National Nutrition Month

NNMMarch is National Nutrition Month. In honor of the nearly 36,000 Larimer County residents that lack access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life, the Food Bank places a high priority on providing nutritious food for our clients. Food insecurity in itself has serious health consequences for children as well as adults. Children from families that struggle with food insecurity are more likely to experience poor physical health and hospitalization, developmental delays and often struggle in school. For adults, many of the risks of being food insecure are the same as those of becoming obese including limited resources; lack of access to healthy, affordable foods; cycles of deprivation and overeating; and high levels of drive poster 2015_11x17

In 2014, we distributed more than 3 million pounds of fresh produce. In combination with our work to source and distribute healthy foods, we are providing nutrition education to our clients through our Tasting Table program and our Eat Well, Be Well nutrition education campaign. And just last week, we launched our “Host A Healthy Food Drive” program. Our ultimate goal is to move our clients from hunger to health.

According to our annual client nutrition survey, our focus on providing healthy foods IS making an impact. 

  • 88.7% of clients surveyed would eat less than 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day if they didn’t have access to Food Share program.
  • 55.8% of clients surveyed indicated that Tasting Table has helped them add fresh fruits and vegetables to their diets.
  • 59% of clients surveyed said Tasting Table has taught them new ways to prepare meals
  • 70% of clients surveyed reported eating better due to Food Share; 30% reported feeling better; 15% stated better mental focus

Food Bank Announces Einstein Challenge: $40,000 Matching Campaign

Einstein Challenge SmallLast year was one for the record books. We provided food for a record-breaking 6,144,617 meals to our Food Share clients. We distributed an unprecedented 8,918,016 pounds of food through our three hunger-relief programs. The number of meals and snacks we provided to children in need through our Kids Cafe program increased 21%. With the help of our partners, we provided more weekend food packs for homeless and near homeless children than ever before. And perhaps most troubling, the number of seniors we served through our Food Share pantry increased for the fifth year in a row.

The Problem = Funding Needed to Feed More People than Ever Before

For many years, the Food Bank for Larimer County participated in the Feinstein Foundation $1M giveaway split proportionately amongst hundreds of hunger relief agencies based on funds raised in March and April. This year the Feinstein Foundation decided to direct their focus elsewhere. We have relied on this successful campaign to fulfill our fundraising goals and to continue to meet the need in our community.

The Solution = The Einstein Challenge

To replace the Feinstein giveaway, local philanthropists, the FBLC Board of Directors, and the Davis Wealth Management Group at Wells Fargo Advisors have stepped up to the fill the gap by offering the Einstein Challenge – an ingenious way to fight hunger in Larimer County. These leaders have pledged up to $40,000 and are challenging the community to match that amount to make sure the Food Bank can continue to fulfill our mission. Your gift, no matter how big or small, can help us meet our goal. During the months of March and April, your donation will be matched and will now go twice as far in providing food to our hungry neighbors! Every $1 becomes $2. So a gift of $10, which normally provides $50 worth of food, will now provide $100 worth of food!

This is a huge opportunity to make your donation go even further. Please consider making a donation to the Food Bank for Larimer County today. Remember, all donations must be made in March or Aprilto qualify.  Please help. The more you give…the more hungry neighbors we can feed. Please donate today!

TASTE Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

TASTE-logo-tagline-final (2)With flavorful food, complementing beverages and a passion for helping the hungry, the area’s top chefs, restaurants, wineries and breweries gather for THE TASTE, a major fundraising event for the Food Bank for Larimer County. You won’t find another opportunity to try a wide variety of fabulous food and delicious drink under one roof! Learn More

All guests at THE TASTE enjoy unlimited tastings of delicious food and fabulous drink and the opportunity to chat with local chefs, wine experts and brew masters in a fun-filled cocktail party atmosphere. Guests also have an opportunity to vote for their favorite restaurant and beverage purveyor and award the “Toast of THE TASTE.” Live  music and a silent auction filled with fun items and experiences donated by local businesses round out the evening.

Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

$85 VIP Ticket (Save $15!)
$55 General Admission (Save $10!)
Limited number of tickets available.
Offer ends February 28.

Buy Tickets

VIP Ticket: $100/person

  • VIP Only Reception 5 – 6 pm
  • Walkabout Tray Conveniently Holds Your Wine Glass and
  • Preferred Parking Until 5:45pm
  • Entry  into VIP Only Prize Drawing
  • Unlimited Food and Beverage Tastings
  • Opportunity to Talk to Local Chefs, Wine Experts and Brew Masters
  • Vote for “Toast of THE TASTE”
  • Live Music
  • Silent Auction

For the price of one ticket, you will provide $500 worth of food to neighbors in need.

General Admission Ticket: $65/person

  • Unlimited Food and Beverage Tastings
  • Opportunity to Talk to Local Chefs, Wine Experts and Brew Masters
  • Vote for “Toast of THE TASTE”
  • Live Music
  • Silent Auction

For the price of one ticket, you will provide $325 worth of food to neighbors in need.

Empty Bowls Raises Nearly $77,000 for Hunger-Relief!

_DSC2383AWith the help of local artists, restaurants, businesses and individuals, the 18th Annual Empty Bowls event raised nearly $77,000 for hunger-relief programs in Larimer County. Event guests enjoyed 22 different soups from local restaurants, including: Anheuser-Busch Biergarten, Austin’s American Grill, , Betty’s Community Kitchen (FBLC), Bisetti’s Ristorante, Café Bluebird, Canyon Chop House, CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing, The Crown Pub, Enzio’s Italian Kitchen, Fiona’s Delicatessen & Catering, Fish, The Kitchen, The Moot House, Panino’s, PVH Café 1024, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, Silver Grill Cafe, Spoons Soups & Salads, Spring Creek Grille at The Hilton, Tastebuds Epicurean Cafe & Catering and Whole Foods. Beantrees Drive-Thru Coffee Cafe provided beverages, Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop served up dessert and U.S. Food Service donated bread and salad.

We are grateful to the support of our sponsors: Presenting Sponsor – First National Bank; Signature Soup Sponsor – Bohemian Foundation; Tureen Sponsors – Paul Versteeg, University of Colorado Health, Laymen Lewis Financial Group, Carrico Family Foundation, Exponential Engineering Company; Bowl Sponsors – Anhueuser-Busch, New Belgium Brewing, Kiwanis Golden K, KRJ Oak Street, LLC, First Bank, Gary Hixon Designs, Vision Financial Group, Motherlove Herbal Company, Otter Cares, Flood and Peterson, Microbial Research, Inc., Dohn Construction, Professional Document Solutions, Inc., Fort Collins Walmart Supercenter, Carole’s Commercial Cleaning, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Cup Sponsor – Donald Crews, Friendship Hospital for Animals, The Roche and Monahan Family, Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, James O’Neil, Crane and Seager Orthodontics, Kennedy and Coe, Poudre Valley REA, Dellenbach Motors, Advanced Energy Industries, Ranch-Way Feeds, Serimus Foundation Cargill; Ladle Sponsor – Spring Creek Dental PLLC, Jorgenson Family Foundation, Geoff Engelhardt, DDS PC, Wilbur and Raye Blundell,Taco John’s, Eileen Donahue.

We would also like to thank the following bowl and auction donors: Audrie Mergelman, Beate Walde, Bill Filson, Billie J Colson, Bob & Eileen Edelman, Cindy O’Neill, Cole Thompson, Curt McDonald, Daniel Slack, Daryl Price, David Wilson, Deanne Mulvihill, Diane Wood, Gloria Austin, Heather Dieter Bartmann, Hoyle Curtis, Jerry Phillips, Jill Anne Popplewell, Jim Digby, Joe Aiken, Judy Sprague, Kathi Kline, Kathleen Beaudette, Leslie Jimmerson, Libby James, Lou Beatty, Morris Frank, Nancy Zoller, Nicole Harry, Pat Dietemann, Patti Andre, Reid Shay, Rich Crowell, Rolf Christophersen, Rosalie Allen, Sandy Charles, Sandy Roerig, Sue Ellen Alishouse, Susan Sternlieb, T.S. Berger, Teresa Strong, Tom Berger, Cache La Poudre Middle School, Colorado State University ACE Program, Fort Collins High School, Fort Collins Pottery Studio, Fossil Ridge High School, Front Range Community College, Lesher Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Northern Colorado Potters Guild, Poudre Community Academy, Poudre High School, Susan Sternlieb and Webber Middle School, American Furniture Warehouse, Bas Bleu Theatre Company, Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys, Fort Collins Symphony, Horse & Dragon Brewing Co., Illustrated Light Gallery, Lawn Doctor of Fort Collins, Myriad Art & Framery, Northern Colorado Potters Guild, Old Town Art & Framery, SuperShuttle, The Lincoln Center, Trimble Court Artisans andUnion Colony Civic Center.

Finally, a special note of thanks to Cleon Kimberling, The McCarthy Family, Nancy Tafoya, National Charity League and Palmer Flowers.

Over the last 18 years, Empty Bowls has raised nearly $600,000 to fight hunger in Larimer County. Empty Bowls began at Lopez Elementary School when an art teacher inspired his students to create empty bowls to represent those who didn’t have enough to eat. Forty community members gathered at Lopez and an annual event to raise funds and awareness for hunger-relief in Fort Collins was born. In 1997, the inaugural year of Empty Bowls, the Food Bank for Larimer County distributed two million pounds of food to those in need. As Empty Bowls has grown, so too has the need in our community. Last year, the Food Bank for Larimer County distributed nearly nine million pounds of food.

American Heart Month

healthy_heart_foodsFittingly, the month of February is American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death. While the public health crises of cardiovascular disease affects all segments of the population, it disproportionately impacts the communities we serve. According to the Hunger in America 2014 study, 39% of the households we serve have at least one person with hypertension. And in our 2014 Nutrition Survey, we learned that nearly 15% of our Food Share clients have heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limiting sodium, sugar, alcohol and fatty foods reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. About 5 years ago, the Food Bank recognized the role we could play in helping our clients prevent or manage diet-related diseases. With that in mind, we began working to provide the most nutritious foods possible. In 2014, we distributed more than 3 million pounds of fresh produce. In combination with our work to source and distribute healthy foods, we are providing nutrition education to our clients through our Tasting Table program and our Eat Well. Be Well. nutrition education campaign.

In 2015 and beyond, we will continue to improve our efforts to provide nutritious, heart-healthy foods to our clients.We also intend to expand our nutrition programming through the addition of a new blog, online recipe database and other resources. Stay tuned …

Culinary Artists Add Additional Flair To Empty Bowls Fundraiser

247479009-tomato-soup-ladle-dish-object-potMore than 18 years ago, the Food Bank for Larimer County’s Empty Bowls fundraiser began in art class at Lopez Elementary School when the school’s art teacher inspired his students to create empty bowls to represent those who didn’t have enough to eat. Since then, area artists have worked together to support the event and the fight against hunger in the community.

This year, beyond the coveted hand-crafted bowls created specifically for the event and the artwork showcased in the annual silent auction, Empty Bowls is proud to feature the culinary arts. With the expanding list of quality, local dining options in the community, area chefs are using their creativity to invent tasty and distinctive soups for this year’s event.

One unique addition to this year’s menu comes from the Food Bank’s new community kitchen manager, Justin Kruger. Kruger joined the Food Bank in December after moving to Fort Collins a little over a year ago to be closer to family. With 11 years of restaurant experience in Portland and Napa Valley, he brings a new perspective to the Food Bank kitchen. For this year’s Empty Bowls, Kruger will be preparing Fabuda Asturiana, a traditional sausage and bean soup from Northern Spain. Kruger perfected the recipe when he was executive chef at a tapas restaurant in Oregon.

“The owners of the restaurant traveled extensively in Spain and asked me to add Fabuda Asturiana to the menu,” explained Kruger. After extensive research and experimentation, Kruger developed his signature recipe. “I’m excited to use my skills to help the mission of the Food Bank in any way I can.”

Another new addition to the Empty Bowls’ menu comes from one of the city’s newest restaurants, The Kitchen. “The Kitchen’s mission ‘Community Through Food,’ is founded upon the belief that the ability to share good food and drink connects us as a family, friends and community,” said Whitney Flight, Hospitality Manager at The Kitchen Fort Collins. “As a part of the Fort Collins community, we are so pleased to provide food to the Food Bank for Larimer County[‘s Empty Bowls event] so that others may enjoy the comforts and value of a shared meal.”

Also new to this year’s menu is the Pateros Creek Cache La Porter Cheese Soup, from Silver Grill Cafe. This fun and unique collaboration soup will be served with cinnamon roll croutons. The newly opened Anheuser-Busch Biergarten will provide Chef Antoine Salazar’s smoked red pepper and tomato bisque.

Empty Bowls has grown from offering five signature soups in 1998 to twenty soups in 2015. Confirmed restaurants include: Anheuser-Busch Biergarten, Austin’s American Grill, Bisetti’s, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, Crown Pub, Fish, Fiona’s Deli and Catering, Food Bank Community Kitchen, The Moot House, Panino’s, PVH Café 1024, The Rio, Silver Grill Cafe, Spoons Soups and Salads, Spring Creek Grill at The Hilton and Whole Foods.

The 18th annual Empty Bowls Fort Collins will be Thursday, February 5 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hilton, 425 W. Prospect. Event guests will enjoy hand-crafted soups and have the opportunity to select a pottery bowl made by students in the Poudre School District or by local artists from the City of Fort Collins’ Pottery Studio and the Northern Colorado Pottery Guild. A very limited amount of tickets remain. Tickets are $50 each or $95 for a pair and can be purchased online or by phone (970) 493-4477.

Year in Review

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   “I never thought it would be this hard.”

                       — Food Bank Client, Senior, Living on Fixed Income




As we head into 2015, here’s a snapshot of last year’s work.

In 2014, the Food Bank for Larimer County…

  • served 29,034 individuals through Food Share (up 2.7%)
  • provided 8,918,016 pounds of food (enough for 7,431,680 meals)
  • distributed 3,406,648 pounds of fresh produce (up 16.6%)

Of additional significance and concern is the fact that the number of seniors we served through our Food Share pantry increased for the fifth year in a row. Our older clients tell us how difficult it is to find affordable housing, pay for medicine and other necessities on a fixed income. In the words of one client, “I never thought it would be this hard.”

And despite reports of economic growth, the need for food assistance in our community is still great. We see it every day in the lines outside our door. We hear it in the stories our clients tell of their struggles to find good paying jobs that cover expenses like rent, childcare and utilities. And, sadly, we learn about the struggles of the retired teacher who lost everything she worked for after a catastrophic illness.

With all of these stories in mind, we will continue to look for ways to better serve our clients in the coming year. As always, we are grateful for our supporters who allow us to work towards our vision of a hunger-free Larimer County.

Tough Choices

The lines we see during the long, cold days of winter remind that many of our clients, who are already struggling to make ends meet, face tough choices every day. Food or heat? Food or childcare? Food or rent? Food or medicine? Whatever their situation happens to be, these families and individuals don’t have enough money to buy food and sometimes have to skip meals or make a simple sandwich last an entire day.

Fortunately, with the help of supporters like you, we are able to provide food to our neighbors in need. Clients can visit our Food Share pantry twice each week to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk and bread. Our services allow our clients to use their limited funds for housing, transportation to get to work, heat or other necessities.

The 2014 Hunger in America Study conducted by Feeding America, revealed the face tough choices our clients face:* 

  • 79% had to choose between food and medicine/medical care

  • 76% had to choose between food and utilities

  • 67% had to choose between food and transportation

  • 54% had to choose between food and housing

  • 39% had to choose between food and student loans or tuition

*Choices clients reported making in the past 12 months.

What would you choose?

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Make Monthly Giving Your 2015 Resolution!


2015-Calendar-01f04Fight Hunger Year-Round! Join our Elite Sustainers’ Club. Each month, nearly 13,000 children, seniors and struggling families are counting on food from the Food Bank for Larimer County to get by when times are tough. To make sure we can help our neighbors in need, we count on our Elite Sustainers, a special group of our most dedicated supporters who are committed to ending hunger in Larimer County.  You can become an Elite Sustainer by joining our monthly giving club. There’s no easier way to help fight hunger. By giving up just one cup of coffee or restaurant meal each week, YOU can help make sure no one is hungry in Larimer County.

Reasons to join our Elite Sustainers’ Club

Efficiency. Your monthly commitment helps us to plan ahead, budget more effectively and respond to needs throughout the year.
Impact. Every $1 of your monthly gift provides $5 in groceries for seniors, children, young families, students and veterans who are struggling to make ends meet.
Convenience. Monthly credit card gifts save you time and postage.
Flexibility. You can change or stop your donation at any time.

Get Started

To set up a monthly gift, please go to our secure online donation page and indicate that you would like your donation to recur each month. Your credit card will conveniently be billed on the same day each month. If you have questions about this program, please email Heather Buoniconti or call 970-530-3101.

In thHoliday Emaile first 10 days of December, 10,000 people visited the Food Bank’s Food Share pantry needing help.That’s 1,000 more people than last year at the same time. Times are tough for many of our neighbors this holiday season. We’re serving seniors who are struggling to live on fixed retirement incomes. We’re helping young families who are working, but can’t make ends meet after paying for housing, childcare and other fixed expenses. Students and young graduates are turning to us when the costs of education far out weigh their earnings.
Whatever their situation happens to be, these families and individuals aren’t able to buy enough food and sometimes have to skip meals or make a simple sandwich last an entire day. Without our help, these people face tough choices. Food or rent? Food or childcare? Food or heat? Food or medicine? Fortunately, with the support of donors like you, we are able to help. Our neighbors in need can visit our Food Share pantry twice each week to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk and bread.
But with the increased demand for our services this holiday season, comes an increase in our need for your help. Will you donate today to make sure all of our neighbors have enough to eat this holiday season? Just $10 will provide enough food for 40 meals and hope for the future. Thank you so much for your support.