× 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!


May 2024 Partner Newsletter

foodbank volunteer stocking fresh produce

Dear Hunger Relief Partners,

I’m happy to have this opportunity to introduce myself! My name is Joanna Wise, and I’m the Press Relations Manager at Food Bank of the Rockies. I joined the organization a little more than six months ago and, overall, have been a part of the food banking sector for about seven years now.

As a former broadcast journalist, I often share with folks that working in nonprofit PR is like being able to tell “the good news story” of the direct impact our neighbors, supporters, volunteers, and partners like you are making in our community year-round. And what an honor it is to share those stories on a greater stage by working with our local media outlets.

That said, Food Bank of the Rockies is striving to better amplify our collective voice through collaborating more closely in our media relations efforts. I’m excited to invite you to Food Bank of the Rockies’ Media Training Workshop for our Hunger Relief Partners on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Together, we’ll explore how to effectively pitch stories to media outlets, craft compelling messages and talking points, and shine in interviews.

Only 20 spots are available for this in-person workshop, so we ask that you sign up today by registering here! If you can’t make it to the event but would like to connect one-on-one, please feel free to email me at jwise@foodbankrockies.org. I would love to chat and get to know you better!

Thank you for the meaningful work you are doing to nourish our communities.

Warm regards,

Important Dates

  • June 4 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
  • June 8 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • June 20 – Orientation at 1:00 p.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.

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 and Thursday, June 27.
  • Fresh Food Center will be closed on Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27.

Advocacy/Policy Updates

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 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 at mnuku@feedingcolorado.org and Sarah Mason at sgregory@feedingcolorado.org.

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 will wrap 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.

Program Updates

De-escalation Training Available Online

Food Bank of the Rockies collaborated with Pollack Peacebuilding Systems to customize a learning session to develop skills and tactics to assist in situations needing de-escalation. It was offered virtually to partners in March. A recording of this training is now available on our online training platform and via the Partner Portal. Use the same login and password as you use for civil rights and food safety training.

The training includes a handout and a quick reference guide to post and share that offers reminders of the tactics learned. This session will cover:

  • Understanding the root causes of escalation
  • In-the-moment self-regulation strategies
  • Navigating the escalation spiral
  • A four-step de-escalation process

If you need assistance with accessing this training, please reach out to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

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.

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 product have been distributed to our neighbors
  • 467 partners have participated in the CEF program

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

TEFAP Conference
TEFAP conference attendees

Thank you to everyone who attended the state-wide in Vail. It was so nice to see everyone in person!

During the conference, an exciting announcement was made that the TEFAP eligibility application signature waiver that was put in place during COVID is becoming permanent. This means that TEFAP applicants will no longer be required to provide a signature to receive TEFAP foods.

Our next TEFAP quarterly session will take place in July. If you have any topics that you would find helpful to cover, please reach out to Vic Derington at vderington@foodbankrockies.org.

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 and wanting 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.

New Program Staffing Announcements

As we continue to build relationships and serve our neighbors, please welcome our two newest Regional Engagement Team Members, Eli Brunner and Marissa Herrera. Their efforts will be instrumental in building strong relationships and providing resources to our communities. Their role will expand our presence in our rural and metro communities and include gathering feedback to ensure all voices are heard so that we can continuously improve our programs. Here is a little more about them:

Eli Bruner's headshotEli Bruner (He/They) – Eli most recently worked in Tacoma, Washington, as a survivors’ advocate at an anti-sex-trafficking/exploitation program. There, Eli provided individualized case management to survivors, educated community members about the issue, and provided emotional support and legal advocacy in court, law enforcement, and medical settings. He also did a lot of outreach and provided resources and supplies to the community and members each week. His dedication to and deep roots in serving his community will be a big asset in serving our neighbors in Eastern Colorado. You can reach Eli at ebruner@foodbankrockies.org.

Marissa Herrera's headshotMarissa Herrera (She/Her/Ella) – Marissa comes with a leadership background in recruiting talent, training team members, and facilitating communication between agencies and clients. Marissa has volunteered at Denver Rescue Mission where she enjoyed working with neighbors from all walks of life. She truly enjoys working and connecting with others as well as learning about different backgrounds and cultures. Her creative collaboration skills will be helpful when connecting with our partners in Adams and Arapahoe counties. She is also bilingual in English and Spanish! You can reach Marissa at mherrera@foodbankrockies.org.

Partner Highlight

Aurora Mental Health Services

Aurora Mental Health & Recovery started in 1975 and began partnering with Food Bank of the Rockies in 2010. They are a private organization and act as a mental health resource to peopne who would benefit from their services. With 10 locations, including walk-in clinics and residential housing options, individuals seeking mental wellness can find much-needed support from Aurora Mental Health and Recovery. In addition to in-person services, help is only a phone call away with their telehealth hotline.

Food Bank of the Rockies works with seven of their locations and, since the start of our partnership, has supported over 140,000 neighbors access food assistance and prepared meals. While they directly help with mental health services, they also provide a number of resources to get an individual back on their feet with the hope of a brighter future. We are proud to have them as a Hunger Relief Partner.

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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