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September Partner Newsletter

Talbott Farm Peach Harvest_Ken Redding

Welcome Letter

If you’re anything like me, you are eagerly awaiting fall’s arrival. While I adore autumn food, fashion, and weather, I also love that it’s a season of transition. Early fall brims with all the possibilities of a new school or fiscal year while late fall is a time for grounding and reflection. As the new Food For Kids Manager, I am entering the position during the exciting hustle and bustle stage of our after-school meal program and am looking forward to seeing how each site settles in over the rest of this year and into next spring.

I have recently been reflecting on the lessons we can learn from the Three Sisters — an agricultural technique from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nation in which corn, beans, and squash are grown together in a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship. Separated, the crops do fine, but together they thrive. There is an opportunity to view our Food For Kids programming in this way, too: By working together with each of you we can thrive in reaching our shared goal of feeding as many children and adolescents as possible.

Since 1994, our Kids Cafe programming has provided an average of over 570,000 nourishing meals to children across Colorado every year. Additionally, our Totes of Hope™ program distributes over 146,000 totes annually and focuses on providing complete weekend meals for a family of four. We are proud of all that these programs have become and continue to seek out areas of expansion and improvement, including working with our incredible Culturally Responsive Food Initiative (CRFI) and Nutrition teams to offer more culturally respectful options for the diverse communities we serve.

In my first month working at the Food Bank of the Rockies, it’s been clear that, like the Three Sisters, it takes each of our unique strengths coming together to make sure that our communities get the food they deserve. I’ve enjoyed hearing stories from the folks who grow, sort, transport, cook, and eat our food over the last several weeks, and can’t wait to hear more.

Here’s to growing together.

Kodi Phelps
she/her/hers
Food For Kids Manager

Billing Cycle Update

Effective in September, Food Bank of the Rockies is changing our billing cycle schedule. Statements will be mailed by the third week of each month and will reflect balances due for products ordered in the prior month, as well as any unpaid balances. Partners receiving these statements by mail should receive them by the end of each month. Due dates will be printed on the billing statements; most bills will be due at the end of the month following when statements were received (i.e. a bill received the end of September will be due at the end of October). Please reach out to partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org with any questions.

Important Dates

  • Saturday, October 8: Open 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, October 11, Virtual partner orientation 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, October 12: Link2Feed training 9 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 27: Virtual partner orientation 1:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 27: Link2Feed training 12 p.m.
  • Monday, October 31: Closed at 12:00 p.m.

Please visit the October Calendar for the full schedule. For our annual calendar of important dates, please refer to the 2022 calendar. If you have any questions, please contact our Partner Support Team at partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Feeding Colorado Welcomes Legislators to Food Banks and Food Pantries

During the month of August, food banks and food pantries across Colorado hosted state and federal representatives for tours and site visits. Congressman Joe Neguse visited Community Food Share in Louisville. During his visit, he hosted a roundtable discussion with partner agency leaders. The group shared how they continue to see a sustained need for the emergency food system in their communities. Coverage of the event can be found here. The roundtable was followed by a tour of the Community Food Share facility and a discussion with the CEO, Kim Da Silva, on food bank priorities.

Members of the Colorado General Assembly are touring food pantries across Colorado through the end of September. These visits provide the opportunity for state legislators to see the important services organizations across Colorado provide. Thank you to everyone hosting these visits and to the Members of the General Assembly who are visiting!

Joe Neguse in distribution center

White House Conference on Hunger

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is planned for September 28, and is the first conference of its kind in more than 50 years. In preparation for this event, Feeding Colorado hosted two listening sessions with community members in Colorado Springs in partnership with Mt. Carmel Veteran’s Service Center. Participants remarked on the importance of access to programs like SNAP, barriers to accessing enough food to live a healthy, active life, and the challenges of making ends meet.

For more information about our advocacy and public policy work, please contact Sarah Gregory, Public Policy Coordinator, at sgregory@feedingcolorado.org.

Representative Mary Bradfield visiting Sunny Side Market, the direct distribution program through Care and Share Food Bank

Partner Express Photos

partner express screenshots

Did you know that you can see a picture of the items on Partner Express?

Simply click on the item number, then click on the camera icon!

Grant Opportunity

The Department of Local Affairs is excited to announce the Nonprofit Community Based Infrastructure Grant funding opportunity for Regional Access Partners, a new funding opportunity available to apply for through September 30!  Colorado House Bill 22-1356 was signed into law on June 3, 2022, and created the small community-based nonprofit infrastructure grant program. This initiative invests $33,100,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 by providing grants to community-based nonprofit organizations for infrastructure funding to help mitigate the financial hardships of COVID-19.

Up to 10 Regional Access Partners (RAPs) will be selected for the grant. The RAPs will work with the Department of Local Affairs to administer grants of no more than $100,000 to qualifying organizations across Colorado.

Take a look at the attached program overview to learn more about the requirements and to see if this funding opportunity is a good fit for your organization. Please also visit the program’s website by clicking here.

TO APPLY: All applications will be received through our Grants Portal System. To ensure you are ready to begin your application, please complete the following steps (and review the screenshots). This will ensure that your organization is in our grants portal system and you will have access to the application.

  1. Log into our grants portal (found here) and create an account (see attached instructions for screenshots of how to complete this step).
  2. Request an association to your organization. It is vitally important that you enter your organization name exactly how it appears on your W-9. We won’t be able to change it in the future and that name plays a large role in official contracting documents.
  3. Next, email Audrey Field (audrey.field@state.co.us) letting her know you have submitted the request to be associated with your organization.She will work to expedite connecting your account in the portal to your organization.
  4. You will receive an email back from Audrey Field once this step is complete with additional instructions for beginning the application once it is open.

CACFP Applications Still Accepted

Food Bank of the Rockies is currently accepting applications for the 2022‒2023 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides 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 price lunches may be qualified to participate. If you meet this criterion and your site provides after-school activities and programs to kids 18 years of age or younger, 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 or 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. Interested partners need to complete an application; training will be provided by Food Bank of the Rockies.

For questions, contact Kodi Phelps at 303-375-5868 or kphelps@foodbankrockies.org.

View CACFP Application

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

a child enjoy food at an outdoor table

Non-Discrimination Statement (NDS) Update

The USDA has updated the Non-Discrimination Statement (NDS) and the And Justice for All (AJFA) poster. This revision includes prohibition of discrimination based on sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

Please update the NDS on your website ASAPif you haven’t done so already. We encourage you to create a link that redirects to the NDS on the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) website, as their NDS will always be up to date. Or, you can copy and paste the NDS in its entirety. You will need to follow the below link to the webpage and scroll down to the Civil Rights Section to access.

https://cdhs.colorado.gov/benefits-assistance/food-assistance/food-distribution-programs

Written documents, flyers, and pamphlets using the old NDA language must be updated when your current supply is exhausted or by no later than September 30, 2023. New AJFA posters will not be printed for some time and we have a very limited supply of replacement posters.

CDHS has updated the TEFAP Eligibility Applications on their website to incorporate the updated Civil Rights Non Discrimination Statement (NDS) on page 2.

Minor changes to this application include modifying the verbiage from “residing in the service area” to “residing in the State of Colorado.” Also, the Surplus TEFAP application should no longer be used as the updated applications will cover multiple distributions in the same month.

Here is the link to these updated forms: https://cdhs.colorado.gov/TEFAP

All NDS, AJFA, and applications must be in use ASAP. The Government Programs Team will be checking for these updates during your partner reviews and CDHS will be checking during their scheduled Management Evaluations starting September  1.

Holidays are Approaching!

As the school year begins and the seasons change, now is the time to start planning for Thanksgiving. We are preparing for your holiday distributions by bringing in truckloads of frozen whole turkeys and a wide assortment of staple items for the classic Thanksgiving dinner table. Please keep an eye out for these items on Partner Express and reach out to our Partner Support teams with any questions you may have at partnersupport@foodbankrockies.org.

Thanksgiving food flyer

CRFI Update

Would your community benefit from goat meat? Many cultures, including our Ethiopian, Somali, Burmese, and Karen neighbors, enjoy this meat as a good source of high-quality lean protein, low in saturated fats and cholesterol.

To support our sourcing team’s efforts to look into adding goat meat as an option for partners, we are seeking to gauge partner interest. Please consider completing this quick survey signifying whether or not you are interested in sourcing goat meat from Food Bank of the Rockies: https://forms.gle/qYrmxeNjYX67rTsZ7

Link2Feed – Give Time Back to What’s Important

Is paperwork and manual intake taking you away from your clients? Do you miss having the opportunity to converse with people that visit your agency but are instead overwhelmed with the responsibility of making sure they are receiving your services?

With Link2Feed, clients can rapidly be checked in for services, leaving you with more time to connect with your community. After the initial set up of Link2Feed and a client’s profile, our partners can conduct much faster intake with one click of a button or one scan of a barcode. Little to no paperwork may be needed in addition to intake, allowing you time to talk with the people you serve. Learn more by visiting our Partner Portal or contact us today: L2F@foodbankrockies.org

New Staffing Announcements

Blake's headshot Welcome Blake Bigger as our new Healthcare Partnership Coordinator! Blake tells us if he could be any fruit or veggie he would be a fig because fig trees are very resilient, adaptable, and thrive in diverse environments. Blake lives with his 13-year-old cat, Yoshi; has completed a three-month backpacking trip in India; loves hiking and being outdoors; and has a goal to hike all of Colorado’s 14ers. So far he has done 20, which means he’s about halfway done! Welcome to Food Bank of the Rockies, Blake! To learn more about our Healthcare program, contact us at healthcarepartners@foodbankrockies.org.

Event Highlight: Food Coalition of Morgan County

On Saturday, July 30, 2022, Food Bank of the Rockies partnered with Food Coalition of Morgan County, Morgan County Family Center, United Way of Morgan County, and Kids at their Best to distribute 400 food boxes and produce to their clients and their community. Overall, the event served 221 families — 614 individuals total. The event was hosted at Morgan Community College and provided much-needed goods to their community, including canned fruit, chili, macaroni and cheese, rice, chicken, fresh produce, and more.

Mark Your Calendars – Programs Town Hall!

Mark your calendars for our next Town Hall on Thursday, September 22 at 10:00 a.m. to join our discussion around our strategic initiatives for Food Bank of the Rockies.   

This will kick off the conversation while giving you an opportunity to share feedback from the Partner Survey. It will also provide us with the opportunity to hear collectively from you, our valued partners.   

We hope to have you in our session and look forward to the continued feedback.  

Looking forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Meeting Information: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86105268864?pwd=SUozR05OQ3NnR0lOL29xbDAyUERSUT09  

Meeting ID: 861 0526 8864 

Passcode: 592830 

Meeting Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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