Dear Hunger Relief Partner,
Food Bank of the Rockies has joined forces with the other Feeding America food banks serving Colorado, Hunger Free Colorado, and the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger to secure state funding for emergency food purchasing funds for food banks and food pantries.
We are pleased to announce Governor Polis and the Colorado Legislature has designated funding to aid individuals impacted by rising food prices combined with the end of SNAP emergency allotments resulting in a reduction in benefits. The intent of these funds is to get the most nutritious food to the most impacted Coloradans statewide, quickly. Food Bank of the Rockies is applying for funds with which we will purchase food and distribute that food at no cost to our Hunger Relief Partners and secondarily through our mobile pantries. With any funding received, Food Bank of the Rockies will not charge overhead or cover any of our expenses such as fuel and labor with state funding.
Fresh produce and culturally responsive food comprise more than half of the food that Food Bank of the Rockies purchases and roughly one-third of our fresh produce is sourced in Colorado, priorities which we will maintain with new state funding. Additionally, we’re excited to launch a community-driven process to inform the best use of state funding, turning to our Hunger Relief Partners in Colorado to have a voice in how Food Bank of the Rockies can most effectively leverage its massive purchasing power to meet local community needs. Ensure your voice is heard by attending upcoming town hall sessions, accepting requests for listening tours, and getting in touch with us; your input is essential and very much valued. More information about the funding we’ve applied for will be released soon.
As we weather these difficult times together, we deeply appreciate your support and patience. Despite increased expenses (labor, fuel, a tripling in food costs) due to inflation and the end of COVID relief programs, we know how much the communities you serve depend on our partnership. We will continue finding new and innovative ways to be the best partner possible to you. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our Partner Support Team at email@example.com.
Thank you for all you do and for being part of our network!
Vice President of Programs
Food Bank of the Rockies
- April 4 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
- April 8 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- April 20 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
- April 28 – Closing early. Pickups until 12:00 p.m. & Fresh Food Center until 11:10 a.m.
To sign up for Orientation or for questions about any of the dates above, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Commodity Supplemental Food Program in Colorado
Feeding Colorado is celebrating the recent unanimous passage of HB23-1158 from the House Public Health Committee, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program Grant. The bill will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee in the coming days. HB23-1158 increases state support for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), a program that provides monthly food boxes to low-income older adults in Colorado. Food Bank of the Rockies refers to this program as EverGreen Boxes™, a program of Everyday Eats. HB23-1158 has been endorsed by The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, Colorado Coalition on Aging, AARP, and the Colorado Social Legislation Committee. To lend your voice to this important piece of legislation, please contact members of the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support HB23-1158.
Are you interested in sharing why you care about fighting hunger with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Gregory at Feeding Colorado (email@example.com) to learn more about opportunities to testify on legislation related to hunger in the 2023 legislative session!
Farm Bill Watch
The Farm Bill is due to be reauthorized later this year. Check out Feeding America’s Farm Bill Legislation Watch Page, which includes our network’s Farm Bill priorities, fast facts, and an overview of this important legislation.
National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference (Co-sponsored by Feeding America and the Food Research & Action Center in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum)
Join thousands of your fellow anti-hunger advocates from across the country at the 2023 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, May 7-9. We’re excited for you to join us virtually from wherever you find yourself or in-person in Washington, D.C., at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. You will attend content-rich sessions, learn legislative best practices, explore innovative advocacy methods, and form personal connections to help you better fight hunger in your community. For more information:
- Find the latest updates on the conference here!
- Register here — register before March 31 to qualify for the Early Bird Rate! You can also apply for a scholarship here.
- The conference schedule, including information on workshops, can be found here.
This conference is comprehensive and helpful for many folks: “I love attending the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference because it is the one conference that pays me back all year long! I acquire a wealth of knowledge and information from the presenters and attendees that I use for the entire year. I leave every year already excited for the next year!” -Sonja Carvalho, Administrative Manager, Catholic Charities Maine CACFP
Western Slope Newsletter Coming Soon
Starting in the month of April, please look for our new Western Slope Partner Newsletter. Along with information from Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, we will be bringing you a newsletter that highlights regional updates and Partner information relevant to what is happening on the Western Slope. For more information or suggested content, please reach out to Christina Gumbiner, Programs Manager for the Western Slope Distribution Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EverGreen Box™ Update
The income guidelines for the EverGreen Box™ (CSFP) Program have been updated for 2023. The applications were also updated to reflect these changes and can be found on the Partner Portal page of our website, under “Partner Forms and Documents > EverGreen Boxes™ > CSFP Application,” and on the CDHS website.
|Household size||Monthly maximum household income||Annual maximum household income|
|Add per extra family member||$557||$6,682|
To reflect these new guidelines, we have revised our EverGreen Box™ Outreach Flyers. We would greatly appreciate it if you would share these with anyone who may be interested in applying for the program or may have connections with eligible individuals. We welcome neighbors to call or email for assistance in connecting with their nearest partner administering this program. For older adults who are homebound, home delivery is available in Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, and Denver counties.
Government Programs Team will be hosting an EverGreen Box™ Quarterly Training for our EverGreen Box™ Partners on Wednesday, March 22.
- Wednesday, March 22
- 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Please join using the Zoom link below. An invite was also sent to our partner contacts by email. We welcome any input regarding topics to cover. Please send topic ideas to Britni Stupin at email@example.com. See you there!”
Zoom Link for EverGreen Box™ Training: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85087092458?pwd=UFNPWjJEQ0xqeDI3RVRLWVpXSGxUZz09
Food for Kids Update
Almost Time for Summer Food Service Program
Spring has hardly begun and we’re already looking ahead to summer! The Colorado Department of Education is beginning training for the upcoming 2023 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Our team is diligently working on getting up to speed with any changes and will be releasing the program application in late March or early April. If you have any questions about SFSP and its requirements, please email us at FFK@foodbankrockies.org.
New Faces in Our Kitchen
We are also excited to announce the hire of our new Executive Chef, Tara “TJ” Davis, and our new Sous Chef, Adrienne Flowers! Check out the “New Staffing Announcements” section of the newsletter to learn more about TJ and Adrienne.
Ramadan is anticipated to begin on Wednesday, March 22, following the sighting of the moon over Mecca. Ramadan will end 30 days later on Friday, April 21, with the celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr starting on Saturday, April 22, or Sunday, April 23.
During Ramadan, community members of the Islamic faith may fast during daylight hours, beginning their day with Suhoor (morning meal) before the first prayer of the day and breaking their fast traditionally by eating dates before Iftar (evening meal), which is normally eaten with friends and family. Eid al-Fitr, meaning “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is the important holiday that follows the month of Ramadan. It is a time for great feasts, the giving of gifts to children, and spending time with friends and family.
Foods that will be available for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr on Partner Express, first come first serve:
- Halal chicken drumsticks
- Dried dates
- Vegetable Oil
- Canola Oil
- White Rice
- Jasmine Rice
- Canned Chickpeas
- Minced Garlic
Ukrainian Food Preference List
In recognition of newly arriving neighbors from Ukraine, we have developed an additional food preference list. This list was developed with feedback from local Ukrainian cultural groups, our partners currently working with Ukrainian neighbors, and other Feeding America resources. This is a living document; as we continue to have conversations with the community we will add or change information. If you have Ukrainian community members who would like to contribute to this list, please have them complete a food preference survey at tinyurl.com/UkrainianFPS. Any questions or feedback, please contact CRFI@foodbankrockies.org.
As a reminder, you can find more information about cultural food preferences on our Partner Portal.
National Nutrition Month
This March marks the 50th anniversary of National Nutrition Month, an annual celebration of the impact food choices and eating habits can have on individual and community wellbeing. This year’s theme, “Fuel for Our Future,” highlights the importance of sustainable eating across one’s lifespan.
Try sharing some simple tips for nutritious eating with neighbors this month: Tips for Plant-Based Eating (English, Spanish); Eating Right for Older Adults (English, Spanish); or Snacking Tips for Kids (English, Spanish). Discussing ways to use food items can help open up more conversations around culture and cooking with neighbors. Visit our growing recipe library for more ways to use common food bank items.
Go Paperless with Link2Feed
Attention Link2Feed partners interested in going paperless: TEFAP paperless audits have resumed! If you are a TEFAP site and have been using Link2Feed, you have an opportunity to ditch the paper.
To schedule a TEFAP paperless audit:
- Western Slope partners, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Denver Metro and Eastern Counties, email email@example.com.
TEFAP paperless audits check for proper signage, processes, and TEFAP record-keeping, so be prepared and ask questions if you’re not sure what we’re looking for!
Link2Feed Training and Office Hours
March training dates have been posted to the Link2Feed training portal at: https://www.foodbankrockies.org/partner-portal/link2feed/
Additionally, Community Insights will be hosting virtual Link2Feed office hours and collaborative learning space on Thursday, March 30, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Join us to meet and greet new team members, ask questions, and learn from fellow Food Bank of the Rockies partner agencies. Use this Meeting Link to join.
New Program Staffing Announcements
Terrill Kucera, Director of Programs
Please welcome Terrill Kucera as our new Director of Programs, based out of 45th Avenue and Nome! Terrill’s favorite food is tortillas, he has a dog named Naya, and his favorite vacation destination is Patagonia. If Terrill could chat with anyone famous, it would be Cesar Chavez. Terrill is excited to join a team of passionate people working together to make a difference in the Rocky Mountain region.
Reegan Moskowitz, Partner Support Representative
Welcome Reegan Moskowitz, our new Partner Support Representative, based out of 45th Avenue! Reegan’s favorite food is buttered noodles. One of her completed bucket list items is working on a farm in Hawaii and her favorite vacation destination is any National Park. If she could chat with someone famous, she would choose Richard Powers. One day, Reegan hopes to be a children’s author.
TJ Davis, Executive Chef
TJ Davis, affectionately known as “Chef Teej,” is delighted to be joining Food Bank of the Rockies in the role of Executive Chef. Her passion for food has taken her on global culinary adventures and she believes food can be the most noble of all services and the arbiter of all communications. Chef Teej would like to leave you with this message: “Blaise Pascal is credited as the origin of the phrase, ‘I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.’ Pascal understood good design. A dish isn’t perfect when you can’t add one more thing; a dish is perfect when you can’t subtract one.”
Adrienne Flowers, Sous Chef
Our new Sous Chef, Adrienne Flowers, is a Colorado native and has been cooking since her grandmother taught her to make apple pie at age eight; she still gets out the handwritten recipe over the holidays. She has a passion for special diets and international cooking. Outside the kitchen, Adrienne knits, spins, irritates her cat and her spouse, and takes coloring books way too seriously. Kitchen hint: Improve your baking and reduce cleanup by using weight measurements, not volume. The weight of a cup of flour varies by more than 30%, that’s a huge difference in your final product!
With Daylight Savings around the corner and decreased SNAP benefits leading to a hunger cliff, now is an apt time to focus on savings. One of our partners, Adams County Food Bank, is working hard to save food, time, and money.
In Adams County, a lot of delicious food is saved from entering landfills by rerouting it to people facing hunger. Through these donations, Adams County Food Bank fills the gap in the food budget for many families and older adults struggling to make ends meet as the already high living costs in the Denver metro area continue to rise. One neighbor was kind enough to share a note detailing his love for this food haven:
Linda King, executive director at Adams County Food Bank, describes her team as having “literal superpowers, using their discretion and creativity” to adapt to the daily challenges of food distributions. Her staff and volunteers consider the Food Bank to be a “second home,” where they can come during hard times to work and take joy in helping feed our community. With five staff members and a hearty team of regular volunteers, Adams County Food Bank serves one customer per minute, averaging 325 households fed in a three-hour window.
In our visit with Adams County Food Bank, we were able to celebrate the birthday of a volunteer, share laughs while pushing carts through the service line, and see the incredible ways our community is evolving through these confusing times. Thank you, Adams County Food Bank, for all the positive and life-changing work you do!
Join Our Find Food Page – Help Neighbors in Need
Families across Colorado are facing tough decisions as emergency pandemic-related SNAP benefits ended on March 1. Food Bank of the Rockies is here to help. Neighbors in need can visit our website to find the locations and schedules of our Hunger Relief Partners and Mobile Pantries.
If your organization is not listed and wishes to extend assistance to neighbors in your community, please complete the website referral form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you are listed and see any errors in the information, please use the form to communicate updates.
Check if your pantry is listed here: foodbankrockies.org/food.
Open Position Spotlight
The Grants Manager is an integral role on our Development Team to secures grants from corporate, association, foundation, and government sources to advance Food Bank of the Rockies’ mission and institutional priorities. This position works in a high-volume, fast-paced, data-driven environment. The Grants Manager, who supervises a Grant Writer, works cross-departmentally to ensure alignment and funding of key initiatives for the organization. The annual revenue goal for the grants team is over $4 million. 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.