will then need to create a new reservation (refer to STEP 1 for instructions).

Join Our Team

food bank team group shot

Join Food Bank of the Rockies as a staff member and help us ignite the power of community to nourish people facing hunger. If working to alleviate hunger in your community sounds like how you would like to spend your day, check out these exciting career opportunities today.

Open Position Spotlights: Partner Support Representative and Government Inventory Lead.

Apply Today!

The Partner Support Representative is a primary point of contact for many of you, our hunger-relief partners. This internal position on our programs team is responsible for supporting our hunger-relief partners through daily operations, including training, placing orders, conducting partner reviews, and overseeing general program compliance. This role actively engages with all existing partner agencies to review, update, and maintain program files and documentation.

The Government Inventory Lead is responsible for the direct management and oversight of inventory processes, data entry, and reporting for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). This role will utilize our inventory management system (CERES) to input received products, enter product allocations, and process invoices and monthly reports. This role will additionally work closely with our partner agencies to schedule orders and resolve any issues.

Food Bank of the Rockies is an equal opportunity employer and offers paid time off, health, dental, and 401(k) benefits.

Culturally Responsive Food Initiative (CRFI) Updates

Ramadan Foods Available

list of culturally responsive foods for Ramadan The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has begun and is celebrated by many of our Muslim neighbors. During this month, fasting is practiced between sunrise and sunset. After sunset and before sunrise, it is important to prepare nutritious foods that provide enough sustenance to nourish oneself throughout the following day.

We have sourced cultural foods that are important to the celebration of Ramadan. Although this list is not exhaustive, it reflects some of the commonalities between the Muslim cultures throughout our network. The following items will be available on Partner Express on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org with any questions about quantities.

Inclusive Capacity Building Program

Applications are open for our Inclusive Capacity Building Program. Receive training and funding to address community cultural differences, diverse food preferences, language barriers, and other barriers to access to increase equity in your food distributions.

The program will run from May–December and include a two-month preparation/planning period followed by a six-month grant implementation period.

Further information and the application can be found hereApplications are due by the end of the day Friday, April 22. Contact CRFI@foodbankrockies.org with any questions.

Link2Feed Recruitment

 

Partner Highlight: S.A.N.A.

The Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance (S.A.N.A.) was formed in 2019 as a collaboration between Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties on the Western Slope to implement equitable solutions to improve access to nourishing food for community members and their families. In early 2020, S.A.N.A. used a Colorado Health Foundation planning grant to hire three local community engagement specialists, each tasked with talking to people in their community. In total, they collected more than 300 stories about what food insecurity looks like in these counties.

S.A.N.A. has support from over 12 local participating agencies, including Food Bank of the Rockies, to distribute food boxes to community members. Since March 2020, they have distributed more than 2 million pounds of food. On average each month, over 700 families pick up food at distributions in Rifle, Glenwood Springs, El Jebel, and Aspen. S.A.N.A. continuously works toward breaking down stigmas that keep people from accessing food resources.

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