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StoryCorps: Food Bank Guest Interview

We recently had the opportunity to interview Alexandra for a StoryCorps Mobile Stop in Fort Collins, Colorado. StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. They do this by inviting people from all walks of life to sit down together and share more about their experiences and stories that have lead them to where they are today. Heather Buoniconti, the Chief Development Officer at the Food Bank for Larimer County, and Alexandra sat down in the StoryCorps’ mobile trailer at New Belgium Brewing to discuss Alexandra’s experience at the Food Bank and talk about where she is today.

During the interview, Alexandra shared her story:

“I first started using the Food Bank when I returned from the Peace Corps in Guatemala. My husband and I had just married, I was working part-time and finishing my master’s degree while he was going to school full-time. I remember going to Esh’s, the discount grocery store, and paying $30 for a week’s worth of food and thinking to myself, ‘With all of our other expenses, we can’t even afford to spend $120 for food per month. We need to look at getting help.’ That’s when I visited the Food Bank of Larimer County for the first time. I was expecting a lot of processed, pre-packaged food, but was surprised by the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that were available, as well as what I considered ‘luxury’ foods, such as Noosa yogurt! Because of the Food Bank for Larimer County, my husband and I were not only able to eat enough food, we were able to eat a healthy diet!

Today, I have my masters degree in Community Nutrition and am working as the Development Director at The Arc of Larimer County, a nonprofit that provides free advocacy and education for individuals and families living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because of the Food Bank of Larimer County, my husband and I could spend less time worrying about food and bills and more time concentrating on improving our lives. Thank you to the Food Bank and to all the people and companies that generously support it! You change lives.”

We appreciate Alexandra’s willingness to share her story and we are thankful StoryCorps has archived our interview for others to hear in the future. We can’t wait to listen to the full conversation when it’s released – stay tuned!

The 2019 Corporate Food Fight is in Full Swing!

Corporate Food Fight

The 2019 Corporate Food Fight is off to a great start and we’re thrilled with the dedication and effort this year’s participants are putting forth. Participants include:

  • Action Staffing Solutions
  • AMD
  • Associates in Family Medicine
  • Brinkman Construction
  • Broadcom
  • Choice Organics
  • Co’s BMW/MINI of Loveland
  • Davis Wealth Management
  • Encompass
  • First National Bank
  • FirstBank
  • Forge + Bow Dwellings
  • HP Inc.
  • HPE
  • Intel
  • Kind Care of Colorado
  • Liberty Tax Service

    The Northern Colorado Association of Realtors held a Curling for a Cause competition.

  • LPR Construction
  • Madwire
  • Micro Focus
  • Northern Colorado Commercial Association of Realtors (NCCAR)
  • Platte River Power Authority
  • Prosci
  • UCHealth North Region (PVH & MCR)
  • Verus Bank of Commerce
  • WoodWard
  • Xcel Energy

Held every April, the Corporate Food Fight is a signature fundraiser for the Food Bank for Larimer County. The event challenges local businesses to raise food and funds to provide meals for children, seniors, and families in our community. The campaign runs the entire month, but each company designs its own campaign timeline and style. Some participants do a simple food drive or sponsor a bake sale or chili cook-off. Others get down-right creative and do things like executive tricycle races or have genuine food fights. The more engaging and fun, the better! Winning companies receive recognition awards at our annual celebration. In year’s past, Food Fighters raised over well over $150,000 and 5,000 pounds of food annually to support hunger-relief efforts right here in our community.

Awards will be given to winners in a variety of categories and all participants will receive recognition in our social media channels, on our website, and elsewhere. We can’t wait to see the hard work and FUN each of the participating businesses will have in raising awareness for the fight against hunger, as well as food and funds for this important cause.

Some of the fun had thus far in the 2019 Corporate Food Fight includes:

Northern Colorado Credit Union Game of Thrones food sculpture

The LC Real Estate Big Wheel race and chili cook-off

Kids Feeding Kids – Makya Finke Works to Support the Food Bank

Meet Makya Finke, a 9-year old Loveland resident and a Colorado State Ambassador of the National American Miss Pageants. Not only is this little girl a force on the stage, she’s incredibly passionate about ending hunger. She’s started Kids Feeding Kids and is busy running a year-long campaign benefiting The Food Bank For Larimer County.

Makya has had a deep drive to help in her community for some time. She’s volunteered with many organizations in her short nine years, including Kissmas Wishes, a non-profit holiday event. Because it can be difficult for children under 10 years of age to volunteer, Makya and her family decided to start her own campaign. They focused on “kids helping kids” in need and wanted to get other kids active and volunteering in our community. After a little research, Makya decided to support the Food Bank for Larimer County and that’s how Kids Feeding Kids was born.

Last year, she supported the Food Bank by collecting donations online, handing out flyers, speaking to her classmates, and going door to door for donations. She raised an incredible $300 to support hunger-relief efforts.

This year, Makya has stepped up her game to take Kids Feeding Kids to the next level; she envisions a year-long campaign with even bigger goals. She has a ton of ideas for food drives and ways to get her friends involved. The Finke family helped Makya take those ideas and create a plan.

Makya has set monthly and yearly goals for collecting food donations, as well as monetary donations to support the Food Bank. Her food donation goals are 50 pounds a month – 600 pounds for the year; her monetary donation goals are $75 a month – $900 for the year. That’s pretty spectacular!

She plans to host a food drive every month this year to achieve her food donation goals. In January 2018, Makya collected food and donations from friends and family. February was busy! Makya planned the event “Fly High 4 Food” and invited friends to Fly High with a food donation to join. She also built a volunteer team and they worked with Feed My Starving Children. Makya and her family have other plans in the works to help reach their goals.

Check out her Facebook page here to learn more about the big things Makya is doing in this world and how you and your children can get involved in supporting the mission of the Food Bank for Larimer County.

Everyone – young and old – can make a difference in the lives of the hungry. Donate to the Food Bank for Larimer County to help us fight hunger; volunteer or host a virtual fundraiser on Facebook. It takes us all to fight hunger in Larimer County and we’re counting on you to help us end hunger.

Join us: Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins 2018

Dine. Enjoy limited edition dinner specials at 25 of Downtown’s top restaurants!

Discover. Stroll the sidewalks of Old Town and embark on a new culinary experience!

Donate. Give Back! After dinner, donate to the Food Bank for Larimer County to help support hunger-relief initiatives in our community!


In partnership with the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association and many local restaurants, we’re happy to announce Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins is back! Join us to enjoy 25 dinner specials at 25 amazing restaurants.

WhenMarch 1st – 14th, 2018
Event Hours: 5:00 PM to close at participating dinner restaurants
Price: $25.00 Dinner Specials; not including tax, tip, or donation

Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins will be held March 1 – 14, 2018. Try new restaurants downtown and enjoy special menu offerings – at highly discounted rates! Support our local downtown economy while fighting hunger in our community. Donate your spare change to the Food Bank for Larimer County.

While you’re dining, we encourage guests to “leave their spare change” in the provided envelops and tip lines for the Food Bank of Larimer County. For the two weeks of Great Plates, 100% of donations will be given to the Food Bank.

Click here to see participating restaurants and their Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins dinner specials and plan to join us for several great meals during Fort Collins Great Plates event.

Senior Meal Program: Feeding Body and Soul

In Larimer County alone, as many as 8.4% of seniors are food insecure – meaning they do not always know where their next meal will come from. The Food Bank for Larimer County estimates this number is growing as more and more are reaching the point where they are unable to work. The problem is only exacerbated by the rising cost of housing and medical care. Furthermore, lack of transportation and mobility issues leave many seniors feeling isolated and alone.

Friends enjoy the hot senior meals at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.

To combat this growing problem, the Food Bank for Larimer County has partnered with Volunteers of America (VOA) to provide meals for seniors through a Senior Meal program. VOA has been managing senior meal programs in Larimer County for over 10 years, with the Food Bank providing meals since 2016. In that time, the Food Bank has prepared more than 25,000 senior meals for VOA Partner Sites. Each of these sites provides hot meals to seniors up to five days per week and gives older individuals a chance to make connections and enjoy community.

Many of the guests rely on the hot meals to get by, but more so, these meals are also an important place to socialize. The groups often play bingo, take field trips, and enjoy each other’s company; without the weekly meals, they would not have the opportunity to get out as often. These meals represent more than just food, but a sense of community as well.

As the caterer for the program, the Food Bank prepares hot, nutritious meals in its community kitchen for VOA to deliver to its eight Senior Meal sites throughout Larimer County. The Food Bank works with staff from VOA to plan a variety of meals, including beef, chicken, vegetables, salad, bread and milk. Volunteers from the groups serve and clean up after the meals.

Julie, a Senior Meal program guest, enjoys the food and company at the Northside Aztlan Community Center in Fort Collins, CO.

The food and sense of community gained through these shared meals are invaluable for the seniors in our community. They not only feed the body, but the soul as well. Senior meals are available to all 60+ years of ages; a small donation of $2.50 is requested, but not required. To see a full list of locations and times, click here.

The Food Bank also provides additional boxes of food to seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, also known as the Senior Food Box Program. This is a federal food program, designed to improve the health of senior citizens. Food for the program is provided by the USDA’s Agency of Food and Nutrition Service and given out once per month to seniors through our Food Share locations.

Your support of the Food Bank for Larimer County allows us to work with partners like VOA to end hunger among the most vulnerable in the community, seniors. Together we can solve senior hunger, ensuring no one has to worry where their next meal will come from.

Everyday Should be Pie Day

Who doesn’t like pie? That’s a question Debbie Lugo asked herself shortly after moving to Fort Collins from Austin, TX. She and her husband Paul had moved to Colorado to be closer to their daughter studying at CSU.

“Sometimes the winter months can get long and we were looking for a way to brighten up the days,” Debbie said. “We found out that there is actually a National Pie Day in January and that’s how our Pie Day Party started.”

The concept of the Pie Day Party is simple: Invite a bunch of friends over, ask them to bring delicious pies and a donation for the Food bank for Larimer County, then eat the pies. Some of the parties have had as many as 45 guests, and usually include a few not-so-well-known pies.

“It seems that a lemon meringue pie usually shows up and we’ve had frittatas, quiches, pizzas and even a treatise on pi brought by one of my engineering cousins,” Debbie said. “It’s not unusual for an apple pie to arrive sporting the Greek pi symbol in the crust.”

Pie Party - Food Bank for Larimer CountyDebbie is not quite sure how she and her husband decided to incorporate the Food Bank into the parties, other than “it seemed like a good idea to share our good fortune,” she said. The Lugo’s good fortune has become the Food Bank’s good fortune as the Pie Day Party has become an annual event. Since 2008, Debbie, Paul and their friends have raised more than $5,250 and donated nearly 1,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank.

With results like that, Debbie, Paul and the Pie Day Party really take the cake.

Not everyone has to make pies or host parties to contribute to the Food Bank for Larimer County. Everything from simple fundraisers to online donations and volunteer shifts make a world of difference in the lives of the hungry in our community. There are many ways you can get involved and support our fight against hunger. Please consider volunteering at the Food Bank or donating to help us end hunger right here in Larimer County.

Thank YOU For Supporting the Food Bank this Holiday Season

Holiday Thank You

On behalf of the entire Food Bank staff, we’re sending each and every one of you a BIG thank you for all the support this holiday season.

Whether you gave during our $60K in 60 Hours event, donated a turkey this Thanksgiving, or gave in honor of someone else, we simply could not continue the fight against hunger with out your continued support and for that we are extremely grateful. Unfortunately, just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean hunger has ended. We will continue to utilize your support and funds to ensure no child, senior, or family faces an empty plate.


For many, the holidays provide added stress and financial strain. For families, children, and seniors the joy of the holiday season is eclipsed by the lack of food on the table.

This holiday season, there are many ways you can give the gift of hope to those in need. Join us in fighting hunger this holiday season:

    • Donate to the Food Bank for Larimer County. For every $1 we receive in donations, we are able to provide $5 worth of food to those in need. Your contributions go a long way to help us fight hunger in our community.
    • Send a Holiday Tribute Card.  In lieu of a traditional gift, your $15 donation to the Food Bank for Larimer County is a great way to honor friends, family, coworkers or clients. More importantly, it will provide $75 worth of food to families in need. For each $15 donation, we will send a colorful thank you card on your behalf.
    • Host a Food or Fund Drive on behalf of the Food Bank for Larimer County. Community sponsored fund and food drives are vital to Food Bank operations. Contributions from businesses, schools, churches, community organizations and individuals generate thousands of meals for families, children and seniors each year and the holidays are a perfect time to organize your drive.
    • Spread the Word! Help us spread the word about fighting hunger this holiday season. Find us on Facebook or join our email newsletter list and share our news with your network to help us build awareness for fighting hunger in our community.
    • Remember the Food Bank in your Year-End Giving. By making a tax-deductible year-end gift to the Food Bank for Larimer County, you’ll help us stabilize the lives of the people we serve. When families worry less about having enough to eat, they can focus their energies and resources on their futures.

No gift is too small; for every $1 donated, we provide $5 worth of food to those in need. 

As our population grows and ages and the costs of housing, childcare, education, medical and other expenses stretch beyond paychecks, we know our work will continue to be vital in this community. The holiday season is no different. Our dream for the coming years is to provide not just food, but also hope to stabilize the lives of our clients and help them on a path to self-sufficiency which will build a vibrant community for all.

Please join us in providing the gift of hopeful and full holiday season for all this year!

Thank You for Your Colorado Gives Day Support!

We’re sending everyone who supported the Food Bank for Larimer County on Colorado Gives Day a BIG thank you! With your contributions, we were able to meet our goal to continue to fight hunger right here in our community. Thank you!

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.