Join us for the Taste Benefit 2017!

Taste Benefit 2017The Taste Benefit is an annual food and beverage tasting event providing guests with the opportunity to sample some of Northern Colorado’s finest cuisine from locally owned restaurants. In addition to great food, guests can also sample local craft beers and a variety of wines while enjoying live music and bidding on fabulous silent auction items. This year, we are mixing things up with a new date, new venue and a new look. The 2017 Taste Benefit will take place on September 14th at the Fort Collins Marriott and will feature a new club-style setting in the outdoor pavilion, a larger auction space and check-in area, and a VIP lounge with exclusive food and drink offerings. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, 100% of every ticket sold supports the Food Bank’s hunger-relief programs.

Well-known and delicious restaurants from around the community will join us! See a full list of restaurants here. The participating breweries and wineries round out the Taste Benefit. See the list of beverage providers here. Secure tickets to the Taste Benefit 2017 for a night filled with food, fun, and drinks!

Get tickets and join us! 

Please note: All attendees of the Taste must be 21 years of age or older.

 

Cans Around the Oval 2017

cans around the oval imageCans Around the Oval is a Colorado State University tradition, where students, faculty, and staff partner with community members, local media, and area businesses to raise awareness about the issue of hunger, as well as raise food and monetary donations. This event is Larimer County’s Largest single-day Food Drive and benefits The Food Bank for Larimer County. This year, we’re celebrating an incredible 31 years of Cans Around the Oval!

Cans began in 1986 with one graduate student, Victoria Keller. As manager of the original student engagement office, Keller read a journalism student’s proposal of a canned food drive, which sparked the fire for Cans Around the Oval. Keller, wanting to pursue the proposal, contacted the Food Bank’s then Director, Sandy Bowden, who coined the name Cans Around the Oval. Although Sandy was too busy to be involved that first year, Keller and two other students decided to take on the efforts of orchestrating Cans Around the Oval.

Cans started with one student wanting to make a difference; 31 years later over 16,000 people from the Colorado State University campus and local community are continuing the tradition and making it even more impactful every single year. Despite such encouraging gains, hunger frequently strikes the most vulnerable people in our communities, especially children. 1 in 5 kids in our community are not receiving enough food to meet their daily nutritional needs. These numbers serve to highlight how much this program is still needed today. Cans Around the Oval’s growth is truly inspiring. An idea that was sparked from a class assignment has now become part of Colorado State University’s history. One person can change people’s lives and every year thousands of people come to the Oval to do just that.

In alignment with September’s Hunger Action Month and CSU’s homecoming, Cans takes place over a month-long period. Students, staff, faculty, and other participants compete to collect the most cans of food. On October 11, students work together to create the most interesting sculptures and art from cans in the middle of campus as part of the CANstruction event. The final collection day is October 18, when cans are counted and placed along the Colorado State University Oval.

Important Cans Dates:

Cans Around the Oval Kick Off Day – September 14, 2017
Cans Around the Oval CANStruction – October 11, 2017
Cans Around the Oval Collection Day – October 18, 2017

Click here to learn more about Cans Around the Oval and get involved!

Take a Look Behind the Scenes: Meet Stacy!

If you’re wondering what goes on behind the scenes at the Food Bank for Larimer County, look no further than Stacy Stolen. Her role as Chief Compliance Officer may be little known, but it’s vital to the success of the organization.  

Stacy handles all audits, compliance, and HR tasks for the Food Bank. Her day-to-day role varies widely, but focuses on hiring, collaborating with other team members for on-boarding, benefits, employee engagement, and ensuring the organization is ready at all times for audits and compliance tasks.

Based on grants, the parent organization – Feeding America – and other requirements, the Food Bank must be constantly ready to have others oversee the work, facilities, and documentation. Stacy’s role ensures the Food Bank is not only meeting, but exceeding, these requirements in order to continue to provide food to those in need in our community.

She began working at the Food Bank on a part-time basis two years ago; as a result of bringing much of the work in house and the growing needs of the organization, her position has evolved into a full-time role. Stacy loves her work at the Food Bank, “I go home every day with my cup filled,” she mentioned. “I love our staff and the mission we’re working towards. That makes me feel great, even on the toughest days.”

Stacy’s favorite part of her job is the wonderful people she works with at the Food Bank. “It’s delightful to be around people who are passionate; we have such a great team with different interests and personalities, but everyone believes in what we are doing.”

If anything, Stacy wishes people understood the magnitude of the Food Bank. Not only does the Food Bank feed thousands through our food share and mobile pantry locations, the organization also partners with over 80 agencies to feed more in Larimer County. “Every day our staff works so hard to treat guests with dignity and respect; everyone goes way above and beyond what I’ve ever seen in a non-profit.”

In her free time, Stacy enjoys life with her daughter and friends. She loves working in the yard and spending time outside.

Meet Heather: Chief Development Officer, Food Bank for Larimer County

The memory of hearing a little boy at the Food Bank ask his mom, ‘Is today a day we get to eat?’, sticks out in Heather Buoniconti’s mind as one of the most pivotal moments in her time at the Food Bank. Having young boys herself, she mentioned, “I can’t even think about it without tearing up a little bit,” she recounted; “all those years ago and I can still picture his face; it hit so close to home.”

Heather, the Chief Development Officer at the Food Bank for Larimer County, has been a dedicated staff member for nearly 12 years, overseeing all the fundraising and communication efforts of the organization. She loves coming to work every day knowing she’s making a difference in the lives of the hungry in our community.

She appreciates that everyone on the team is, “Extremely passionate about our mission and how hard we all work together towards a common goal.” Heather knows the collaboration of the Food Bank staff, the community at-large, volunteers, and donors make it, “A great place to be a part of.”

Heather began her career at the American Cancer Society, completing a year-long cancer fundraising walk with her husband through 15 states. Shortly after, a relocation to Northern Colorado led her to the Food Bank and as they say, ‘The rest is history!’

Her day-to-day at the Food Bank is always different, but the heart of her role is connections and relationships. “I spend my time talking to donors, volunteers, and staff in order to determine how they want to be a part of the Food Bank and what we’re doing.” Heather is always looking for new and innovative ways to help more people in our community.

She wishes people knew that hunger can happen to anyone. “It could easily be your teacher, neighbor, friend, or even family member that we’re serving.” The Food Bank fills a tremendous role in our community, something that isn’t lost on Heather or her teammates.

Outside of work, Heather loves spending time with her family – husband and two sons. The Buonicontis love being outside camping, hiking, and traveling as much as they can. She loves to read and enjoys attending the many Food Bank outreach events.