Dear Hunger Relief Partners,
With both the rising cost of food and the rising need for food assistance in our communities, we know that stocking your shelves can often feel challenging. We’d like to review the BEST way to view all our available FREE items on Partner Express.
In our Shopping List, you will see a column labeled “Unit Price.” By clicking the hyperlinked words “Unit Price,” all of our available items will sort in price order, causing our items with a $0.00 Unit Price to rise to the top of the list.
This tactic can also be used within certain categories. For example, if you search for “Dairy” under the “Category” search bar, you will see all available dairy items. By clicking “Unit Price,” all available dairy items with a $0.00 Unit Price will rise to the top of the list.
We are particularly excited about our free items on Partner Express purchased through the $5.4 million we recently were awarded through the Colorado Emergency Fund (CEF). All CEF items we are purchasing will always be free to you. To search for just CEF items (rather than all free items), search for “CEF” in the “Description” search bar.
And, of course, there is always the Fresh Food Center (FFC), which is available every weekday and has many items available at no fee to partners, including bread, fresh produce, ready-made salads, dairy, and eggs. If you are picking up an order and wish to visit the FFC, please arrive 20-30 minutes prior to your scheduled pick-up time to shop in the FFC. Without an order, you can visit the FFC Monday–Thursday from 12:00 p.m.–3:10 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m.–3:10 p.m.
As always, please check in with Dana at the Partner Order Window before heading to the FFC. You can take as much as you need for your food program, keeping in mind what your neighbors will take and your storage capabilities.
We hope that this refresher on how to stretch your budget by picking out free items will help you help our neighbors facing hunger. Should you have any questions, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stop in and say hello next time you are at our distribution center!
Partner Support Representative
September 1 – Orders accepted for pick-up on September 6 until 3:00 p.m.
September 4 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for Labor Day
September 5 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
September 9 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
September 21 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
September 22 – Orders accepted for pick-up on September 27 until 3:00 p.m.
September 25 – Orders accepted for pick-up on September 28 until 3:00 p.m.
September 26 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for Staff Team Building
Legislator Site Visits
We are excited to host many state and federal legislators across the state this August to discuss policies that support neighbors, partners, and food banks. Stay tuned for photos!
Want to host your local state representative for a tour of your organization? Reach out to Sarah at email@example.com for more information.
Farmers Feed America Coalition
Farmers Feed America is a coalition of farmers, food companies, food retailers, and anti-hunger organizations focused on strengthening the trusted partnerships between farmers and food banks and calling for a strong 2023 Farm Bill. The coalition launched earlier this year, and now we’re seeking your help to grow its membership. Please share details about the coalition with your state agriculture partners, corporate partners, and donors, and encourage them to join us by completing this brief form.
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. Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our congressional delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the Farm Bill!
Hunger Action Month is Next Month!
September is Hunger Action Month, an annual nationwide awareness campaign designed to inspire everyone to take action in the movement to end hunger. Stay tuned for more information and messaging next month.
Are you interested in sharing why you care about nourishing our neighbors with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Gregory at Feeding Colorado (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about opportunities to engage in public policy work!
We Heard You! Pictures On Partner Express
We know sometimes a description doesn’t give you the full picture of an item you want to order. Did you know you can view images of products on Partner Express? We heard how important photos are to show you what you’re ordering, and are taking steps to ensure each item on Partner Express has a photo with it.
To find the photos:
- Click on “Item No.” to view more details about that item.
- Find the word “Picture” with a camera icon. Click on the camera icon to view an image of that item.
- Please note that the image may not be an actual photo of the item; rather, the image is meant to give you an idea of what the item will look like.
Important Annual Training Reminder – Due August 31!
Food Bank of the Rockies requires all partners to complete the Food Safety and Civil Rights training on an annual basis. These training sessions help to ensure that families facing hunger receive only nutritious, safe-to-consume food (Food Safety) and that each food distribution is fair and equitable throughout our communities (Civil Rights). We are pleased to announce that courses are now available in Spanish. Courses must be completed by at least one representative from your organization.
Any partner who has taken the course on or after April 1, 2023, will be compliant for this year.
TEFAP and EverGreen Box™ Partners – If you’re a partner implementing TEFAP or EverGreen Boxes™, a program of Everyday Eats, it is required that all site staff and volunteers who help determine participant eligibility are trained in Civil Rights to ensure equitable food distributions.
Visit the Partner Portal for more information and instructions on how to access the training: https://www.foodbankrockies.org/partner-portal/partner-training/
If your organization does not complete the Food Safety and Civil Rights courses by August 31, your Partner Account will be placed on temporary hold, and you will be unable to order or receive food until these compliance measures are completed.
We are here to support you! If you do not have an online training account, need a password reset, need onsite assistance, or have any questions about these courses, please reach out to email@example.com.
Thank you for your cooperation in completing these important annual training courses.
Subsidized Product Ending in FY24
For the past several months, Food Bank of the Rockies has been sourcing tuna that was subsidized through Feeding America’s purchasing program. We were getting 5-ounce tuna for $0.42/can. The subsidy ended with the new fiscal year, and Feeding America has shifted their funding to support other outlets for this year. The value-grade tuna we were getting for $0.42 is now back to its usual price of $0.61/can.
The new tuna that Sourcing is bringing will be Chicken of the Sea. We found that this shift created an opportunity to bring in higher-grade tuna, given we’ve received a couple requests from partners for higher-end product. This tuna will be $0.89/can, which is 46% higher than the value grade. However, we have found that it is still lower cost than the value-grade Great Value brand tuna available in Walmart, and at least 25% less than what Chicken of the Sea tuna goes for at most retailers.
Down the road, our subsidized mac & cheese will be impacted the same way. We have plenty of subsidized inventory on hand for now, but the price will increase once our current inventory depletes.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Partner Support at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Our Quarterly Meeting – September 18, 2023
The Government Programs team will host our next quarterly session for the EverGreen Boxes™, a Program of Everyday Eats, on September 18 from 9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m. This will be a virtual session focused on networking with our Hunger Relief Partners, sharing best practices, and providing important program updates. Topics will include: understanding insurance requirements, caseload updates and waitlist, agency receipts, and neighbor preference surveys.
If anyone wishes to add topics to our agenda, please reach out to Britni Stupin at email@example.com. We look forward to spending our morning with you!
Join the quarterly EverGreen Box™ Meeting via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 862 3945 2869 Passcode: 662124
Exit Summer, Enter Back-to-School
It’s already back-to-school season! And that means that our application for the 2023-2024 Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is available! Benefits for participating in CACFP include:
- Nutritious meals for all children in your program
- All supplies needed for meal service
- Training and support from the Food for Kids team
Organizations in areas where 50% or more of school children qualify for free or reduced lunches may be qualified to participate. If you meet this eligibility and your site provides activities and programs to kids 5–18 years of age after school lets out for the day, please consider providing kids a meal though the CACFP. We would love to work together!
Updates to Totes of Hope™ Communication & Survey
As the new school year approaches, the Food for Kids team wants to ensure sound communication with our partners. Therefore, we ask that any Totes of Hope™ partners email both Matt Dart (firstname.lastname@example.org) and our Food for Kids email (FFK@foodbankrockies.org). Our whole Food for Kids team has access to this general inbox and it will allow for consistency in communication should anyone be out of the office.
We also want to hear from you! Our team has put together a survey to check-in on how Totes of Hope™ is going and how we can improve our partnership. Please click this link to complete the brief survey. Your input is invaluable and allows us to improve our program and better serve you and our communities.
August Backpack Conference
Keep an eye out for an email from our team regarding an exciting opportunity to engage with other stakeholders in the community. Cohosted by Beef Sticks for Backpacks founder, Dan Byer, the Colorado Backpack Conference invites all Backpack partners and those interested in the program to network on Tuesday, August 22. If you’re interested in attending, please visit this link for more information and to sign up!
Metro Caring is one of our partners doing amazing work in Denver, motivated by the knowledge that “by investing in community wealth building, organizing our community leaders, and exploring innovative solutions to our food system, together, we can end hunger at its root.”
Metro Caring offers innovative programming in Healthy Foods Access, Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes, Urban Gardening and Agriculture, Community Organizing and Development, and ID Procurement.
Folks are welcome in their Fresh Foods Market, a free, grocery-style market, that allows folks to shop for nutritious foods without a need for identification, proof of need, or documentation. In their Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes, Metro Caring facilitates the sharing and strengthening of community skills and knowledge by supporting peer-learning.
They further support the community by offering their commercial kitchen to start-up catering businesses and offering a free lending library of catering equipment. Metro Caring’s Mastermind Circle is a cohort of entrepreneurs that use one-on-one business coaching, conceptualization and planning, and co-op development to increase economic participation for historically marginalized communities.
Metro Caring’s Urban Agriculture team models community-based, farm-to-table food sovereignty to demonstrate how communities can establish and engage in local food systems. Through their community farms, they lend traditional growing spaces and hydroponic growing spaces to community members interested in learning growing skills.
Metro Caring Community Connectors help provide folks with the most effective and culturally accessible resources possible to help navigate complex barriers. Through their community organizing efforts, they identify, train, and support community members to leverage their lived experience for civic engagement and advocacy. Their emphasis on sustainable community-building is also represented by their shift away from requiring a financial contribution from their board members. By doing this, Metro Caring has been able to incorporate more voices into their leadership and prioritize holistic and equitable service.
Furthermore, if someone needs help getting an ID, driver’s license, and/or birth certificate, they can provide them with a voucher to get one through the Colorado ID Project. If someone can’t get to Metro Caring, vouchers are also available in other locations.
In response to the increased need occurring across the nation, Metro Caring is maintaining the ability to care for the community and their staff. They recently started an emergency food bag fridge with three types of pre-packed grab-and-go bags: Unhoused, No Kitchen (microwave friendly), and Kitchen. With their numbers back to COVID levels, they have needed to provide a lot of food in an efficient manner. (Insert emergency bags photo) In addition, the organization is switching to a four-day work week to ensure their staff are taking the time they need to care for themselves.
Through their devotion to food as an accessible, equitable, and wholesome human right, Metro Caring has built a strong community haven where folks can come for nourishment and guidance. Thank you, Metro Caring; we are proud to partner with you and are grateful for all your continued work!
Medicaid Eligibility Redeterminations Begin Again
Colorado is resuming regular eligibility reviews for people with Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) after a more than two-year pause during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
This means that members currently covered by Health First Colorado or CHP+ will need to renew their health coverage on their annual renewal date or they may lose coverage.
If someone’s circumstances have changed since enrolling in Health First Colorado — such as starting a new job that might put them over income limits — they should begin researching other health care coverage options to avoid becoming uninsured. The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) estimates that more than 325,000 participants will no longer be eligible for Health First Colorado or CHP+ and will need to find another form of health care coverage.
How can food banks and pantries help people prepare for Medicaid renewals?
You can help raise member awareness about Medicaid renewals by sharing the messaging in our toolkits. These materials identify key actions for members to take: updating their contact information, taking action when a renewal is due, and seeking help with renewals at community or county resources when they need it.
- Post “Take Action on Your Renewal” flyers in public areas and checkout counters.
- Share messaging on social media
Community partners can also educate themselves on the basics of the renewal process to assist members who may need help. See our Renewal Education toolkit.