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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!

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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.

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March 2024 Partner Newsletter

Neighbors at Clayton Cares Market, a Hunger Relief Partner of Food Bank of the Rockies.
Neighbors at Clayton Cares Market, a Hunger Relief Partner of Food Bank of the Rockies. Photo Credit: Scott Dressel Martin

Dear Hunger Relief Partners,

I want to start off with introductions. I am Elizabeth, the Home Delivery Coordinator for Food Bank of the Rockies. I work closely with our Everyday Eats and Food for Health programs. Both programs help serve our neighbors that fall into vulnerable populations, like older adults and medically sensitive individuals. This means a higher probability of working with neighbors who are homebound and unable to drive.

My role consists of scheduling and overseeing the deliveries of food boxes to our homebound neighbors’ doors. Our monthly caseload for Everyday Eats is about 6,052, and of those, about 1,080 are set up for home delivery. Our Food for Health Program operates exclusively through a delivery model and serves over 250 adults weekly who are referred by hospitals and clinics in the Denver metro area.

With the arrival of spring, we are reminded of the power of rejuvenation and growth in both nature and business. Efficiency and effectiveness are at the forefront of our discussions as we continually seek ways to innovate and enhance our procedures. The aim is to streamline our day-to-day operations, allowing us to expand these programs. My goal is to contribute to the organization and optimization of our processes, facilitating our ability to reach even more neighbors in need.

Recognizing that some of our partners possess considerable resources, some including delivery services, I am eager to learn from your experiences. I invite you to share your insights on what has proven effective and what challenges you have encountered. Spring is a reminder that change is constant; we are striving to adapt and evolve to continue to meet the ever-shifting need in our community. I would greatly appreciate any guidance or best practices you can offer — if you can share, please reach out to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

As our partners, we extend our gratitude for the pivotal role you play in helping us connect with our neighbors across your respective locations.

Thank you for your time and collaboration.

Kind regards,
Elizabeth Brethen
Home Delivery Coordinator
720-414-1465
ebrethen@foodbankrockies.org

Important Dates

  • April 2 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
  • April 4 – Advocacy Update Training at 1:00 p.m.; see below for details.
  • April 13 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
  • April 18 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
  • April 30 – Early closure day; pick-ups and Fresh Food Center until 11:00 a.m.

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

Join Advocacy Training Hosted by Feeding Colorado – April 4!

Mark your calendars! Join us for a virtual presentation April 4 at 1:00 p.m. with Feeding Colorado. Feeding Colorado is the state association representing the five Feeding America food banks in Colorado. This is an opportunity to learn more about the work of the state association, state and federal priorities, an overview of the Colorado legislative session, and opportunities to get involved in advocacy. Registration is not required — please add this date and time to your calendar and share it with others who may be interested.

Please join by Zoom at the start of the training:

This training will be recorded and shared with partners. We will be planning for future training dates through the year to keep Hunger Relief Partners updated on all advocacy and legislative priorities affecting our work.

Farm Bill

Congressional leaders have reached a deal to extend current federal government funding further into March, providing funding for one additional week for some departments and three additional weeks for others. It gave Congress until Friday, March 8, to pass six appropriations bills — including the bill to fund the USDA — and avoid a partial government shutdown. The next six bills have a deadline of Friday, March 22. Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our congressional delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the Farm Bill.  We will continue to keep partners updated on the government funding deadlines and how it may affect our work to provide to neighbors in need.

Tell Congress to pass a strong Farm Bill to help people facing hunger! Use this link to make your voice heard in advocating for a strong Farm Bill with investments in keep programs like TEFAP, SNAP, and Everyday Eats. Your letter will automatically be delivered to your representatives once you enter your information.

State Session

The Colorado 2024 State Session convened on January 10, 2024. You can find our state policy priorities, designed to guide our actions and position for this year’s session, here on our website. We are excited to find solutions to hunger and work with our state legislators to support our network and communities we serve.

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.

Get Involved! New Resources Below

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

Senator Bennet wants to hear from you! Use the form below to share your story with the Senator about the challenges and successes you’re seeing in reducing hunger in our neighbors’ lives. If you give his office permission, they might use it in a speech or video to ensure real experiences are driving the debates in Washington. https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/share-your-story

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 January and February. We appreciated the open conversation and updates from our partners. Recordings and slides were shared out to all partners in each region. If you did not receive them, please reach out to Chris Taylor at christaylor@foodbankrockies.org

Our next sessions are scheduled for April and May as follows:

  • Eastern – April 16, 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
  • Metro Denver – April 25, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
  • Mountain – May 8, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • Western Slope – May 15, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

More information with an agenda and a Zoom link will be shared in the next newsletter, an email to partners, and on our Partner Facebook page. We hope you’ll join us!

Partner Support

Donation Pick-up Opportunities Available

Food Bank of the Rockies’ retail sourcing team has announced that there are opportunities to add to your donation pick-up locations. Or, if you are interested in starting a new donation pick-up, please read on! We currently have donor partners available in the following ZIP codes: 80003, 80004, 80007, 80012, 80013, 80014, 80015, 80016, 80022, 80110, 80113, 80123, 80126, 80129, 80130, 80207, 80214, 80216, 80219, 80220, 80222, 80224, 80229, 80231, 80232, 80233, 80238, 80239, 80241, 80246, 80247, 80249, and 80601.

Some ZIP codes may have more than one store available, and pick-up days of the week vary from location to location. If you are interested in taking on additional donor partners, or if you want to find out more about becoming a partner in the Food Rescue Program, please reach out to Dru Gaines, Retail Sourcing Program Supervisor, at dgaines@foodbankrockies.org.

Partner Review Site Visits

The partner support team has been busy visiting all of you, our Hunger Relief Partners, for bi-annual partner reviews. These visits provide us with an opportunity to understand the important work you engage in, learn how we can better support your mission, and ensure your agency is following all food safety, civil rights, and other Food Bank of the Rockies requirements. If we haven’t visited your site in the last couple of years, keep an eye out for communication from Reegan or Keiren to set up a visit!

Click here for information regarding how to prepare for a site visit, and feel free to reach out to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org with any questions.

Colorado Emergency Fund

We are 10 months into making food items available to partners at no cost through Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) and so excited about everything we’ve done together in utilizing the $5.4 million in CEF received at the end of May! 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:

  • 110 items have been made available
  • 5,331,266 lbs. of CEF product have been distributed to our neighbors
  • 453 partners have participated in the CEF program

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!

Government Programs

Everyday Eats

Thank you to everyone who attended our rescheduled Everyday Eats 2023 Recap Meeting! We welcome you to review our slides and share questions with Britni Stupin at bstupin@foodbankrockies.org.

The income eligibility guidelines for Everyday Eats have been updated for 2024. Brand new applications have also been issued for 2024 in English, Spanish, and Russian for our use.

The new applications are available here on CDHS’s website as we work to update the documents in our partner portal.

We kindly ask you to begin using this new information immediately. Thank you!

Household size Monthly maximum household income Annual maximum household income
1 $1,632 $19,578
2 $2,215 $26,572
3 $2,798 $33,566
4 $3,380 $40,560
5 $3,963 $47,554
6 $4,546 $54,548
Add per extra family member $583 $6,994

TEFAP

If you have not already RSVP’d for the April conference in Vail, please do so by following the link below. This is open to all TEFAP recipient agencies within Colorado, and we aim to get as much representation there as possible. Hotel and food, excluding Thursday night dinner, will be provided by CDHS.

TEFAP Conference April 10-12, 2024 Registration

If you or anyone at your pantry needs a TEFAP training or has any questions regarding the program, please contact Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager, at vderington@foodbankrockies.org.

TEFAP income eligibility guidelines have been updated for 2024! Please dispose of any outdated applications and begin using the updated forms immediately. Applications are available here in English, Spanish, Chinese, Dari, Pashto, German, Russian, and Vietnamese.

If you encounter any neighbors speaking languages that are not currently listed, please inform Vic Derington at vderington@foodbankrockies.org so that translated documents can be made available.

Food for Kids Update

Helping Nourish Children with Summer EBT and Summer Meals

The Food for Kids team at Food Bank of the Rockies is excited to announce the start of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) program, in tandem with the Summer Food Service Program. The Summer EBT program offers $40 per child to families who qualify, in hopes of offsetting the burden of grocery costs for families.

Families that participate will have the opportunity to utilize these additional monthly funds at any stores that accept SNAP benefits. Families can submit household income information for eligibility through districts’ communication channels. This information can be collected through free and reduced lunch applications, a combo form, or the Family Economic Data Survey form.

For more information, check out Hunger Free Colorado’s fact sheet on the program here. Included is a more detailed description of the program and eligibility requirements, as well as contacts for any questions.

Our Summer Food Service Program application will be ready soon. If your organization provides programming to children 18 and younger over the summer and you would like to provide them with meals, please contact Food for Kids to learn more: FFK@foodbankrockies.org

Thank you for your continued support in nourishing our neighbors. The Food for Kids team is delighted to see such a positive step forward to address the gaps in service for the children served by our partners and our programs.

For any questions regarding Food for Kids programming, please email FFK@foodbankrockies.org.

CRFI Update

Food Traditions in Celebration of Ramadan

This month you’ll find almonds, cashews, chickpeas, cooking oils, dried dates, halal chicken, long grain white rice, pistachios, and raisins available on Partner Express to support your neighbors’ observation of Ramadan.

Ramadan begins at sundown on Sunday, March 10, 2024, and lasts through Tuesday, April 9, 2024. During the month of Ramadan, people who practice Islam will fast from sunrise to sunset. Food traditions vary around the world, but both the suhoor (pre-dawn) and iftar (evening) meals contain fresh fruit, vegetables, halal meats, bread, cheeses, and sweets, including dates.

As a reminder, you can find more information on food preferences by culture and holiday celebrations saved on our Partner Portal — scroll to Cultural Resources. If you have any questions, please contact CRFI@foodbankrockies.org

Link2Feed Updates

We have two new team members to help with Link2Feed training, support and onboarding. Please welcome:

Kuavo's headshot Kuavo Muhammad (He/Him/His): Community Data Supervisor

Arriving to Colorado one year ago, Colorado makes the 30th U.S. state Kuavo Muhammad has traveled to or lived in. Kuavo is bilingual in Spanish and possesses tech language/Stack certifications in web development [HTML/CSS/JS], C#, and Python. Kuavo has the following goals: visit Puerto Rico, earn a doctorate degree, measure the positive impact from his work at Food Bank of the Rockies, and become a beacon of stability as a food resource navigator for neighbors in Denver.

John's headshotJohn Sullivan (He/Him/His): Community Data Coordinator

John Sullivan is a transplant from Chicago, having lived there for 12 years. Himself left-handed, John also has a 12-year-old dog named “Southpaw.” John has a bachelor’s degree in management and international business. A rookie globe traveler, there is an endless list of places John would love to visit and live. His goal is to make a positive difference in the world and leave an inspiring footprint.

To reach John, Kuavo, and others on the Link2Feed team, please contact them at L2F@foodbankrockies.org. For more information on Link2Feed, visit the Link2Feed page on our Partner Portal.

New Program Staffing Announcements

Culturally Responsive Representative

Grace Chen's headshot Grace Chen

Grace Chen is our new Culturally Responsive Representative. Grace was born in California but spent her childhood living between the United States and Taiwan. She studied textile design and particularly enjoys colorful African textiles! She and her partner lived in Costa Rica and established and operated a bed and breakfast there for 18 years. Through this experience, she enjoyed connecting with guests from around the world and ensuring all feel welcome! Being new to Colorado, Grace is looking forward to establishing community connections and supporting all of our neighbors to have dignified access to hunger relief services. Her lived experience as a newcomer to multiple countries enables her to empathize and easily connect with people from all walks of life. She speaks Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and English!

 

Partner Highlight

2 children in a grocery store, one pushing a green shopping cart
Photo Credit: Scott Dressel Martin

The Clayton Cares Market: Food Justice for Equity in our Community

Clayton Early Learning is committed to the belief that healthy early childhood development offers one of the most powerful levers for building equity. Few issues are as fundamental to truly equitable communities as access to nutritious food, and so was created to provide greater access to a wide range of nutritious foods, ensuring families can put nourishing food on their tables at home.

The Clayton Cares Market is an important extension of the award-winning approach to early childhood nutrition at Clayton’s flagship early learning school, Educare Denver. With weekly access to fresh and shelf-stable foods, the Market bridges the gap between the nourishment provided to children during the school day and the pervasive food insecurity many experience at home. This all happens in a welcoming environment that allows for a pleasant shopping experience and the simple dignity of choosing the groceries and items that best fit the individual cultural preferences and needs of each family and neighbors in the surrounding Park Hill community.

The first few years of life are the most important in a child’s healthy development, and good nutrition is an essential building block for children to flourish and thrive. Yet, we know that children in communities of color are disproportionately more likely to lack access to fresh, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food, which leads to lasting health problems that impede learning and healthy development.

“Hunger in our community is simply unacceptable,” said William Browning, Clayton’s president and chief executive officer. “We are extremely proud of our Clayton Cares Market and its impact on food justice. Food Bank of the Rockies has been an exceptional partner in this work, and we are grateful for their continued dedication to feeding children and families in our community.”

Since opening in the fall of 2021, The Clayton Cares Market has welcomed 11,283 shopper visits and distributed more than 92 tons of food. For more information about the Market and Clayton Early Learning, visit www.claytonearlylearning.org

Neighbor Resources

It’s Tax Season!

AARP Tax-Aide is tax preparation service for older adult or low-income individuals. Services are provided at libraries, churches, senior centers, and recreation centers in many locations in Colorado through mid-April. Some locations require reservations and some work on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis. Hours vary depending on location. Find a location near you by visiting the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide locator web site.

Don’t miss out on your TABOR refund

In 2024 only, eligible Coloradans can receive a refund of $800 or up to $1,600 for two qualifying individuals filing jointly. Eligible Coloradans should file their state tax return by April 15, 2024, to receive the refund. File your taxes securely and for free at GetAheadColorado.org or HaciaAdelanteColorado.org. For more information about the TABOR refund, visit the Colorado Department of Revenue website.

 

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