× Child smiling.

2X Match Deadline Extended

Hunger is on the rise across Colorado.

Now through April 30, your donation will be matched to make 2X the impact for our neighbors.

Help address the emergency level of need in our region while your gift = 2X the impact!

× Child smiling.

Hunger is on the rise across Colorado.

Now through midnight on April 30, your donation will be matched to make 2X the impact for our neighbors.

Help address the emergency level of need in our region while your gift = 2X the impact!

× Family at Food Pantry

Make 2X the Impact this Summer

URGENT REPORT: 1 in 9 Coloradans are experiencing food insecurity. Your donation today will help provide 2X the nourishment for our neighbors.

Make 2X the impact this summer for our Colorado neighbors >>

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Live Here, Give Here.

Together, we can make a difference in our state.

Make your WyoGives Day gift before midnight and have it matched to support Food Bank of Wyoming.

Make your WyoGives Day gift now and have it matched to support Food Bank of Wyoming.

×

MATCH DEADLINE: August 31, 2024

Your gift today will help provide 2X as much nourishing food for our neighbors experiencing hunger.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to DOUBLE your impact this summer >>

DONATE:

June 2024 Partner Newsletter

bins of fresh produce
Dear Hunger Relief Partners,

My name is Marissa Herrera, and I am one of the new Regional Engagement Representatives at Food Bank of the Rockies. I will be working closely with neighbors and Hunger Relief Partners in Adams and Arapahoe counties to bring awareness to our programs and resources and keep everyone up to date on news and changes.

Consider me and my fellow regional engagement representatives as liaisons between you and the Food Bank. Our goal is to ensure our partners and neighbors are having a positive experience with us, so please: share your thoughts, what is working, what is not, exchange best practices, and more. I am here to connect with as many partners and neighbors as possible to ensure everyone can access the food they need to thrive.

I recently attended an event called Ponte Las Pilas Peloton hosted by MIEL (Mental Health, Immigration, Education and Language). The event was part of MIEL’s mission to pioneer bilingual initiatives across Colorado. In attendance at the event were organizations that offer mental health services, legal counseling, and programs to save money on energy bills. The park was filled with families and friends laughing together. Being there was a wonderful experience as I was able hear people’s stories, struggles, and happy moments – so many expressed positive feedback about being able to access services for food and other resources. It made me excited to get out and meet neighbors.

Although I am fairly new to this role, I hope to work closely with our Hunger Relief Partners to advocate for our communities and people who feel like they have no voice. Together, we can continue to lessen the burden of food insecurity by taking action.

Thank you for your work, and please share your stories with me. I want to be there as much as possible to experience and highlight all the grand moments that take place within our communities.

Marissa Herrera
Regional Engagement Representative
mherrera@foodbankoftherockies.org

Important Dates

REMINDER: June Closures for Inventory

During the last week of June, Food Bank of the Rockies conducts a thorough review of our inventory to ensure we are organized and prepared for the upcoming year. Due to this process, pick-up and delivery ordering and availability will be significantly impacted during those days. We will send more detailed information about this, but for the time being, please note the following:

  • Agency Express will be turned off Tuesday, June 25, and Wednesday, June 26
  • Pick-up availability will be very limited on Wednesday, June 26, Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28
  • Fresh Food Center will be closed on Wednesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 27

July Dates to Remember

  • July 2 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.; order deadline for July 5 pick-ups
  • July 3 – Order deadline for July 8 pick-ups
  • July 4 – Closed for Independence Day holiday
  • July 13 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • July 18 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
  • July 29 – Order deadline for August 1 pick-ups
  • July 30 – Order deadline for August 2 pick-ups
  • July 31 – Food Bank of the Rockies will be closed for a staff outing

To sign up for orientation or for questions about any of the dates above, contact partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org. For our full, detailed calendars, please click here.

 

Advocacy/Policy Update

Get involved!

You can make a difference by speaking up and speaking out against hunger and its root causes. Are you interested in getting more involved in advocacy? Fill out this form to learn more and get involved! https://forms.office.com/r/2sauRbHR0n

Farm Bill

Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our congressional delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the farm bill. As committee chairs in the House and Senate release their farm bill frameworks, Feeding Colorado is working closely with national partners to flag concerns and opportunities for the Colorado delegation.

Click this link for more information from Feeding America.

State Session

The Colorado 2024 State Session wrapped up in early May. Click here for a summary of bills we were tracking (Blueprint to End Hunger Policy Platform).

Questions or concerns? Contact Mandy Nuku at mnuku@feedingcolorado.org 

Interested in learning more about bills in our network? We encourage you to check out Blueprint to End Hunger’s policy platform and link to current legislation being considered this session: https://www.endhungerco.org/policy-platform 

 

Feeding Colorado Presentations

Would you like to have Feeding Colorado staff present to your agency or local coalition on our role, state priorities and how to get involved? If so, please reach out to Mandy Nuku at mnuku@feedingcolorado.org to schedule.

 

Grant Update

Changes in Colorado Emergency Food Grant Program

It has been amazing to be able to distribute over 9 million pounds of high-quality product through the Colorado Emergency Food Grant program (CEF) over the past 12 months. The funding from the state legislature and the flexibility allowed in implementing those funds has enabled us to provide 158 unique items to 473 agencies in all 32 Colorado counties that we support.

The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) recently allocated $3 million in funding for food assistance over the next five years through House Bill 2024-1407, which creates the Community Food Assistance Provider Grant Program. This means that the Food Pantry Assistance Grant and Food Bank Assistance Grant programs will merge to support all qualifying emergency food assistance providers with funding for the procurement and distribution of nutritious foods in Colorado communities while also supporting local growers.

Thank you to the JBC for approving this legislation, and to Feeding Colorado and Hunger Free Colorado for co-leading advocacy efforts. We are pleased that there will be continued support from the state moving forward.

Please note, this results in substantially lower funding in the upcoming fiscal cycle when compared to the past year. The decrease in funding will significantly reduce the amount of free product available on Partner Express, as the current CEF funded inventory is depleted.

We know many of you are facing major challenges and seeing increases in attendance. In anticipation of less funds being available from this specific grant program, Food Bank of the Rockies will double down on sourcing as much donated product as feasible. Our team is pounding the pavement (literally and figuratively) to facilitate new agricultural, retail, and manufacturer food donor partnerships. These relationships will help us provide as much quality, quantity, and diversity of products as possible to you, our valued Hunger Relief Partners. Thank you for your ongoing partnership, understanding, and continued support.

 

Program Updates

Quarterly Regional Partner Town Halls – Save the Date!

Thank you to all Hunger Relief Partners who were able to join the Regional Town Hall meetings in April and May. We appreciated the open conversation and updates from our partners.

Our next sessions (all virtual) are scheduled for July and August as follows:

  • Eastern – July 16, 1:00p.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • Metro Denver – July 24, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • Mountain – August 14, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

Emails and calendar invites will be sent to partners in each region. Please contact Chris Taylor christaylor@foodbankrockies.org if you do not receive the information by the week before. We hope you’ll join us!

Bi-Annual Partner Agreement

Every other year, we ask our Hunger Relief Partners to re-sign our updated Partner Agreement. This agreement defines the services Food Bank of the Rockies provides to our partners and outlines the responsibilities of both Food Bank of the Rockies and you, our Hunger Relief Partners. We sent out a communication regarding re-signing this agreement at the end of May. If you haven’t yet signed the agreement, please reach out to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

 

Annual NeoGov Food Safety and Civil Rights Trainings

Every year, we require one person per agency to take two online training courses through NeoGov: Food Safety Training and Civil Rights Training. Each course takes about 30 minutes to complete at your own pace, and you’ll receive a certificate when completed. You can sign back in at any time to review material. You can use your login credentials from previous years, or you can reach out to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org to create a new account or to help reset your password. You will receive further communication about this requirement in the coming months.

 

Government Programs

Everyday Eats Update

Thank you to all our partners who participated in our recent Everyday Eats sessions focusing on caseload management and waitlist procedures. This is a big shift from a long period of unprecedented growth, a huge testament to the work you are doing with our older adult neighbors. A recording of the training and the slides are available here. Please send any questions directly to bstupin@foodbankrockies.org.

Food for Kids Update

SAVE A TREE – Use Link2Feed!

Thank you for using Link2Feed! Please remember to enter your counts for meals and/or Totes of Hope™. This is important in getting meals reimbursed (CACFP/SFSP) and ensuring we are meeting all sites’ needs.

  • CACFP/SFSP sites: Please enter your counts within a week of your distribution.
  • Totes of Hope™ sites: Please enter your weekly distribution numbers within a month.

If you or anyone on your team needs training with Link2Feed or has questions, please reach out to: FFK@foodbankrockies.org


Totes of Hope™ – Summer and School Year 2024

For current Totes of Hope™ sites wishing to distribute over the summer, we ask that you sign up using this form and return it right away. The original deadline was May 1 – we are offering an extension.

For Totes of Hope™ participation in the 2024-2025 school year, we are asking sites to fill out a new application for the fall! The application was sent out to all current sites and is due by June 15. If you did not receive the application, please contact the Food for Kids team: FFK@foodbankrockies.org


Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Update

Holiday Reminders

A reminder of upcoming holidays that your neighbors may be observing:

June

  • Eid al-Adha: June 16-17
  • Juneteenth: June 19

July

  • Ashura: July 16-17 (This holiday occurs annually on the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is usually celebrated through large demonstrations of high-scale mourning and fasting.)

Holiday Food Across Cultures (Calendar)

For Food bank of the Rockies’ Food lists – click Food Preference by Culture

(*This is only a supplemental reference, not the complete list of holidays.)

If you have any questions about these holiday celebrations or the food lists, please contact the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative team: CRFI@foodbankrockies.org

 

Update from Food Rescue Team

Food Donations

The Food Rescue Team is actively working to secure more food donations. Through the first four months of 2024, food donations are up 2%. The team is engaging all current Food Rescue Partners to maximize existing donation streams. Part of stewarding existing donors includes rolling out a new donor recognition program. The Food Rescue Team is also actively seeking out and soliciting new donors. This effort will include a mass mailing to food donor prospects in the month of July.

Do you know of food companies that would be good for us to build a donor relationship with? Better yet, do you know someone at those food companies we could engage with? Please let us know by emailing foodrescue@foodbankrockie.org.

 

Partner Highlight

SECOR exterior

SECOR Cares – From Humble Beginnings

Presently focused on suburban poverty in Arapahoe, Elbert, and Douglas counties, SECOR Cares (South East Community Outreach) began with a humble, yet spirited, Christmas outreach program in the 1990s.

In 2018, with Christian Brothers Automotive’s generous funding, two custom-built mobile food trucks rolled out to deliver food and personal items to the homes of older adults and college campuses under the Food for Thought program.

SECOR Cares moved into its newly designed building in 2019, which allowed them to expand their operations. Guests were welcomed by a well-lit and pleasant space that they look forward to visiting two times a month.

Throughout the years, SECOR Cares has maintained their close collaboration with 35+ other organizations. Because one can never do it all, SECOR Cares strategically partners with others to provide more resources to their guests and extend their help further. One of the unique services that SECOR Cares provides for their partners’ special needs group is private shopping time and a closed environment. Once again, the guests’ integrity is valued in their shopping experience.

The 1,500-square-foot, by-appointment Free Food Market space is a boutique-like grocery store with a great variety of items and wholesome ambiance. There are even fresh flower bouquets in the water buckets by the doorway. “Fresh flowers are important, you know? Whether it is to celebrate special occasions, or just to add a touch of life/hope to their everyday life,” Debbie, the Program Manager, explained.

Larry, a longtime volunteer, is an exemplary volunteer who has grown with SECOR Cares for 50 years. Larry was never a tech-savvy guy and was hesitant when presented with the translation device Pocketalk (borrowed from Food Bank of the Rockies’ Building Belonging Resource Library). After some time passed, Larry was so fond of the translation device that he applied a name label to one of the four Pocketalks: “Larry.” Larry has also become the designated instructor to coach other volunteers on how to use the device to communicate with 40% of their non-English speaking guests.

With its solid foundation, SECOR Cares nurtures and grows the community bond, adapts new visions, and always stays true to their mission: “Caring for people faced with suburban poverty, restoring hope and dignity, and guiding them toward a self-sufficient life!”

To learn more about SECOR Cares, visit secorcares.com.

Neighbor Resources

Enjoy Summer with Additional EBT Card Benefits

Did you know that all individuals enrolled in SNAP are also eligible to receive additional benefits like discounted access to museums and Colorado state parks? To learn more, take a look at the information below:

  • $1 admission for up to 10 people to the Children’s Museum, the Denver Zoo, and the Butterfly Pavilion (more information here)
  • Discounted pass to Colorado state parks
  • Check out this link for a comprehensive list of Colorado museums that offer discounts for those with an EBT/ SNAP card

Tip: Save this link to remember what extra benefits can be utilized with an EBT card.

 

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