× 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!


March 2024 Western Slope Partner Newsletter

Jackie Clinton holding a basket of produce

Dear Western Slope Hunger Relief Partners,

Have you heard of the five love languages? According to author Gary Chapman, many people express love through quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, or acts of service. For me, food encompasses all five. Whether I’m flipping through faded cookbooks with my mom, complimenting my brother’s signature sriracha salmon, baking funfetti cookies for my best friend on her birthday, stretching pizza dough beside my partner, or connecting neighbors experiencing food insecurity with reliable nourishment, food is my love language.

In my role as a dietitian with Food Bank of the Rockies, I’m grateful to work alongside partners who also show love through food. Thank you for meeting neighbors where they are, for taking the time to understand cultures that may be unfamiliar to you, for asking questions about food preferences and health challenges, and for the many other ways you show love for your community. Together, our efforts serve as a crucial bridge to connect people who are feeling alone, overlooked, or afraid — not only with food, but with a community of support. I’m humbled to be a small part of that community.

Jonelle Addabbo
Community Nutrition Manager (supports recipe creation for the Totes of Hope™ and Everyday Eats programs)

Advocacy/Policy Update

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 gives 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 will 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 the communities we support.

Get Involved! New Resource 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!

Program Updates

De-escalation and Conflict Management Training

Our Hunger Relief Partners have communicated recent experiences with conflict between staff, volunteers, and neighbors — some have even hired security or been forced to close to reevaluate their processes. Food Bank of the Rockies is contracting with Pollack Peacebuilding Systems to develop and host training sessions that will be available to partners on March 13. This session is now full, but we are committed to supporting you in these situations. A recording will be available on our online learning platform, NeoGov, at a later date.

The goal of this workshop will be to provide you with key learning and practice on some essential de-escalation skills that you can use in your role with your organization, specifically in dealing with escalated situations and individuals.

In this workshop, we will cover the following:

  • Understanding the root of escalation
  • In the moment self-regulation strategies
  • Navigating the Escalation Spiral
  • A 4-step de-escalation process
  • And putting it all together in practice scenarios

We are committing to further in-person staff training opportunities by way of securing a Pollack Peacebuilding-sanctioned trainer within Food Bank of the Rockies’ staff. We will keep you posted on the evolution of this project. If you have immediate questions, please reach out to Jill “JT” Davis at jilldavis@foodbankrockies.org.

Culturally Responsive Food Updates

Harina PAN is now available to order. For decades, Harina PAN has been an essential ingredient for Venezuelan and Colombian cooking. PAN is a refined corn flour used to make arepas and empanadas. If you ever have the opportunity to taste these incredible South American staples, you will not be disappointed!

Friendly Order Pick-up Reminder

Please note that if you are a site that picks up your orders from our distribution center, you will need to reserve a time by contacting Becky Richardson at brichardson@foodbankrockies or 970-438-4886.

Shopping time in Partner Express doesn’t make it through the system, so taking this extra step will ensure your appointment is confirmed. We look forward to seeing you when you arrive!

Colorado Emergency Funds Update

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

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 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 has run out or through June 30, 2024. Please contact Jill “JT” Davis with any questions about the CEF ordering process or the items available: jilldavis@foodbankrockies.org

Government Programs

TEFAP Update

A big thank-you to all partners who attended the TEFAP quarterly session on January 24. Topics included the TEFAP conference, client surveys, proxy forms, and the exciting announcement that we expect an influx of fresh produce over the next few months! Slides were sent out after the meeting. Our next session will take place at the TEFAP conference in Vail in April. We’ll see you there!

Updated 2024 TEFAP income guidelines and new application forms can be found here. These guidelines apply only to pantries; soup kitchens are exempt. The expectation is that all TEFAP partners have this application available on-site in English and Spanish, at minimum.

Please reach out to Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager, with any questions at vderington@foodbankrockies.org.

Everyday Eats Edition

Thank you to our partners who attended the Everyday Eats 2023 recap on January 9 and January 25. A copy of the slides can be found here. We invite you to review important updates about the Everyday Eats name change and important program reminders about agency receipts and program applications. Please find the updated 2024 income guidelines and new application forms here.  We also would appreciate any input on how we can better support training needs, ideas for process improvement, and resources needed to best serve our communities.

Here are some resources to encourage and assist your older adult neighbors in filing taxes. Please find downloadable flyers and checklists that can help them to make this season’s tax process easier. Here are locations in Colorado for free tax help.

Please reach out to Britni Stupin, Government Programs Manager, Everyday Eats, with any questions at bstupin@foodbankrockies.org .

Food for Kids Update

In tandem with our transportation department, the Food for Kids team currently delivers roughly 4,635 Totes of Hope™ and 8,560 CACFP meals each week around Colorado. Unexpected cancellations can create a mutual burden for both our Hunger Relief Partners and the many departments at Food Bank of the Rockies who work closely together and whose work directly impacts each other.

For any cancellations or closures, we ideally need at least one week’s notice to minimize waste of food and staff time. We understand that sometimes things happen at the last minute, especially during the winter months when routes may be impacted by hazardous weather conditions.

If you anticipate inclement weather in your area, please email the Food for Kids email at FFK@foodbankrockies.org. We are happy to work to find an alternative to your standing delivery, which could be an early delivery or, if you are able, an arranged pick-up at our warehouse.

We want to ensure each child can embrace their childhood without worrying about food access and we recognize these efforts would be impossible without your help and partnership. Thank you for your continued support and communication regarding any schedule changes.

Western Slope New Staff Highlight

Lincoln Davenport

Lincoln Davenport headshotWe are pleased to introduce Lincoln Davenport, a new team member originating from Oklahoma and residing in Grand Junction since 2006. Lincoln’s commitment to our cause is rooted in a desire to contribute meaningfully while maintaining a stable and fulfilling career.

Lincoln’s professional journey began at Teltech Communications, where he specialized in inventory control and order management from 2012 to 2023. This experience has equipped Lincoln with the skills needed to handle the intricate logistics of our operations.

In his leisure hours, Lincoln finds solace in the world of literature, dedicating most of his spare time to reading. He is also a pet enthusiast and cares for pets belonging to others.

His support and connection with his parents and brothers form a significant part of Lincoln’s life. This familial bond enriches his dedication to positively impacting our community, and his presence on our team emanates warmth and compassion. We are grateful Lincoln has brought his spirit of commitment and service to our Food Bank of the Rockies team. If you encounter him in the warehouse, please welcome Lincoln!

Partner Highlight: Foster Alumni Mentors (FAM)

FAM team group photo
Welcome to our new Hunger Relief Partner located in Mesa County, Foster Alumni Mentors (FAM)!

Founded in 2017 and officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2019, FAM has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting individuals who have experienced foster care, particularly people transitioning into adulthood. Since 2020, they have experienced phenomenal growth, with membership increasing by 300%.

What sets FAM apart is the unique and genuine impact they are making in the lives of foster alumni. As the foster alumni transition from the system into their new lives, FAM has created a trust-based approach that supports any hunger relief needs encountered as they stabilize. Their dedication to addressing individual needs, from housing and budgeting to education and employment, aligns seamlessly with our mission at Food Bank of the Rockies. FAM’s commitment to fostering natural connections and relationships among members through activities like paddle boarding, barbeques, and holiday celebrations resonates deeply with our belief in the power of community.

FAM’s workshops, annual retreats, and specialized groups, such as the Teen Group and Mom Group, showcase their holistic approach to empowering individuals in their journey beyond foster care. Seeing an organization that actively contributes to its members’ personal and professional growth is heartening. We are excited to see them make even more of an impact in the future.  Learn more about FAM’s work at fosteralumnimentors.org


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