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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!

DONATE:

June 2024 Western Slope Partner Newsletter

foodbank volunteer stocking fresh produce

Dear Hunger Relief Partners,

The sunny days of June and start of summer also marks the end of fiscal year 2024. Reflecting on this past year, we are filled with pride and gratitude for the incredible work we have accomplished together. Your dedication and collaboration have enabled us to support our communities in significant ways.

Thus far this fiscal year, we have proudly achieved a remarkable 23% increase in food distribution compared to the previous year. This milestone would not have been possible without the unwavering support and efforts of our partners. We are deeply grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to strengthen our connections through events such as the Western Slope Partner Conference, quarterly Town Halls, and relationship-building visits. In addition to expanding our food rescue options, we’ve also embarked on many collaborative endeavors — truly, it has been a busy and productive year for us all!

This year we were also thrilled to welcome numerous new partners, including several TEFAP locations, which now provide much-needed support to neighbors who previously lacked access to this program. This expansion is a testament to our shared commitment to reducing hunger and ensuring no one in our communities goes without food.

As the weather warms up, we are excited to hit the road, visit more of you, strengthen existing relationships, and meet new faces. Our mission to nourish our neighbors is one we cannot achieve alone, and we value the strong partnerships we’ve built over the years. Together, we can make a real difference in our communities.

In the next months, we look forward to sharing our official statistics and highlighting the successes we’ve achieved together. Your hard work and dedication are the backbone of our accomplishments, and we are eager to continue this journey alongside you.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership. Here’s to many more years of working together to nourish anyone facing hunger across the Western Slope.

Warm regards,
Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope Team

 

Important Dates

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, order availability will be significantly impacted during that time. We will be reaching out again in the weeks ahead with reminders. Please also refer to detailed information provided below.

Agency Express will be unavailable certain days and please note:

  • Due to technical scheduling challenges, Agency Express will still accept orders, but they will be declined for these days if not placed in advance:
    • Tuesday, June 25
    • Wednesday, June 26
    • Thursday, June 27
  • Listed below are the due dates for all pick-up and delivery orders for the last days of June into the July holiday:
Order Date Delivery Date
Thursday 6/20 Monday 6/24
Friday 6/21 Tuesday 6/25
Monday 6/24 Wednesday 6/26
Monday 6/24 Thursday 6/27
Monday 6/24 Friday 6/28
Monday 6/24 Monday 7/1
Friday 6/28 Tuesday 7/2
  • Pick-up and delivery schedules will not be affected if orders are placed in the above timeframes.
  • Fresh Food Center shopping will be closed from Wednesday, June 26, through Friday, June 28.

Advocacy/Policy Update

Feeding Colorado Advocacy Training – Recording and Presentation

Thank you to those of you who could join the advocacy training presented by Feeding Colorado on April 4. If you would like to revisit the content or if you missed the training, please find the presentation attached and a link to the recording below. Additional training will be announced soon.

If you have any questions on this work by Feeding Colorado and how to get involved, please contact Mandy Nuku mnuku@feedingcolorado.org and Sarah Mason sgregory@feedingcolorado.org with Feeding Colorado.

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 get started! https://forms.office.com/r/2sauRbHR0n

State Session

The Colorado 2024 state session wrapped up in early May. As always, you can find our state policy priorities, designed to guide our actions and position for this year’s session, here on our website.

One exciting update: the Joint Budget Committee supported the creation of the Community Food Assistance Provider Grant program, which combines the food pantry and food bank assistance programs. This will provide sustainable funding with an appropriation of $3 million for the 2024-2025 state fiscal year. We are doing everything we can to uplift the immense need for food across our state and advocate for additional funding. Questions/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: endhungerco.org/policy-platform.

Feeding Colorado Presentation.

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.

Partner Support

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. Please be on the lookout for more detailed information regarding re-signing this agreement. Reach out to Jill Davis at jilldavis@foodbankrockies.org with any questions or concerns.

 

Colorado Emergency Funds

We are a year into making food items available to partners at no cost through Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) and are so excited about everything we’ve done together in utilizing the $5.4 million in CEF received at the end of May 2023! In January, we were notified of additional funding to bring our total to over $6.5 million. 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:

  • 148 items have been made available
  • 7,975,653 lbs. of CEF products have been distributed to our neighbors
  • 467 partners have participated in the CEF program

We are in our final month of utilizing the Colorado Emergency Funding. We will continue to seek support for the work you all do to nourish neighbors facing hunger.

 

Food For Kids Update

Get ready for summer kids meals!

We are still accepting applications for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)! SFSP provides free breakfast, lunch, and/or supper to qualifying kids throughout the summer. Summer moves fast, so apply ASAP to ensure we’re able to feed your students as soon as possible. The application can be found here.

Totes of Hope™ for the summer?

Are you a current Totes of Hope™ partner that wants to continue distribution over the summer? If so, you must complete the Renewal Request Form.

If you are not a current partner and are interested in becoming one, please complete our application here.

Questions about SFSP or Totes of Hope™? Please email our team at FFK@foodbankrockies.org.

 

Western Slope Staffing Highlights

Alex Adamson's headhsotMeet Alex Adamson: A new Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope Team Member!

We are thrilled to introduce Alex Adamson, the latest addition to our inventory and warehouse team!

Hailing from Grand Junction, Alex brings 30 years of local experience, having worked in construction and various warehouse roles. His practical skills and dedication are already making a significant impact on our operations.

Alex’s passions extend beyond his professional life. He adores his two dogs, Marlee, an English bulldog, and Milly, a blue-nose pit bull. With their matching black and white coats, these two cuties resemble bookends and are Alex’s constant companions.

In his free time, Alex loves exploring the great outdoors with his furry friends. Whether it’s hiking, enjoying lake activities, or playing a round of disc golf, Alex is always on the move. He also has a soft spot for travel, having recently enjoyed a memorable trip to Pensacola, Florida.

And let’s not forget his favorite food — tacos! Alex’s enthusiasm for life and commitment to his work make him a perfect fit for our team. Please join us in welcoming Alex Adamson to Food Bank of the Rockies!

 

Western Slope Highlight

Woman in commercial kitchen laying out sliced peaches on tray preparing for dehydration..

Food Bank of the Rockies’ Western Slope Dehydrator Program creates nutrient-rich fruit snacks for children experiencing hunger. Led by Kathey Swisher, who arrives at 6:00 a.m. each morning, the program ensures that no donated fresh fruit goes to waste. Swisher and her team of volunteers meticulously rinse, slice, and dehydrate large quantities of fresh fruit, transforming them into delicious and nutritious snacks that kids adore. With no added sugar or preservatives, these dried fruits are distributed through backpack programs like Totes of Hope™ throughout the Western Slope.

This innovative program, supported by local farmers and partners, was revitalized in 2023 with new commercial dehydrators that tripled its capacity. Swisher, with her lifelong passion for food preservation, has expanded the program’s offerings to include future plans for dehydrated vegetables and fruit leather roll-ups. The Western Slope Dehydrator Program is unique within the Feeding America network, providing a much-needed source of nourishing snacks for children.

To learn more about this impactful initiative and how you can get involved, click the link to read the full blog: foodbankrockies.org/blog/western-slope-dehydration-program-preserves-fresh-fruits-creates-nutritious-snacks-for-kids/

Neighbor Resources

Summer EBT is coming! Please share with families!

Beginning this summer, Colorado will offer Summer EBT, the new grocery EBT program for families with eligible school-age kids. Summer EBT is an effective tool in reducing childhood hunger. Learn more about Summer EBT and how it will work at cdhs.colorado.gov/summer-ebt.

Download flyers and messaging to share with families https://cdhs.colorado.gov/summer-ebt-outreach-materials.

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