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September 2023 Partner Newsletter

This month is Hunger Action Month, and we want you to know that Food Bank of the Rockies stands with you in solidarity, understanding the challenges you face. Throughout this important month, we come together to raise awareness about the issue of food insecurity and to emphasize our commitment to supporting you and the families you support. Our organization sees Hunger Action Month as a time to highlight the strength of our community and to show that you are not alone in this journey.

With a deep understanding that hunger knows no bounds, we work tirelessly to bridge the gap between surplus and scarcity. Collaborating with local businesses, community leaders, and generous donors, we orchestrate food drives, fundraisers, and educational initiatives to amplify the impact of our mission. I have been working closely with some of our partners in Adams and Arapahoe counties, and below are some pictures to show the impact that they are making in our community.

At Adams County Emergency Food Bank, they are serving over 100 households per hour. These carts help keep the food flowing through a carefully planned conveyor-belt style system.

At Adams County Emergency Food Bank, they are serving over 100 households per hour. These carts help keep the food flowing through a carefully planned conveyor-belt style system.

 

 

SECORCares has a Mobile Market that allows them to move around and meet the needs of the community.

SECORCares has a Mobile Market that allows them to move around and meet the needs of the community.

 

 

 

At Village Exchange Center in Aurora, they grow microgreens and plant starts to support local food production. Among the many amazing programs they run, they also have a farm to grow culturally responsive foods and lessen food insecurity in their community.

At Village Exchange Center in Aurora, they grow microgreens and plant starts to support local food production. Among the many amazing programs they run, they also have a farm to grow culturally responsive foods and lessen food insecurity in their community.

 

 

At Food for Thought South, dozens of folks gathered at 6:30 a.m. to pack food for over 10,000 children to take home over the weekend. Each child was provided a Power Sack of food for them and their families

At Food for Thought South, dozens of folks gathered at 6:30 a.m. to pack food for over 10,000 children to take home over the weekend. Each child was provided a Power Sack of food for them and their families.

 

 

Little Giants Daycare in Commerce City works hard to maintain nature-based themes and nourishing food for the kids running around their daycare. They also grow vegetables so that children can learn about where food comes from

Little Giants Daycare in Commerce City works hard to maintain nature-based themes and nourishing food for the kids running around their daycare. They also grow vegetables so that children can learn about where food comes from.

 

At Food Bank of the Rockies, we recognize that our collective strength is a force to be reckoned with, capable of transforming lives and communities. Hunger Action Month fuels our determination to enact lasting change by fostering a culture of empathy and action. Every volunteer’s helping hand, every dollar donated, and every moment spent advocating for people facing hunger is a step closer to eradicating food insecurity. During this month of awareness and action, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who stand by our side, and we invite everyone to become part of the solution.

Together, we can turn the tide on hunger, ensuring that no one goes to bed without a nourished body and a hopeful heart.

Sincerely,

Josie Gilmore
Programs Outreach Representative

Important Dates

  • September 26 – Food Bank of the Rockies closed
  • October 3 – Orientation at 10:00 a.m.
  • October 14 – Partner Support: Open Saturday 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
  • October 19 – Orientation at 1:00 p.m.
  • October 31 – Food Bank of the Rockies closing early! Pick-ups and Fresh Food Center open 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

Legislator Site Visits

Want to host your local state representative for a tour of your organization? Reach out to Sarah at sgregory@feedingcolorado.org for more information.

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

September is Hunger Action Month, an annual nationwide awareness campaign designed to inspire everyone to take action in the movement to end hunger. Follow us on Twitter @feedingcolorado for updates and action items.

Get involved!

Are you interested in sharing why you care about nourishing your neighbors with members of the Colorado legislature? Email Sarah Gregory Mason at Feeding Colorado (sgregory@feedingcolorado.org) to learn more about opportunities to engage in public policy work!


Older Adults Would Be Cut from SNAP Under Expanded Work-Reporting Requirement, Worsening Hunger and Hardship

The agreement would expand SNAP’s existing rigid work-reporting requirement to apply to older adults aged 50-54 over time. Starting 90 days after enactment, 50-year-olds would be newly subject to this work-reporting requirement.

Beginning October 1, 2023, almost immediately after the first change would take effect, the work-reporting requirement would expand further to also apply to 51- and 52-year-olds; it would then expand to apply to 53- and 54-year-olds beginning October 1, 2024. Once fully phased in, this requirement would remain in place until October 1, 2030.

It’s estimated that almost 750,000 older adults aged 50-54, nationwide, would be newly subject to SNAP’s work-reporting requirement and at risk of losing benefits under this bill. Nearly half (48%) of the people who would be newly at risk of losing SNAP are women.

Food Bank of the Rockies will continue to monitor changes like this that may affect Hunger Relief Partners and the possible increase in need that may result. Please let us know if you are experiencing any challenges keeping up with the demand.

For more information: https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/debt-ceiling-agreements-snap-changes-would-increase-hunger-and-poverty-for#_ftn5

 

Join Our Partner Network Meetings

Thank you to the partners who joined our July Partner Network meeting led by SWIM, our consulting agency who guided the discussions starting in April in preparation for the Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) grant period. Please see updates about CEF below.

We will be scheduling future Partner Network meetings starting with our Eastern County partners on September 12. We look forward to providing additional updates on CEF and other program topics. These meetings are designed with our partners in mind – networking, sharing of best practices, discussing community needs, and how we can collectively support your work to help neighbors experiencing hunger.

Emails and updates in this newsletter will be communicated about dates in October for our Denver metro area, Mountain, and Western Slope partners. If you have any questions about these meetings, please contact Chris Taylor 303-375-5830 or christaylor@foodbankrockies.org.

 

Helping Neighbors Find Food Resources

The Find Food page on the Food Bank of the Rockies website is designed to be the most comprehensive list of pantries and meal programs for neighbors to identify available resources in their area. Thousands of neighbors across our service area rely on foodbankrockies.org/find-food to direct them to the right location, determine pick-up times, and review eligibility requirements. Yet, this information is only as accurate as the information we receive from partners.

Please look up your program using the above URL to verify that the information listed is correct. If you would like to change your listing, or do not see your program listed, please fill out this form and email it to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org. We will ensure that your information is updated or added.

Partner Support

Reminder:  Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) – Free Food Items Available to Partners

We are entering our fourth month of utilizing the $5.4 million in Colorado Emergency Funds (CEF) received at the end of May. We are spending this grant based on feedback received from our partners in the Partner Network meetings held last spring.

Thanks to the input from partners,

  • 37 items have been made available
  • 1,506,587 lbs. of CEF product have been ordered for neighbors
  • 351 partners have ordered CEF product

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 spent or through June 30, 2024.

CEF graphic

If you have any questions about ordering these items, please contact our Partner Support team at partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Government Programs

TEFAP Partners -SAVE THE DATE – Meeting on October 25 at Food Bank of the Rockies

Our next quarterly meeting for TEFAP partners will be held in-person at Food Bank of the Rockies (10700 E. 45th Ave., Denver 80239) in the Etkin Family Boardroom on October 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We look forward to hosting everyone here to network, share best practices, and learn the latest about this valuable program to help neighbors experiencing hunger. We want this to be beneficial to our partners – please send any topic ideas to include on the agenda to: TEFAP@foodbankrockies.org. Invites and more information will be forthcoming.

 

Food for Kids Update

Join Us Feeding Kids After School

Food Bank of the Rockies is currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), providing meals to kids after school. The program offers an assortment of nutritious food for qualified neighborhoods and programs. 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 criterion and your site provides activities and programs to kids 18 years of age or younger after school lets out for the day, please consider providing kids a meal though CACFP. We can also work with locations where kids have a four-day school week.

Partners have the option of choosing between fresh and shelf-stable meals. As a sponsor of this program, Food Bank of the Rockies provides the food and administrative support at no cost to partners.  Kids benefit from this program at all types of locations including libraries, rec centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, schools, and more. Interested partners need to complete an application – training will be provided by Food Bank of the Rockies.

For questions, call Kodi Phelps at 303-375-5868 or email ffk@foodbankrockies.org

CACFP Application

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

New Program Staffing Announcements

Ashley Newell – Promoted to Director of Programs

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Ashley Newell to Director of Programs. Ashley was previously the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Manager, joining Food Bank of the Rockies in November 2021. As Director of Programs, Ashley oversees Partner Support and Mobile Pantry teams along with the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative.

Keiren Brown – Partner Support Rep

Keiren Brown headshot

We are excited to announce our new Partner Support Representative, Keiren Brown! Keiren’s favorite food is rice and if he could be any fruit or vegetable, he would be an apple. He loves to visit his family in Texas and loves the outdoors. If Keiren could sit down for a chat with anyone, dead or alive, he would choose Martin Luther King, Jr., or Malcom X. Welcome, Keiren!

 

Nancy Valerio – SNAP Outreach Representative

Nancy Valerio headshot

Please join us in welcoming Nancy Valerio, our new SNAP Outreach Representative! If Nancy was a fruit or vegetable, she would be a mango or pineapple. Her favorite food is fries and she loves travelling to California or anywhere by the ocean. If Nancy could sit down with someone for a chat, dead or alive, she would choose her late older brother or 2pac. Welcome, Nancy!

 

Ilana Issula – Mobile Pantry Representative

Ilana Issula headshot

We are excited to announce our new Mobile Pantry Representative, Ilana Issula! If Ilana could be a fruit or vegetable, she would be a grape. Her favorite food is Pad Kee Mao and her favorite vacation spot is the Southern Oregon Coast. If Ilana could sit down to chat with someone for a chat, dead or alive, she would choose Elton John. Welcome, Ilana!

 

 

Partner Highlight

Light & Life Library Light & Life Library

Light and Life Community Church is doing a great job of making their food pantry a welcoming environment for folks of all backgrounds. As their guests wait in line to go through the pantry, Light and Life serves a hot meal for them to enjoy. It is obvious that Light and Life Community Church tries to get to know its guests, which can make the whole experience of asking for food assistance less daunting. When we stopped by for a visit, folks were smiling and happy to be greeted by a wholesome community. They also have a small library for kids to enjoy as their parents are shopping. Thank you, Light and Life Community Church, for continuing to help your community eat, grow, and learn!

Neighbor Resources

Open Position Spotlight

Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Representative
The Culturally Responsive Food Initiative Representative will focus on collecting feedback from food pantry users from a wide range of cultures as well as collecting feedback from our food pantry partners, community organizations, and state, local, and partner databases. This role will help identify trends in this feedback and coordinate responses such as developing recommended food lists and educational material and coordinating with internal staff to facilitate culturally responsive practices. The ideal candidate will have experience collecting feedback from a wide range of audiences, practice creative problem solving, have thoughtful communication skills, and have a passion for food banking and equity.

Food Bank of the Rockies offers a fulfilling workplace and comprehensive benefits package and is an equal opportunity employer. To apply for this or other open positions, please visit https://www.foodbankrockies.org/about/join-our-team/

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