Support the Food Bank on Colorado Gives Day, Dec. 5th!

Colorado Gives Day - Food Bank for Larimer County

Colorado Gives Day is December 5, 2017. This day of statewide giving is designed to encourage residents to give where they live to support the many wonderful organizations that make Colorado a vibrant place for all, including the Food Bank for Larimer County.

The high costs of housing, childcare, medical and other expenses make it difficult to make ends meet. Often, cutting back on food is the solution, but it comes at a price. For adults, hunger impacts focus at work. For seniors, hunger makes it difficult to maintain health. And for children, hunger impacts the ability to learn, thrive and succeed. For every $1 donated, we can provide $5 worth of food.

Colorado Gives Day is an important fundraiser for the Food Bank for Larimer County and we’re asking for your support to help us in our mission of providing food for all in Larimer County.

Please schedule your donation now or plan to give to the Food Bank on December 5th.

Donate to the Food Bank for Larimer County on Colorado Gives Day

Click here to learn more about Colorado Gives Day and how the Food Bank for Larimer County will use your donation to fight hunger among children, seniors, and families in our community.

Help Feed NoCo

CSU mascot rides along with Scott James.Hunger is not something that happens “somewhere else.” Hunger is a reality for thousands of neighbors in Northern Colorado.

That’s why Johnstown Mayor Scott James took the challenge of riding the Scheels Ferris wheel for 50 hours in row. James broke the world record for consecutive hours riding a Ferris wheel and in the process raised a lot of awareness and money in the fight against hunger in Northern Colorado.

Thus far, Scott’s 50-hour stunt has raised more than $20,000 for those in need in Northern Colorado.

“It’s not like I was running a marathon. I sat for 50 hours,” Scott said. “I appreciate people supporting [the event] very much. And the food bank’s very worthy and they need your help this time of year.”

The word marathon is very appropriate, because the Ferris Wheel 50 event was just the kickoff of the Feed NoCo initiative. The Food Bank for Larimer County and Weld Food Bank will continue to raise funds through December to help local families enjoy a traditional holiday meal. If you missed the event, you can still make a difference at feednoco.org.

Help feed a family in need this holiday season. A donation of just $25 provides a holiday meal for a family of four.

Donate Now

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Mom and two daughters photoThe community brings hope to the table this holiday season.

The holiday season is upon us, and once again, the community has gone above and beyond to help the Food Bank for Larimer County provide holiday meals for those in need.

So far, the Food Bank has received more than 3,350 turkeys in response to our Thanksgiving Food Drive. In addition, supporters have brought in thousands of boxes of stuffing, canned cranberries, yams and other traditional fixings that will complete holiday meals for families in need right here in Larimer County.

The majority of the holiday food items have already been distributed to our community partners, who in turn, will distribute the meals to the clients they serve in time for Thanksgiving.

By donating our “wish list” items, you have helped us give the ultimate gift of food to our guests and agency partners.

If you were unable to make it to one of the Food Bank locations before Thanksgiving, we will gladly accept cash donations to support our mission for the remainder of the holidays and throughout the year. Please donate here.

October Food Bank Closures

The Fort Collins and Loveland Food Share pantries and Food Link will be closed Tuesday, October 17, and Thursday, October 26. Please plan your visits accordingly.

THANK YOU for Your Plant it Forward Support

Plant it Forward As the summer wraps up, we just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has volunteered, advocated, and donated to our Plant it Forward program. ​Plant It Forward, a partnership between the Gardens on Spring Creek and the Food Bank for Larimer County, invites all gardeners to plant an extra row to fight hunger in our community. When the garden matures, we invite you to share your bounty with children, families, and seniors in need of food assistance and help end hunger.

Many community members stepped up to fight hunger with their gardens, including Dr. J., a true Plant it Forward champion, who donated over 4,000 poundsPlant it Forward to our program this year alone. He has been donating his entire garden’s proceeds for 6 years, but this is his biggest donation so far. Help us thank Dr. J. and the many other wonderful participants who worked tirelessly to fight hunger from the ground up!

This year, we had an ambitious goal of raising 65,000 pounds of fresh, local food. We haven’t quite reached that mark, but we’re inviting local gardeners to donate any late squash, zucchini, or pumpkins they may have to our program.

As you’re picking pumpkins for Halloween season, please consider grabbing an extra as many of the youngest Food Bank guests do not have the luxury of carving pumpkins this time of year.

As you begin to plan your 2018 gardens, don’t forget to plant an extra row or two for the Food Bank for Larimer County. We’d love to have your extras! Sign up for our email newsletter to stay in touch!

 

 

Thanks to All Who Made the Taste Benefit 2017 a Success

Cacciatore at Heller's Kitchen accepts the Toast of the Taste Award.Another Taste Benefit is in the books and by all accounts it was a fantastic event. Once again, restaurants, beverage companies, community volunteers and supporters came out in huge numbers to support the Food Bank for Larimer County in its fight against hunger.

Hundreds of supporters packed the Marriott Fort Collins for the Taste Benefit 2017 to sample delicious food and beverage from some of the area’s top restaurants, breweries and wineries. This year was the 24th year for the Taste Benefit, widely considered the “foodie” event of the year in Fort Collins, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Food Bank for Larimer County.

This was the first year the Food Bank hosted the event at the Marriott Fort Collins. The new location allowed guests to sample food and beverage in the main Ballroom and out in the Pavilion, an indoor/outdoor club-style setting. Music provided by Mark Sloniker and DJ Pirate helped set the festive tone of the evening. Ample space and plenty of parking were two simple, but important changes, that helped make the night a success.

Congratulations to Cacciatore at Heller’s Kitchen, voted Toast of the Taste by attendees. A special thank you to all our sponsors, restaurants, beverage purveyors,Taste Benefit 2017 volunteers and staff who put in long hours to make this year’s Taste Benefit one of the best ever! For complete details on all who participated in the event, visit the Taste Benefit online. And visit the Food bank’s Facebook page to check out photos from the event.

September is Hunger Action Month and the Taste Benefit marks the halfway point in our effort to raise awareness about those in need. Here are a few things YOU can do to take action during Hunger Action Month.

1) Donate; $1 = $5 worth of food.
2) Volunteer at the Food Bank.
3) Follow us, share us and love us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #fblc.
4) Plant It Forward! Drop off your extra garden produce at the Food Bank.
5) Start your own fundraising campaign; donate your wedding or birthday or other special occasion.

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.