Dear Hunger Relief Partners,
With both the rising cost of food and the rising need for food assistance in our communities, we know that stocking your shelves can often feel challenging. We’d like to review the BEST way to view all our available FREE items on Partner Express.
In our Shopping List, you will see a column labeled “Unit Price.” By clicking the hyperlinked words “Unit Price,” all of our available items will sort in price order, causing our items with a $0.00 Unit Price to rise to the top of the list.
This tactic can also be used within certain categories. For example, if you search for “Dairy” under the “Category” search bar, you will see all available dairy items. By clicking “Unit Price,” all available dairy items with a $0.00 Unit Price will rise to the top of the list.
We are particularly excited about our free items on Partner Express purchased through the $5.4 million we recently were awarded through the Colorado Emergency Fund (CEF). CEF items we are purchasing will always be free to you. To search for just CEF items (rather than all free items), search for “CEF” in the “Description” search bar.
And, of course, there is always the Fresh Food Center (FFC) in our Grand Junction distribution center, which is available every weekday and has many choices available at no fee to partners, including bread, meat, ready-made salads, assorted frozen items, dairy, and eggs. Produce season has also provided numerous fresh fruits and veggies to choose from.
We hope that this refresher on how to stretch your budget by picking out free items will help you help our neighbors facing hunger.
Another item that we’d like to call attention to is the “Comment Box” in Partner Express. This feature is inactive at the moment. If you find that you need to share a message, we ask that you reach out in an email or call Becky at our Partner Help Desk: email@example.com or 970-438-4886. We realize this is another step and thank you in advance for helping us to better serve you.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to Becky.
Western Slope Distribution Team
September 4 – Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope is closed for Labor Day
Save the Date: October 27 – Western Slope Partner Conference
Look for details coming soon about our first in-person Partner Conference in our new location. We are excited to invite you to our distribution center for a day of learning, sharing, and collaboration.
Farmers Feed America Coalition
Farmers Feed America is a coalition of farmers, food companies, food retailers, and anti-hunger organizations focused on strengthening the trusted partnerships between farmers and food banks and calling for a strong 2023 Farm Bill. The coalition launched earlier this year, and now we’re seeking your help to grow its membership. Please share details about the coalition with your state agriculture partners, corporate partners, and donors, and encourage them to join us by completing this brief form.
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. Feeding Colorado continues to engage with our congressional delegation to promote the network’s priorities in the Farm Bill!
Hunger Action Month is THIS Month!
September is Hunger Action Month, an annual nationwide awareness campaign designed to inspire everyone to take action in the movement to end hunger. On Friday, September 15, Western Slope will host a Family Volunteer Night in celebration of Hunger Action Day. If you and your loved ones would like to join us for a fun-filled evening in our beautiful new facility, please see our Family Night flyer for more information.
We Heard You! Pictures on Partner Express
Sometimes, a description doesn’t give you the complete picture of an item you want to order. Did you know you can view images of products on Partner Express? We heard how important photos are to show you what you’re ordering and are taking steps to ensure each Partner Express item has a photo.
To find the photos:
- Click on “Item No.” to view more details about that item.
- Find the word “Picture” with a camera icon. Click on the camera icon to view an image of that item.
- Please note that the image may not be an actual photo of the item; rather, the picture is meant to give you an idea of what the item will look like, pack size and a general indication of the product.
Important Annual Training Reminder – August 31 Deadline has Passed!
If your organization did not complete the Food Safety and Civil Rights courses by August 31, your Partner Account was placed on temporary hold. You will be unable to order or receive food until these compliance measures are completed.
Food Bank of the Rockies requires all partners to complete the Food Safety and Civil Rights training annually. These training sessions help to ensure that families facing hunger receive only nutritious, safe-to-consume food (Food Safety) and that each food distribution is fair and equitable throughout our communities (Civil Rights). We are pleased to announce that courses are now available in Spanish. Courses must be completed by at least one representative from your organization.
Any partner who has taken the course on or after April 1, 2023, will be compliant for this year.
TEFAP and EverGreen Box™ Partners – If you’re a partner implementing TEFAP or EverGreen Boxes™, a program of Everyday Eats, it is required that all site staff and volunteers who help determine participant eligibility are trained in Civil Rights to ensure equitable food distributions.
Visit the Partner Portal for more information and instructions on how to access the training: https://www.foodbankrockies.org/partner-portal/partner-training/
We are here to support you! If you do not have an online training account, need a password reset, need onsite assistance, or have questions about these courses, please contact “JT” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your cooperation in completing these important annual training courses.
Subsidized Product Ending in FY24
For the past several months, Food Bank of the Rockies has been sourcing tuna that was subsidized through Feeding America’s purchasing program. We were getting 5-ounce tuna for $0.42/can. The subsidy ended with the new fiscal year, and Feeding America has shifted their funding to support other outlets for this year. The value-grade tuna we were getting for $0.42 is now back to its usual price of $0.61/can.
The new tuna that Sourcing is bringing will be Chicken of the Sea. We found that this shift created an opportunity to bring in higher-grade tuna, given we’ve received a couple requests from partners for higher-end product. This tuna will be $0.89/can, which is 46% higher than the value grade. However, we have found that it is still lower cost than the value-grade Great Value brand tuna available in Walmart, and at least 25% less than what Chicken of the Sea tuna goes for at most retailers.
Down the road, our subsidized mac & cheese will be impacted the same way. We have plenty of subsidized inventory on hand for now, but the price will increase once our current inventory depletes.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Partner Support at email@example.com.
Join Our Quarterly Meeting – September 18, 2023
The Government Programs team will host our next quarterly session for the EverGreen Boxes™, a Program of Everyday Eats, on September 18 from 9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m. This virtual session will be focused on networking with our Hunger Relief Partners, sharing best practices, and providing important program updates. Topics will include understanding insurance requirements, caseload updates and waitlist, agency receipts, and neighbor preference surveys.
If anyone wishes to add topics to our agenda, please reach out to Britni Stupin at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to spending our morning with you!
Join the quarterly EverGreen Box™ Meeting via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 862 3945 2869 Passcode: 662124
Exit Summer, Enter Back-to-School
It’s already back-to-school season! And that means that our application for the 2023-2024 Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is available! Benefits for participating in CACFP include:
- Nutritious meals for all children in your program
- All supplies needed for meal service
- Training and support from the Food for Kids team
Organizations in areas where 50% or more of school children qualify for free or reduced lunches may be qualified to participate. If you meet this eligibility and your site provides activities and programs to kids 5-18 years of age after school lets out for the day, please consider providing kids a meal though the CACFP. We would love to work together!
Totes of Hope™ Communication Survey
We want to hear from you! Our team has put together a survey to check-in on how Totes of Hope™ is going and how we can improve our partnership. Please click this link to complete the brief survey. Your input is invaluable and allows us to improve our program and better serve you and our communities.
Get to know who is who in the Western Slope Programs Department. Reach out to us at any time for help!
|Program questions, concerns and insights
|Programs Distribution Coordinator
|Agency order/ Agency Express help, TEFAP Orders, Inbound Delivery Scheduling, Partner Assistance, Fresh Center scheduling
|Senior Partner Support Representative
|Partner Support for Pantries, CSFP, TEFAP, Compliance Liason, AR
|Jill “JT” Davis
|Food For Kids Representative
|Food Programs for Kids, CACFP, SFSP, Totes of Hope©
|Comminity Insights Representative
|Link 2 Feed questions and issues
|SNAP and CRFI Representative
|SNAP and Culturally Responsive Foods
|Mobile Pantry Representative
|Mobile Pantry management, volunteer coordination
At The Gift of Love Inc., they hope to bring love to many people in Mesa County. In 2018, the organization started providing care packages to domestic violence survivors at Hilltop’s Latimer House in Grand Junction. They then decided that they could be helping even more people in Mesa County feel less lonely and give them something to look forward to. As a Mary Kay consultant, Brittney Bade would make holiday gift sets to sell, and she saw that people were happy to buy them. It occurred to her that many less privileged people would also be happy to have something special, particularly individuals who might not receive a Christmas gift. Brittney figured out ways to raise funds and make care packages to donate to various facilities, senior homes, shelters, and other organizations in the Grand Junction area.
Today, The Gift of Love Inc. serves people ranging in age from babies to older adults, and each care package is designed for the person who receives it. For example, older adults may need food items, hygiene products, and warm socks because of their limited income. The package includes fun things, too, like candy, snacks, and crossword puzzles. For kids, snacks, stuffed animals, toys, and games fill their baskets. Brain injury clients receive water bottles and easily accessible food items. Clients in the domestic violence shelter are gifted with beauty products and comfort items. The Gift of Love Inc. makes a point to see what each neighbor needs and add unique gifts to help that person feel loved.
Currently, the Gift of Love Inc. is serving Hilltop’s Latimer House, Fountains and Life Adjustment Program, Karis’ teen shelter (The House), Ariel Clinical Services (foster youth), Walnut Apartments, Nelly Apartments, Mesa Manor, Capella, Solstice of the Grand Valley, Monterey Park, and the Tiffany Apartments, all located in Mesa County. Food Bank of the Rockies is happy to partner with such a unique program and knows that “A Gift of Love” is often precisely what neighbors need to feel cared for and seen.
Meet Volunteer Operations Lead Adrianna Jacobsen (insert photo)
We are thrilled to introduce Adrianna Jacobsen as our new Volunteer Operations Lead! Hailing from right here in Grand Junction, Adrianna brings a wealth of experience and a splash of creativity to our team.
Coming from Alpine Bank, where she worked as a Card Service Specialist leading a dynamic team, Adrianna knows the ropes of customer service and teamwork. When she’s not coordinating volunteers, she’s cruising around on a street motorcycle and strumming melodies on her guitar.
Adrianna’s artistic flair also includes dabbling in watercolors, pencils, digital art, and tattoos. Her passion for giving back to the community led her to join the Food Bank of the Rockies team. Here she finds a purpose making a real impact on people’s lives. Adrianna’s desire to make a difference is an inspiration, and we can’t wait to see the incredible strides she’ll help us make together.
Please give a warm welcome to Adrianna when you see her.
Medicaid Eligibility Redeterminations Begin Again
Colorado is resuming regular eligibility reviews for people with Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) after a more than two-year pause during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
This means that members currently covered by Health First Colorado or CHP+ will need to renew their health coverage on their annual renewal date or they may lose coverage.
If someone’s circumstances have changed since enrolling in Health First Colorado — such as starting a new job that might put them over income limits — they should begin researching other health care coverage options to avoid becoming uninsured. The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) estimates that more than 325,000 participants will no longer be eligible for Health First Colorado or CHP+ and will need to find another form of health care coverage.
How can food banks and pantries help people prepare for Medicaid renewals?
You can help raise member awareness about Medicaid renewals by sharing the messaging in our toolkits. These materials identify key actions for members to take: updating their contact information, taking action when a renewal is due, and seeking help with renewals at community or county resources when they need it.
- Post “Take Action on Your Renewal” flyers in public areas and checkout counters.
- Share messaging on social media
Community partners can also educate themselves on the basics of the renewal process to assist members who may need help. See our Renewal Education toolkit.