We all know first-hand the impact a well-balanced, nutritionally dense diet can have on our health and how it can leave us feeling a sense of eudaimonia — which is Greek for “a feeling of good spirit, happiness, or wellness.” The importance of incorporating whole grains, low sodium foods, nutritious snacks, and fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets is key to living fully, but access to these types of foods can be challenging for some of our neighbors due to cost, transportation, and proximity barriers. We are thankful for our partners who help us bring nourishing foods to all in our communities, regardless of these barriers.
To further help our neighbors experiencing food insecurity, Food Bank of the Rockies created a Healthcare Box Program a year ago. The program home delivers a box of nutritionally tailored food once a week to participants who qualify. We are happy to announce that the program is thriving, and since implementation in October 2022, the program has supported 283 people from six healthcare partners, distributing 5,875 boxes of food and over 28,000 pounds of produce.
Here are just a few stories from some of our participants:
“It’s hard to explain how much of a difference it makes in my life. Without it, I would probably survive, but not well. With it, it makes it much more comfortable,” Mircea M. (pictured above) said about the weekly food box he receives. “I don’t want to belittle because it’s a lot. But it makes my life much more comfortable.”
“The program has freed up expenses for my prescriptions and that is a huge help. I don’t make enough money. I’m short $500 every month recently so I’ve had to do something,” Rochelle said. “Everything is going up, it’s so expensive, so I am having trouble getting groceries, or making my groceries last the month. So the weekly deliveries are really helpful.”
“We have to stretch it all out. We’re on a very limited income so these food boxes have been really, really helpful,” Sam said. “I look forward to these boxes.”
Over the next year, our goal at Food Bank of the Rockies is to increase the number of program participants, provide classes in nutrition education, and continue to build new partnerships with additional healthcare providers. We are dedicated to carrying on with our hunger-relief efforts by providing nutritious foods to any of our neighbors who need support with help from you, our dedicated Hunger Relief Partners.
November is a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for, and we wanted to let you know just how grateful we are to each of you. Thank you for partnering with us to lift up our neighbors.
Healthcare Partnership Coordinator
- December 5 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
- December 9 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
- December 21 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
- December 21 – Orders accepted for pick-up on December 26 until 3:00 p.m.
- December 22 – Orders accepted for pick-up on December 27 until 3:00 p.m.
- December 25 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for Christmas
- December 28 – Orders accepted for pick-up on January 2 until 3:00 p.m.
- December 29 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closing early! Pick-ups and Fresh Food Center available until 11:00 a.m.
- December 29 – Orders accepted for pick-up on January 3 until 3:00 p.m.
- January 1 – Food Bank of the Rockies is closed for New Year’s Day.
The 2018 Farm Bill has received a one-year extension through September 30, 2024. This authorizes the continuity of all mandatory and discretionary programs in their current form, while Congress continues to negotiate critical updates to include in the next farm bill reauthorization. Congressional farm bill negotiators have already stated their intention to move swiftly in 2024 to consider farm bill legislation. Our advocacy for a strong farm bill that invests in nutrition programs will continue without pause.
Feeding Colorado is prepping for next year’s state legislative session by continuing to engage with state lawmakers for tours and educational sessions regarding our network. We are finalizing our state policy priorities to guide our actions and positions for next year and are excited to find solutions to hunger and work with our state legislators to support our network and communities we serve.
Are you interested in sharing why you care about fighting hunger with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Mason at Feeding Colorado (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about opportunities to engage in public policy work!
Inclement Weather Plan
As we move into the winter season, please be aware that Food Bank of the Rockies may sometimes decide to make closure determinations or modify operations for safety reasons. Closure information will be posted on our website and on our phone messaging system. Please read below for details on the weather-related guidelines for our pickups and deliveries:
For Scheduled Pick-ups – Day of Closure
- Partner Support will contact all partners with a scheduled pick-up on the closure day
- Partners will have 3 business days from original pick-up date to reschedule or product will be restocked
- Emails/text will be sent to all partners with a pick-up on the day of closure if unable to be reached by phone
For Scheduled Deliveries – Day of Closure
- Partner Support will contact partners about canceled deliveries
- Deliveries to be rescheduled as soon as weather permits and per the schedule as communicated by Transportation Manager
- Partner Support to communicate reschedules to affected partners
Please also ensure that all necessary accommodations have been made to ensure that all volunteers and clients can remain warm and safe while attending a distribution.
Colorado Emergency Food Update
We are several months into making food items available to partners at no cost through Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF), and we are so excited about everything we’ve done together in utilizing the $5.4 million in CEF received at the end of May! 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:
- 39 unique items have been made available
- 2,280,234 lbs. of CEF product have been distributed to our partners
- 375 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 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! We will continue to make products available until funding is expended or through June 30, 2024. Please contact Partner Support with any questions about the CEF ordering process or the items available: email@example.com
Government Programs Update
We would like to extend a huge thank-you to all of our partners who were able to attend the TEFAP Quarterly Session, both in person and virtually, on October 26. Your partnership means a lot to us, and we really enjoy being able to connect with you all. The next session will be held in late January. More details will be released as the date draws closer. If anyone would like to submit questions and training or discussion topics, please email them to Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the next few months, there will be an increase in the average number of loads of TEFAP product coming to Food Bank of the Rockies. This is great news, because it means more variety and larger quantities available to each of our TEFAP partners! Please be on the lookout for emails containing more details, including a list of expected products to help you in your order planning.
Save the Date!
CDHS will be hosting a state-wide TEFAP conference from April 10-12, 2024, at The Grand Hyatt in Vail. All agencies are encouraged to attend, as this will be an excellent opportunity to connect with other TEFAP partners from across the state as well as your Food Bank of the Rockies and CDHS representatives.
Have questions about TEFAP or EverGreen Boxes ™, a program of Everyday Eats? Have ideas on how to strengthen our partnership? Do you want to share a best practice or innovative project? We’d love to hear from you – our team is available to you to answer your questions or address concerns. Feel free to contact Britni Stupin, Government Programs Manager, EverGreen Boxes™, at email@example.com; and Vic Derington, TEFAP Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food for Kids Update
Ever wonder what comes in one of our Totes of Hope™? We are pleased to announce that you can now view sample menus on the Food for Kids homepage on our website. Scroll down to the FAQ section and open the drop-down menu under “What kinds of food come in Totes of Hope™?”
Each tote contains enough shelf-stable items for about 5-7 meals to feed a family of four over the weekend. Items include canned fruit, canned vegetables, a grain, a protein, two kids’ breakfast items, one or two snack items, two juice boxes, and a single-serving of milk.
If you are a current Totes of Hope™ partner or want to learn more, please email our Food for Kids general inbox at FFK@foodbankrockies.org
The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) is pleased to announce the fifth round of funding of the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids (HFDK) program to support nutritious food getting into the hands of young people and food-based education in Denver. HFDK anticipates collecting $17 million dollars in 2024. In 2023, 14 eligible applications were funded; in previous years, average grant sizes were around $300,000 per year. HDFK anticipates funding up to 15 proposals this round and expects to award up to $10-15 million as part of this funding opportunity. To date, nearly $66.5 million has been awarded to 95 organizations providing nourishing food access to youth and their families in Denver. Questions or comments? Contact Jessica Murison: Jessica.Murison@denvergov.org
Unsure of who to ask for Link2Feed support or ordering more barcode cards?
Introducing our dedicated voicemail line for Link2Feed technical support! This will join our email address, L2F@foodbankrockies.org, as the best ways for our partner organizations, neighbors, and other members of the community from the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope to contact the Community Insights team for Link2Feed technical support and inquiries.
There is a direct phone number and an extension for forwarding within the Food Bank of the Rockies phone system: 720-370-5362 ext: 5362
Need barcode cards? Contact the Community Insights team directly to schedule a pick-up at a Food Bank of the Rockies distribution center, delivery (Partner Express orders only), or mailing. Please allow 48 hours for processing your request.
Need technical support? We strive to return support requests within 24 hours. Please describe your issue in detail and, if possible, provide screenshots and/or video of the problem.
At GracePoint Church in Littleton, their priority is to make their pantry a welcoming space to grocery shop. Neighbors are welcomed into a community-oriented waiting area, complete with comfortable seating, refreshments, and engaging art. Pantry Manager JoAnna and her team of volunteers know their neighbors on a first-name basis, calling them in one by one to stock their carts full of nutritious and culturally responsive foods.
In response to the lengthy lines that would start several hours before their food distribution, GracePoint put in place a raffle system. Those neighbors that are in line before the pantry opens enter their names into a drawing, determining the order of entry. Late arrivals simply join the line sequentially. This system allows GracePoint to reduce the amount of time people spend waiting in line while also maintaining an equitable system to admit folks.
Once neighbors enter the pantry, they have an efficient client choice model that allows people to take the foods they will need that week. By taking advantage of our Fresh Food Center, GracePoint is able to keep an abundant stock of fruits and vegetables (pictured above).
We extend our gratitude to GracePoint and all of our valued partners for your dedicated efforts amid increasing demand. We stand ready to support you and deeply appreciate your partnership.
211 Ride United: View Flyer
Mile High United Way is proud to offer Lyft rides to Colorado residents through Ride United, a program sponsored by United Way Worldwide. Our 211 navigators can arrange rides anywhere in the state of Colorado where Lyft operates for clients meeting the program criteria. Ride United connects Coloradans to the essential services they need when other transportation options are unavailable.