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Food Bank Launches Cooking Matters Class

Healthy. Affordable. Delicious. These three basic words help define the Cooking Matters approach to ending childhood hunger and helping families shop for and prepare healthy meals.

Cooking Matters is an initiative through Share Our Strength that works to “end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices.” In August, the Food Bank for Larimer County launched its Cooking Matters program offering families in need the opportunity to learn how to make their food dollars stretch further while preparing healthy meals for their families. The initial Cooking Matters classes have been held at partner locations like the Murphy Center and the Sunrise Loveland Summer Fair.

Learn more about Cooking Matters in the video below.

Whitney Helton is the Food Bank’s nutrition education coordinator and the person responsible for building and delivering the Cooking Matters curriculum. “I spent a lot of time in Denver training with the Cooking Matters team, learning what classroom topics are most effective and how to engage volunteers in this process,” Whitney said. “Cooking Matters provides a ton of program materials, tools and resources to help our families to remove the barrier of providing healthy meals. I can’t wait to get started.”

Cooking Matters class at Sunrise Loveland Summer Fair

Guests learn about the different food groups at a mock “grocery store” at the Sunrise Loveland Summer Fair.

The Food Bank’s Cooking Matters program consists of two tracks: grocery store tours and classroom work. “The grocery store tours are a great source of information for our participants,” Whitney said. “During the tours, we focus on nutritional content, unit pricing and other elements that help our families get the most out of their food budgets while preparing healthy and delicious meals. Our classroom curriculum will be hands-on, giving participants the opportunity to put their skills into practice.”

Through the partnership with Share Our Strength, the Cooking Matters program will serve families from food insecure households with a priority given to those with children 5 and under. Whitney is currently working with the Food Bank’s partner agencies to register the first Cooking Matters class, with the goal of graduation by the end of the summer.

Look for more information throughout the summer on the Food Bank’s Cooking Matters program. If you are interested in volunteering for the Cooking Matters program or would like to sign up for a class, contact Whitney Helton.

A Night to Remember at this Year’s Summer Soiree

 

The weather was beautiful, the music was lively, and the brews were cold as hundreds gathered to celebrate the Food Bank’s first anniversary in our new home and have a little summer fun all to support the work of the Food Bank for Larimer County. Guests and supporters congregated at the distribution center located at 5706 Wright Drive, in Loveland, under the summer sky to enjoy live music from The BurroughsCoyote Gold margaritas, and tasty local brews from Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and Verboten Brewing. They were also able to purchase delicious food from Sweaty Moose, Liquid N2 ice cream, and Mile High Lobster Shack food trucks.

This year’s event was presented by Eide Bailly and sponsored by Flood and Peterson, Citizen Printing, The Bohemian Foundation, Flexx Productions, and Elevations Credit Union.

Thank you to everyone who came out for this awesome event!

 

Kids Cafe summer meal food truck

Kids Cafe Summer Schedule 2019

For many children throughout Larimer County, summer vacation means no school meals and the prospect of going hungry. At the Kids Cafe, the Food Bank will be serving healthy, made from scratch meals for children ages 18 and under during the summer at multiple sites throughout Larimer County.

Plant it Forward with the Food Bank

Plant it Forward LogoSpring has sprung and with it comes an easy way for you to support the Food Bank for Larimer County. The Food Bank encourages you to “Plant It Forward” to increase local produce donations from backyard gardeners and local farms.

All community members are invited and challenged to plant an extra row in their garden! When your crop is ready, drop it off at either the Food Bank for Larimer County or the Gardens on Spring Creek. No donation is too small!

In 2018, local gardeners donated more than 45,000 pounds of fresh produce to help us feed the hungry with fresh, locally raised produce. Click here to learn more about how Plant it Foward Works and how you can get involved. Be sure to tell your friends and fellow gardeners about Plant it Foward and encourage them to plant additional rows, too.

For people living with food insecurity, purchasing healthy, fresh, and nutritious food is often out of reach due to cost. By donating the extras from your garden, you’ll help the Food Bank for Larimer County provide our guests with healthy options. We know fresh food provides health benefits, according to the USDA, “people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.” Your donation will help feed neighbors in need leading to a healthier and more vibrant community for all.

Drop Off Details

Fort Collins Food Bank
1301 Blue Spruce Dr.
Fort Collins, CO
Monday-Friday, noon-6 pm

Loveland Food Bank
2600 N. Lincoln Ave.
Loveland, CO
Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am-2 pm

Food Bank HQ and Distribution Center
5706 Wright Dr.
Loveland, CO
Monday-Friday, 8 am-4 pm

Gardens on Spring Creek
2145 Centre Avenue
Saturday 9 am-4 pm; Sunday Noon-5 pm

This year, plant an extra row or two and plan to donate the proceeds to the Food Bank for Larimer County!

Great Plates Thank You

Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins 2019 is a Big Success

A record 35 restaurants and 3 ice cream shops came together in support of the Food Bank for this year’s event. The 14th Annual Great Plates lived up to its name, with all 38 establishments offering great dinner and dessert specials.

Fort Collins Fresh Food Share

Blue Spruce Pantry Renovation Wraps Up

With the installation of the new automated glass entrance and exit doors, the Food Bank for Larimer County officially completed the renovation of its Fresh Food Pantry located on Blue Spruce Drive in Fort Collins.

Empty Bowls

Community Celebrates Empty Bowls

The community came out in force to celebrate the 22nd Annual Food Bank for Larimer County’s Empty Bowls Soup Dinner & Art Auction fundraiser. The event, which began in an art class at Lopez Elementary School more than two decades ago, played host to more than 600 guests…

You Made the Difference on Colorado Gives Day

We asked you to be the difference on Colorado Gives Day and you came through in a big way. The annual statewide day of giving that encourages residents to Give Where You Live allowed the Food Bank to receive $128,000 in donations!

Dellenbach Subaru Helps the Food Bank Share the Love

When we all share love, we all win. That statement is at the core of Subaru’s Share the Love event, happening now through January 2, 2019. The Share the Love event is a partnership between Subaru of America and its network of retailers where a $250 donation is made to select charities every time a new Subaru is leased or purchased.

The Food Bank for Larimer County is honored to have been selected as the featured local charity by Dellenbach Subaru for this year’s Share the Love event. That means that any time a new Subaru is leased or purchased from Dellenbach Subaru between now and January 2, 2019, the Food Bank has the opportunity to receive a $250 donation. As the purchaser, all you have to do is select the Food Bank for Larimer County.

Over the last 10 years, through the Share the Love Event, Subaru of America and its participating retailers have donated more than $118 million to charity, with customers choosing between four national and over 1,170 local charities. With this year’s event, Subaru is on track to increase that total to more than $140 million, proving there’s no limit to the amount of love we can all share.

So, if you are in the market for a new car, there’s never been a better time. Get a great vehicle and support a great cause during Subaru’s Share the Love event. Visit Dellenbach Subaru between now and January 2, 2019, to participate.

Want to know more about the Share the Love event? Visit Dellenbach Subaru for more details.

Morning Fresh + Food Bank Partnership

Morning Fresh Dairy

The Food Bank picks up milk from the Morning Fresh Dairy Farm each week to deliver to partner agencies to distribute milk to those in need.

The Morning Fresh Dairy Farm is a 5th generation family owned and operated dairy farm located in Bellvue, Colorado and has been producing milk for the community since 1894.

Morning Fresh does everything from raising the crops they feed to the cows, milking the cows, and evening bottling the milk onsite. They deliver milk to homes, restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops along the Northern Front Range of Colorado. Morning Fresh also offers cream, half & half, chocolate milk, and yogurt—all from their cows. Many other items are available for delivery or purchase from other local partner producers such as honey, cheese, fruit spreads, and other dairy products they don’t make themselves.

As part of the Great American Milk Drive, and thanks to a grant from the USDA through Feeding America, the Food Bank recently received funds to purchase milk – a lot of milk. Because of our long-standing partnership, we reached out to Morning Fresh Dairy to see if they would be willing to work with us to purchase milk using the grant. Thanks to Morning Fresh’s generosity, the Food Bank was able to purchase nearly three times the amount of milk – almost 1,250 gallons – as we would have at regular prices. The milk will be a welcome item for the agencies and clients who rely on the Food Bank.

Milk is a popular item at the Food Bank for Larimer County, but due to its perishable nature, it’s not commonly donated and it can be hard for us to source from other places. In addition to providing the Food Bank with milk as part of the Great American Milk Drive, Morning Fresh also has a Milk Drive program that makes it easy for their customers to add extra milk jugs to their order each week specifically to be donated. Morning Fresh even matches ALL donations gallon for gallon!

Through the Morning Fresh Milk Drive program, our team picks up the donated milk each week and distributes it to those in need through partner agencies. Milk and other dairy items are a luxury for our guests and without this program, many children and families would not have milk in their fridge. This Milk Drive program just started this year and so far it’s off to a great start!

When asked about the program, Macy from Morning Fresh Dairy said, “At Morning Fresh Dairy, we are always looking for ways to give back to the community. Someone at the office came across this statistic—on average, people served by food banks receive less than the equivalent of 1 gallon of milk, per person, per year even though milk is one of the most requested items. This is a disturbing statistic. We, at Morning Fresh Dairy, know we can improve the situation locally. We want to make sure that everyone in our community has access to milk, particularly growing children.”

Macy went on to say, “We have had incredible response from our customers and the number of people donating has not stopped growing! The program we created makes it easy for our customers to add a weekly donation of milk to be delivered to the Food Bank for Larimer County. Morning Fresh Dairy matches every donation made by a customer. We are so excited to be partnering with our customers to build a stronger community and make sure local children are getting the protein and nutrients they need for healthy growth!”

The Food Bank for Larimer County could not be more thankful for the many wonderful local businesses like Morning Fresh Dairy Farm who help us fight hunger. We simply could not do what we do without everyone thinking creatively and working together to make a real process to end hunger.

If you’re a Morning Fresh Dairy Farm customer, consider adding extra milk to your order next week. If you’re not yet a Morning Fresh Dairy Farm customer, tour their facility to learn more about their process and products!