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December Partner Newsletter

a food bank volunteer holding a box of peppers at a mobile pantry

As 2022 comes to a close, this is a great time to reflect on the past year of achievements as well as contemplate opportunities for the future. It is said that a year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

Being a newcomer to this industry and in my role as Programs Manager at Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope, I would like to take this opportunity to personally recognize you, our Partners, with your experience and wisdom, as the link that binds us all. As I observe and learn this massive undertaking of working together to feed our neighbors, I am in awe of the complexity, remarkable orchestration, and insatiable dedication that each and every one of you bring to this endeavor. The experience and passion to support those in our community is palpable in my every encounter.

I am learning that the impact and involvement goes well beyond providing food for those in need. You as Partners, the relationships you build, the trust you instill, the miles you log in every type of weather imaginable, and the engagement from start to finish is both inspirational and motivational. Because of your drive, we on the Western Slope have been able to significantly grow our operation, giving tremendous opportunities for further scope within our region. Together our future is bright and our sky is the limit!

As we transition through one year to the next, please take a moment to pause and recognize the great importance of the work you do: the lives you touch, the people you feed, and the true impact you have on our communities. While you are spending time with loved ones and enjoying some holiday cheer, know that we at Food Bank of the Rockies are grateful for your wisdom and experience and look forward to what 2023 has in store for us all.

Wishing you a truly happy holiday,

Christina Gumbiner
Programs Manager
Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope

Important Dates

Download the January 2023 Calendar

January 2 – Closed to observe the holiday
January 10 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
January 14 – Open 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
January 27 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
January 31 – Closing early. Pickups until 12:00 p.m. & Fresh Food Center until 11:10 a.m.

Western Slope Update

exterior shot of the western slope distribution center

At 698 Long Acre Drive, Grand Junction, Colorado, you will find our new state-of-the-art  Western Slope Etkin Family Distribution Center. The facility features an 84% increase in total square footage and will allow us to receive, process, and distribute more food to more people across the Western Slope through the help of our amazing regional Hunger Relief Partners.

Further benefits include the opportunity to work with St. Mary’s Meals on Wheels Mesa County. The shared 3,000-square-foot kitchen will allow both teams to expand their services, create opportunities for future partnerships, and increase meal preparation services. The building also houses the only dehydrator program in the Feeding America network, allowing us to repurpose produce grown by agricultural partners into nutritious snacks.

In this next chapter, we look forward to pioneering more impactful, fulfilling ways to meet the needs of our community members together!

USDA Invests Nearly $2 Billion, Leverages American Agriculture to Feed Kids and Families

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it will provide close to $2 billion in additional funding to food banks and school meal programs for purchasing American-grown foods. The additional support will help organizations endure supply chain challenges and elevated food costs as they continue to fulfill their mission of providing nutritious food to kids and families in need. To read the full announcement from USDA, please click here.

The funds, provided through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, or CCC, will be used in the following ways:

  • Nearly $1 billion to purchase food for emergency food providers like food banks.
  • Nearly $500 million to expand the Local Food Purchase Assistance, or LFPA, cooperative agreement program, through which 49 states, 33 tribes, and four territories are already working to purchase local foods for their emergency food systems.
  • Nearly $500 million for schools across the country to purchase food for their lunch and breakfast programs, bringing the total CCC investment in school food since December 2021 to close to $2.5 billion, benefiting the roughly 30 million students who participate in school lunch and 15 million who participate in school breakfast each day.
  • Increased number of items available for TEFAP partners.

NEW Resource: Choice Visual Library

a volunteer working at the Action Center

Are you curious to see how different food pantries incorporate client choice models? Check out the new Feeding America Choice Visual Library (CVL) for a collection of over 150 videos featuring pantry tours, staff and volunteer interviews, and helpful tips from 38 choice food pantries of all shapes and sizes. Visit the CVL here and enter the password “Choice” to browse the library. You might be surprised at the creative ways pantries are empowering clients to choose foods that meet their unique needs.

Food for Kids Update

We’d like to thank our partners for continuing to communicate all closure dates that may impact meal service/food delivery to Food For Kids staff. This helps to minimize food waste and the distribution of unnecessary supplies.

If you have updates to your schedule, questions about Link2Feed, or need someone new to be trained, reach out to the Food For Kids team: FFK@foodbankrockies.org.

Culturally Responsive Program Update

Have you seen the items on our shopping list that are perfect for Latino/Hispanic holidays? Search on Partner Express today — include “Culturally Responsive” in the description field and click search. If you have any questions about this feature, please reach out to Partner Support:  partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Community Insights

Does your organization provide wrap around services in addition to food, such as a clothing bank, transportation assistance, or community referrals? Ask our Community Insights staff how you can track additional non-food programs using Link2Feed, and we’ll provide support and troubleshooting for tracking, reporting, and evaluation needs across programs.

Waiting on Link2Feed barcode cards or CNCT cards? Community Insights staff is receiving new shipments of both soon, let us know your need to coordinate a pickup or delivery of Link2Feed supplies.

Want more information? Reach out by email to L2F@foodbankrockies.org and/or visit Food Bank of the Rockies’ Link2Feed Partner Portal for step-by-step instructions for client intake in document and video form, FAQs, and tons of other great resources.

Nutrition

Pot of marinara sauce.

If cozy, Italian-inspired dishes like lasagna, eggplant parmesan, or baked ziti may have a place on your neighbors’ holiday tables, consider sharing a recipe for Easy Marinara Sauce. Check Partner Express for dried herbs and spices such as minced garlic (#20527), oregano (#22647), and basil (#22644).

Bookmark our growing recipe library for more recipes in English and Spanish incorporating common food bank items.

New Program Staffing Announcements

Government Programs TEFAP Manager

We would like to announce the promotion of Vic Derington as Government Programs TEFAP Manager! Vic has been with Food Bank of the Rockies since May 2022, serving as the Government Inventory Lead.

Partner Support Representative

Daniel's headshot

Welcome Daniel Feder-Johnson as our new Partner Support Representative at 45th Avenue! If Daniel could be any fruit or vegetable, he would choose to be a mango and his favorite vacation destination is the mountains.





Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Representative

Carlos' headshot

Welcome Carlos Altamirano as our new Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Representative! Carlos attended Western Colorado University and comes from a family of six children; he has two younger brothers and three older sisters.

Please refer to the Programs Contact list for up-to-date information.



Client Resources — SNAP Outreach at Your Next Food Distribution or Event

Hello from the SNAP team! New income guidelines released at the beginning of October mean many people previously ineligible now qualify for the SNAP Program. Our team at Food Bank of the Rockies is happy to assist neighbors with the application process. Interested parties can reach us at 303-375-5851 and complete an application in about 10 to 15 minutes. They can also email fbrsnap@foodbankrockies.org to schedule an appointment time. Please post or distribute the flier above.

We are looking forward to expanding outreach in the upcoming months by visiting our partners to speak directly with neighbors attending food distributions or special events. Please schedule these outreach opportunities with a SNAP Outreach Representative today by contacting Sam Alexander at saalexander@foodbankrockies.org or 303-375-5851.

Questions about SNAP? Learn more here.

Introducing SNAP2Jobs

SNAP2Jobs is one of the Denver area’s newest 501(c)3 nonprofits. Founded in fall 2021 with work commencing in February 2022, SNAP2Jobs’ mission is to help people on food stamps (SNAP) change their lives by helping them prepare for employment.

With nearly 500,000 people on SNAP benefits in Colorado, and 80,000 people in Denver County alone, the need to help is great. In SNAP2Jobs’ first seven months, their four-week online program has been extremely successful, helping place 87 people in new jobs and getting them off SNAP benefits, resulting in nearly $2.8 million in annual income.

As the organization continues to grow and expand its services, they recognize the need for more volunteers and donations, as well as the importance of community partnerships like the one they’ve developed with Food Bank of the Rockies. They look forward to and are committed to doing their part in the community helping to change lives by “Setting People Up For Success.”

Find out more about SNAP2Jobs by viewing their flyer and by visiting their website at snap2jobs.org.

Join Our Team

a food bank of the rockies distribution center employee

Food Bank of the Rockies Programs Department has an opening for the Government Inventory Lead position. This person will be an integral member of the Food Bank of the Rockies Operations team, with responsibilities including controlling the inventory process, ensuring that physical and electronic inventory records match, monitoring expiration dates and inventory distributions, and maintaining AIB standards.

Programs Outreach Representative

Food Bank of the Rockies Programs Department has an opening for a Programs Outreach Representative position. This position will serve as an ambassador in assigned areas, building awareness of hunger and encouraging collaboration among community groups involved in poverty relief. In addition, this position is responsible to achieve and maintain Feeding America’s compliance requirements and attain significant progress toward reducing the meal gap. This position will serve as a liaison with county contacts and partners in key geographic areas of Colorado to increase their food distribution capacity.

For full job postings and to see all opportunities with Food Bank of Rockies, please visit foodbankrockies.org/about/join-our-team.

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

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