We are almost at the finish line of another jam-packed year of supporting our communities and their unique needs. It also happens to be a season of high volume – more food, more volunteers (and the influx of requests, which is great to have more hands), more donations (grateful, but how do you make time to thank all these people when you are busy filling orders and helping a first-time neighbor feel welcomed at your pantry?), and more of, well, everything. Because of limited time and resources, it can be difficult to thank everyone who comes alongside you over the next few weeks. However, nurturing these relationships can help you make a life-changing impact on a neighbor needing your support.
I encourage you to leverage the relationships you are building today to support the work you will do tomorrow. There is power in sending a handwritten thank-you note or taking five minutes at the end of your day to write an email sharing how many people your pantry provided food to. Volunteers, donors, and the broader community want to celebrate wins alongside you. The power of community is part of what supports our work to provide food and critical resources to neighbors.
Remember this: we are not just offering our neighbors a meal. We are making space for a family to create memories around the dining table. We are helping fuel a child’s potential to thrive and succeed at school through a nutritious snack. As a community, we are igniting our neighbors’ limitless potential to thrive. We get to do this, and it is more exciting when others want to come alongside us in this work.
And since we are talking about thanking people who help us do this work, I want to thank you and your team for what you are doing. You inspire me daily with your thoughtfulness, creativity, and innovation to ensure each of our neighbors has access to nutritious food and more. Your work does not go unseen – your effort today fuels someone’s potential for tomorrow. Thank you.
Western Slope Senior Development Manager
- Friday, December 15 – Closed for staff holiday celebration; no deliveries or pick-ups.
- Monday, December 25 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for Christmas.
- Monday, January 1 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for New Year’s Day.
Partners: Please let us know if your organization plans to be closed on a regularly scheduled delivery day. Our drivers would appreciate knowing in advance so they can alter their routes or add opportunities for others.
The 2018 Farm Bill has received a one-year extension through September 30, 2024. This authorizes the continuity of all mandatory and discretionary programs in their current form, while Congress continues to negotiate critical updates to include in the next farm bill reauthorization. Congressional farm bill negotiators have already stated their intention to move swiftly in 2024 to consider farm bill legislation. Our advocacy for a strong farm bill that invests in nutrition programs will continue without pause.
Feeding Colorado is prepping for next year’s state legislative session by continuing to engage with state lawmakers for tours and educational sessions regarding our network. We are finalizing our state policy priorities to guide our actions and positions for next year and are excited to find solutions to hunger and work with our state legislators to support our network and communities we serve.
Are you interested in sharing why you care about fighting hunger with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Mason at Feeding Colorado (email@example.com) to learn more about opportunities to engage in public policy work!
Inclement Weather Plan
As we move into the winter season, please be aware that Food Bank of the Rockies may sometimes decide to make closure determinations or modify operations for safety reasons. Closure information will be posted on our website and phone messaging system. Read on for details about weather-related guidelines for our pick-ups and deliveries:
For Scheduled Pick-ups – Day of Closure
- Partner Support will contact all partners with a scheduled pick-up on the day of the closure
- Partners will have 3 business days from original pick-up date to reschedule or product will be restocked
- Emails/text will be sent to all partners with a pick-up on the day of closure if unable to be reached by phone
For Scheduled Deliveries – Day of Closure
- Partner Support will contact partners about canceled deliveries
- Deliveries to be rescheduled as soon as weather permits and per the schedule as communicated by Transportation Manager
- Partner Support to communicate reschedules to affected partners
Please also ensure that all necessary accommodations have been made to ensure that all volunteers and clients can remain warm and safe while attending a distribution.
Colorado Emergency Food Update
We are several months into making food items available to partners at no cost through Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF), and we are so excited about everything we’ve done together in utilizing the $5.4 million in CEF received at the end of May! We continue to procure food items based on feedback received from our partners in the Partner Network meetings held last spring.
Thanks to the input from partners:
- 49 unique items have been made available
- 2,727,897 lbs. of CEF product have been distributed to our partners
- 388 partners have participated in the CEF program
Have you been ordering your allocation of free items? Partners should search Agency Express for items labeled as CEF when placing orders. These are items available to our partners at no fee. To ensure equitable access for our neighbors, we will limit the amount of CEF free products each organization can order. When you see the CEF items on the shopping list, the quantity you see is YOUR allocation. Don’t miss out – order it up! We will continue to make products available until funding is expended or through June 30, 2024. Please contact Partner Support with any questions about the CEF ordering process or the items available: firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Programs Update
We would like to extend a huge thank-you to all of our partners who were able to attend the TEFAP Quarterly Session, both in person and virtually, on October 26. Your partnership means a lot to us, and we really enjoy being able to connect with you all. The next session will be held in late January. More details will be released as the date draws closer. If anyone would like to submit questions, training or discussion topics, please email them to Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager in Denver, at email@example.com
Over the next few months, there will be an increase in the average number of loads of TEFAP products coming to Food Bank of the Rockies. This is great news because it means more variety and larger quantities available to each of our partners! Please be on the lookout for emails containing more details, including a list of expected products, to help you in your order planning.
Save the Date!
CDHS will host a state-wide TEFAP conference from April 10-12, 2024, at The Grand Hyatt in Vail. All agencies are encouraged to attend, as this will be an excellent opportunity to connect with other TEFAP partners from across the state as well as your Food Bank of the Rockies and CDHS representatives.
Have questions about TEFAP or EverGreen Boxes ™, a program of Everyday Eats? Have ideas on how to strengthen our partnership? Do you want to share a best practice or innovative project? We’d love to hear from you – our team is available to you to answer your questions or address concerns. Feel free to contact Britni Stupin, Government Programs Manager for EverGreen Boxes™, at firstname.lastname@example.org; and Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager in Denver, at email@example.com.
Food for Kids Update
Ever wonder what comes in one of our Totes of Hope™? We are pleased to announce that you can now view sample menus on the Food for Kids homepage on our website. Scroll down to the FAQ section and open the drop-down menu under “What kinds of food come in Totes of Hope™?”
Each tote contains enough shelf-stable items for about 5-7 meals to feed a family of four over the weekend. Items include canned fruit, canned vegetables, a grain, a protein, two kids’ breakfast items, one or two snack items, two juice boxes, and a single-serving milk.
If you are a current Totes of Hope™ partner or want to learn more, please email our general Food for Kids mailbox, FFK@foodbankrockies.org
Unsure of who to ask for Link2Feed support or ordering more barcode cards?
Introducing our dedicated voicemail line for Link2Feed technical support! This will join our email address, L2F@foodbankrockies.org, as the best ways for our partner organizations, neighbors, and other members of our community to contact the Community Insights team for Link2Feed technical support and inquiries.
There is a direct phone number and an extension for forwarding within the Food Bank of the Rockies phone system: 720-370-5362 ext: 5362
Need barcode cards? Contact the Community Insights team directly to schedule a pick-up at a Food Bank of the Rockies distribution center, delivery (Partner Express orders only), or mailing. Please allow 48 hours for processing your request.
Need technical support? We strive to return support requests within 24 hours. Please describe your issue in detail and, if possible, provide screenshots and/or video of the problem.
Feeding America and Food Bank of the Rockies invites you to explore ways to bring a trauma-sensitive approach to your food distribution programs for families with children. Feeding America has partnered with Leah’s Pantry, a national leader in trauma-informed nutrition, to provide a learning opportunity (detailed below). There is no financial cost to you to join.
Trauma-Sensitive Basics for the Charitable Food Network: A 90-minute, self-paced training that includes videos, readings, and reflection activities. Spots may be filled by organizational staff and/or partner agency representatives
- Develop an understanding of how positive and adverse experiences affect individual and community relationships to food.
- Explore implications for the charitable food system, especially for reaching families with children.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please complete this registration form.
Please send any questions to Ashley Newell, Food Bank of the Rockies’ Director of Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Highlight: Dalton Rader
Grand Junction-native Dalton Rader is a versatile addition to our team, bringing a diverse work history that spans from the food industry to mechanics. Yet, it’s Dalton’s off-duty passions that truly define him.
With a love for dirt bikes, motorcycles, video games, and Lego creations, Dalton’s downtime is an adventure in itself. He’s also the go-to person for movie recommendations and anything spooky!
Steering clear of tomatoes, cilantro, and white chocolate, Dalton thrives on excitement, detesting boredom in any form.
A proud ginger and devoted metal music enthusiast, Dalton’s humor and easygoing nature brighten our workplace. Despite facing diabetes, he approaches life with a contagious goofiness, balancing fun with a big heart.
Beyond his uniqueness, Dalton champions causes close to his heart, supporting his passion for the hunger-relief work he does for our company. Starting as a distribution specialist and touching almost every order partners are sent, Dalton proved to be a go-getter and a team player. Dalton’s potential for growth within our organization was evident, and his vibrant personality, unique interests, and unwavering commitment make him an invaluable asset to our team. We are now proud to congratulate him on his promotion to the role of Facilities and Safety Coordinator.
We look forward to the opportunity and growth he will bring to himself and this new role for the Western Slope Distribution Center.
Partner Highlight: Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club
Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club (BCBGC): Transforming Space into A Haven for Youth
As proud Partners with the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club in Montrose, we are thrilled to share their journey and upcoming endeavors. Founded in December 1999, BCBGC emerged due to a need for structured after-school programs for Montrose youth. Fast-forward to November 2023 and they proudly serve 35-45 kids daily and have 60 registered youths, ensuring a supportive and engaging environment for every child who walks through their doors. The pandemic’s impact on Montrose’s youth was evident, prompting their commitment to focus on social-emotional health programming for all club members. Collaborating with Unify Montrose, BCBGC was part of the solution addressing the childcare shortage in that community.
Their recent milestone involves acquiring and renovating the former San Juan Cinema, marking just over a year since they’ve owned the building. When they took possession, all seating in theaters #1 and #2 was already for use in the downtown Fox Cinema, which left them with two full theaters of space. It soon became the unique location of choice where the teenagers would hang out. Using scooters to “scoot” down the sloped floor along with staff quickly became a favorite activity for all of them.
We are proud that BCBGC has dedicated time and resources to the cinema’s transformation into a multifunctional space. The vision for the third theater involves retaining its essence by displaying movie posters and hosting family movie nights. Renovations, such as amusement park-themed displays and interactive exhibits, aim to create an experiential atmosphere, sparking enthusiasm among the young club members. The entire club will soon sport an amusement park-themed facade with reverse-engineered features that allow the kids to interact with the displays. There is even an owl programmed to look around the room!
With ongoing remodeling plans, including a secured entrance and vestibule; dedicated locations for arts, crafts, and multimedia; and a thoughtful, quiet space for neurodivergent youth needing time to decompress before rejoining their friends in their activities, this demonstrates that they are expanding while ensuring inclusivity and diversity in the offerings.
The mission of the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club resonates deeply with our Food Bank of the Rockies team: to empower young individuals, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as responsible citizens. The journey from a cinema to a haven for youth is not just a renovation; it’s a transformation that signifies hope, opportunity, and endless possibilities for every child who walks through their doors.