FOOD BANK OF THE ROCKIES ANNOUNCES $10.8 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN TO BUILD NEW WESTERN SLOPE DISTRIBUTION CENTER TO BETTER MEET FOOD INSECURITY IN 12-COUNTY REGION PLUS A PORTION OF GUNNISON COUNTY
PALISADE, COLO. (Jan. 27, 2022) – At a site visit today, Food Bank of the Rockies announced the launch of a $10.8 million capital campaign and construction project to build the new Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope Etkin Family Distribution Center in Grand Junction.
The project involves the new construction of a 50,400-square-foot warehouse and food distribution center that will allow Food Bank of the Rockies to relocate from its existing 28,600-square-foot facility in Palisade. The larger, modernized space will allow the organization to distribute more nutritious food to people experiencing hunger, receive and deliver more fresh produce, better serve its 145-plus Western Slope partners, and engage even more with the community. In the 2021 fiscal year alone, Food Bank of the Rockies distributed 12.5 million pounds of food to people in the 12-county region plus a portion of Gunnison County, which is more than any other time since the Food Bank expanded to serve the Western Slope 23 years ago.
“The new Western Slope Etkin Family Distribution Center will have a transformational impact on improving food security on the Western Slope. This larger distribution center will allow us to provide 62% more meals annually, expand partnerships with Western Slope farms and orchards, and provide more nutritious options to families, older adults, and children through our 145+ Hunger Relief Partners and direct service programs,” said Sue Ellen Rodwick, director of Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope Distribution Center. “Our food distribution volume eclipsed building capacity well before COVID, and the pandemic exacerbated the need for a larger space.”
“To date, we have identified funding for the project through the sale of our current building, a New Market Tax Credit allocation, and philanthropic giving including gifts from Bruce Etkin and his family, the Gary D. Magness Family Foundation, Western Colorado Community Foundation, Bellco Credit Union, the City of Grand Junction, The Abram and Ray Kaplan Foundation, and the Gates Family Foundation, totaling nearly $7 million,” Rodwick said. “We are seeking community support for the remaining $3.8 million. If you are interested in supporting our efforts to end hunger on the Western Slope, please visit foodbankrockies.org/ws-capital-campaign to learn more and give today. There is nothing more meaningful than community members stepping up to help community members.”
“Providing food to people experiencing hunger is addressing a fundamental human need,” said supporter and former Food Bank of the Rockies board member Bruce Etkin. “I am pleased to be working at the ground level to address the issue of food insecurity in our community. We will all be able to provide more food more efficiently to more people as a result of the new Western Slope Etkin Family Distribution Center. What a great way to make a difference. We should all celebrate what this will help us to accomplish: nourishing communities to end hunger.”
“I’ve been proud to support Food Bank of the Rockies for nearly three decades,” said supporter Gary Magness. “It’s been an honor to invest and play a part in the construction of the Western Slope Etkin Family Distribution Center to positively impact food insecurity in this region. I know that this distribution center will have positive ripple effects for the community, and I’m excited for the work that will be accomplished with this gift.”
The distribution center will provide resources for Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope Hunger Relief Partners. It will also enable the expansion of the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative and FRESH Program, both of which involve large amounts of fresh, local fruits and vegetables and necessitate more cold-storage capacity. It will allow the expansion of programs such as EverGreen BoxesTM, a program of Everyday Eats, for adults age 60+ and Totes of HopeTM for kids.
Additionally, the new distribution center opens the door for Food Bank of the Rockies to partner with St. Mary’s Medical Center Meals on Wheels Mesa County, allowing both organizations to have a greater impact in the region through increased capacity. “We are thrilled that this state-of-the-art facility will enable us to partner with St. Mary’s Medical Center Meals on Wheels Mesa County, who will lease office space and utilize the commercial kitchen to prepare meals,” said Rodwick. Amanda DeBock, program manager for St. Mary’s Medical Center Meals on Wheels Mesa County, added, “By working together in a shared space, our organizations are creating a collective impact to meet the challenge of hunger head-on across the Western Slope.”
To learn more, please visit foodbankrockies.org/ws-capital-campaign
For photos of the construction site, building renderings, and public launch, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jweb4w4ondy9ydr/AADhujSax8KXXHT80S5aCQ-ga?dl=0
About Food Bank of the Rockies
Food Bank of the Rockies is the largest hunger-relief organization in the Rocky Mountain region. Since 1978, we’ve put the power of community to work for our neighbors in need. Through partnerships. Through programs. Through people. Through you. Everything we do is fueled by the support of our community and donors, and 96 cents of every dollar goes directly to distribution. With support from our community, we distribute enough food daily for over 26,700 meals on the Western Slope. For more information, please visit foodbankrockies.org/ws
About St. Mary’s Medical Center Meals on Wheels Mesa County
St. Mary’s Medical Center Meals on Wheels Mesa County has been dedicated to providing the older adults of the Grand Valley with quality nutritional services since 1970. A program of SCL Health St. Mary’s Hospital, the program prepares and delivers more than 600 meals per day at no cost to people 60+. Providing so much more than just a meal, this program has saved countless lives with its face-to-face wellness checks, information and referrals for other supportive services, and additional food resources. With our dedicated corps of nearly 300 volunteers and the generous support of our donors, Meals on Wheels Mesa County is a true community effort. For more information, please visit mealsonwheelsmesacounty.org