Welcome Agency Partners
The Agency Zone is a resource developed to help communicate important information to you, our nonprofit agency partner. Please check this site regularly for upcoming events, news and more. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Programs Coordinator Diane Matthews.
For updated COVID-19 information, please review the Guidelines and Procedures section below.
Where Do We Get All the Food?
The Food Bank for Larimer County receives food from several sources, including individuals and organizations within the communities we serve, local retail stores, other food banks, the USDA, as well as national donors. Take a moment to see how we source food for the community.
National Donors are our largest source of food. While much of the food we receive from national retailers is free or very inexpensive, FBLC is still responsible for paying the freight to get it here, which costs on average a few thousand dollars per truckload. We spend over $600,000 per year bringing in food, including our grocery rescue program.
The Feeding America Choice System is where we get most dry, refrigerated, and frozen product. The Choice System is a bidding system like eBay, except it is only for the 200 food banks across the nation, and shares are used in lieu of dollars. These shares are allocated to each food bank based on demographics, so a food bank serving a large metropolitan area or multiple counties receives more shares than smaller ones in more affluent communities. The cost for these items averages 13 cents per pound for transportation and warehousing.
Produce Matchmaker allows food banks to source bulk produce on a first-come, first-served basis. Produce carries a Value-Added Processing (VAP) fee in order to cover farmers’ expenses for harvesting and packaging excess or rejected produce rather than leaving it to rot in their fields. FBLC also has direct relationships with local farmers like Hungenberg who provide carrots and cabbage. Our cost to procure produce averages 38 cents per pound.
The USDA provides a significant amount of food as well, often including bulk produce and milk. This food is completely free of charge to FBLC but can only be distributed through one of our direct service outlets, including mobile pantries.
Local Retailers set aside unsellable product that would otherwise be thrown away for our rescue drivers to pick up and bring to either our direct service pantries or our distribution center for our agency partners to shop from. To help defer some of our procurement/storage costs, our agency partners pay a Shared Maintenance Fee (SMF). While there is no partnership fee and no direct fee for any product donated to the Food Bank, we do ask our partner agencies to help with a portion of our storage and transportation costs. The shared maintenance fee is not a charge for food, but it is assessed by pounds of food received. The fee is never more than 19 cents per pound per IRS rule 170(e)(3).
Our agency shopping hours are reserved for just that – our agencies. We are not open to the public during those times. Shopping hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am-8:30 am and 10:00 am-12:30 pm.
Larger agencies have standing appointments between 8:30 and 10 am to alleviate congestion and create a positive shopping experience for everyone.
Guidelines and Procedures
- Closed-toed shoes are required
- No smoking, eating or drinking
Nourishing Network Shopping
Agency shoppers can self-select from a variety of purchased and donated product, including produce, dairy, meat and other prepared food located in our cooler and freezer. Although free, produce is still weighed and invoiced, with any bulk item on its own pallet being tracked separately. All other assorted items are weighed when checking out, including shelf-stable food, beverages, non-food, dairy and mixed retail produce. Item numbers and quantities are recorded by agency shoppers on the sheets at the Nourishing Network desk and given to staff when they weigh out. Remember to bring a coat and gloves as our cooler and freezer are very chilly!
Providing food safely to our community is of utmost importance. The Food Bank for Larimer County follows the food safety guidelines of Feeding America and the Larimer County Health Department.
Food Safety Resources
Can Defect Sign:
Pest Log and Best Practices:
Food Transport and Loading Best Practices:
FoodKeeper App: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep-food-safe/foodkeeper-app
Food Safety for Vulnerable Populations: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/socialmedia.html#anchor_1518638031624
Food Safety Courses
All Nourishing Network members are required to have at least one staff person or volunteer with a current food safety certification. There are several options of where to complete a course.
- Food Bank for Larimer County offers a free in-person course once a month to all members of Nourishing Network. For the most recent schedule and links to sign-up for a course, please see the most recent e-newsletter.
- The Food Bank also offers a free online course. For information on how to access this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Larimer County Health Department and CSU Extension office also offer several courses. https://larimer.extension.colostate.edu/programs/food-safety-preparation-preservation/
- ServSafe offers online “Food Handler” and “Manager” level courses. Find courses at https://www.servsafe.com/ServSafe-Food-Handler?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn4G8psjn5AIVB6vsCh3RAAF2EAAYASAAEgJDEPD_BwE