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.

Stuff the Truck

A BIG thank you to everyone who took the time to purchase a turkey – and in some cases, many turkeys – and drop them off at the Food Bank’s Inaugural Stuff the Truck Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. In all, we collected 446 frozen turkeys that will go to our neighbors in need so they can enjoy a traditional holiday meal this Thanksgiving.

So far this holiday season, including the turkeys donated at Stuff the Truck, the Food Bank has received more than 2,300 turkeys (thank you!). But we still need your help. If you weren’t able to make to the Stuff the Truck event, you still have plenty of time to make a difference this holiday season. Consider dropping off holiday food items – including frozen turkeys – to any of our three Food Bank locations:

5706 Wright Drive, Loveland: Monday-Friday, 8 am-4 pm

1301 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins: Monday – Friday, noon-6 pm

2600 N. Lincoln Avenue, Loveland: Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am-2 pm

Stuff the Truck volunteers

 

And thank you as well to the team from Pediatric Dentistry of the Rockies who spent several hours at the Stuff the Truck event directing traffic and happily accepting the turkeys. Our volunteers are the best!

 

Meet the Board – Ty Fulcher

The Food Bank is fortunate to have some of the best volunteers around. Many may not realize that those who serve on our Board of Directors do so in a volunteer capacity. In the coming months we will feature members of our board so you can get to know those who are helping the Food Bank serve those in need. This month we are featuring Ty Fulcher, owner of Social and Union Bar and Soda Fountain.

What makes our mission meaningful to you?
Being in the hospitality and restaurant industry, food has always been a very big focus and passion in my life. Knowing that there are people in our community who struggle to be able to attain necessary food is heartbreaking. Our businesses have always been big supporters of the Food Bank, and to have the opportunity to work on the board is an honor.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
What spare time? :) When I’m not in work mode, I can normally be found with my family – my wife Emilee and I have a 4-year-old son named Tristan – or on my bike.

Do you volunteer or serve on other committees/boards in the community?
I recently joined the board and executive committee for the Downtown Business Association which is focused on supporting Old Town and helping it prosper.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Gig Harbor, Washington. I moved to Fort Collins for CSU in 2002.

Do you have pets?
Nope, just a 4-year-old son. That’s enough…

Make a Difference This Holiday Season

Help the Food Bank Stuff the TruckThe Food Bank for Larimer County is gearing up for our busiest season of the year with the holidays, colder weather, and increased need for food in our community. It will take us all to address hunger in our community and make the holiday season vibrant for everyone. But, we need your help! Consider joining us for one (or all!) of these activities:

  • Frozen turkeys: We hope to see you at our Stuff the Truck event, but if you can’t make it we will gladly accept frozen turkeys and holiday meal fixings at one of our three locations around the county. See donation location and hours here.
  • Colorado Gives Day: Save the date for December 4th, 2018, for Colorado Gives Day. It’s an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Even better, you don’t need to wait until December 4th to give to the Food Bank – you can schedule your CGD donation here.
  • Volunteer: Not only is it our busiest time of year, it’s also your busiest time of year which means we have lots of empty volunteer shifts at all Food Bank locations. If you’re looking for ways to make a big difference this holiday season, consider joining us for one of our regular shifts or a flexible evening or Saturday volunteer shift. Learn more!
  • Year-End Giving: As we approach the end of the year, there will be many opportunities for you to give financially to the Food Bank to help support our mission. We ask you to consider donating to help us address hunger among families, children, and seniors in our community. Donate here!

Thank you in advance for helping make this holiday season a little brighter for our neighbors in need.

Helping is Old Hat for Nine-Year-Old Boy

We see it all the time. A story on the local news or a post on social media about someone who has fallen on hard times and needs help. Some of us may take a moment to read the post, and a few of us may even be compelled to donate to a charity or volunteer at a local nonprofit. But for many of us, that’s where it ends.

Not so for Alex, a nine-year-old boy, who saw a news story about a woman discharged from the hospital wearing only a hospital gown and socks, waiting at a bus stop in the snow. He knew he had to act. “Mama, we have to do something,” Alex said to his mom. And that’s when Alex decided he needed to learn how to knit.

“I had just learned to knit scarves and he would go with me to the craft store and I would show him the looms to knit hats, socks and gloves,” said Alex’s mom, Bri. “He remembered we could knit things and asked me if I could learn and teach him.”

After Alex learned the basics of knitting from his mom, he recruited other family members to help. “He got his grandma involved and four of his great-aunts. We have been knitting all spring and summer,” Bri said. “We are at about 200 hats so far and have some people starting on scarves as well. We still have a little more time before cold weather hits, so the hope is to get that number higher.”

The goal is to donate the knitted hats and scarves to the Food Bank or other local organization who can get the items to those who need them most.

As great as Alex’s knitting effort is, it’s not his first charitable endeavor. Last year, Alex worked with Clothes To Kids in Denver to collect 874 pairs of underwear and socks.

Not bad for a little boy who loves wrestling and just earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. “He’s just a big hearted 9-year-old,” Bri said. “Alex always wants to help people. We try to encourage our kids to help others because we are very fortunate with the life we have.”

So, what’s next for Alex? He’s talked about starting a lemonade stand and using the proceeds to buy groceries for someone in need. “I’m not sure what he will decide to do next,” Bri said. “But whatever it is, we will support him.”

Food Bank Hosts Open House at New Distribution Facility

Food Bank open houseThe community turned out in a big way to help the Food Bank celebrate Hunger Action Month with an open house at its new HQ and distribution facility in Loveland. Visitors were able to tour the newly-renovated 42,000-sq. ft. building, located at 5706 Wright Drive in Loveland, to see how the Food Bank is expanding to meet the need.

Attendees of the open house got to tour the 173,500 cu. ft. freezer and cooler space, see the 2,400 sq. ft. commercial kitchen, and relax in the 3,700 sq. ft. volunteer center. All of this additional space at the new facility will allow Food Bank staff and volunteers to source, store and distribute more food within the community.

The Food Bank plans to host more events at its new facility throughout the year. Stay tuned!

How We Got Here

On May 21, the Food Bank began a new chapter with a move to a new Headquarters and Distribution Center. For the Food Bank, it’s more than just a new address, it’s a fresh approach to hunger in our community.

Last year, the Food Bank for Larimer County distributed 9.1 million pounds of food to residents in our county. Each month, the Food Bank serves an average of 15,000 guests through its fresh food pantries alone. There is a real need in our community, often driven by wages that have not kept up with the increasing cost of living, the rising cost of medical care, and the expense of childcare.

To meet that growing need, last year the Food Bank for Larimer County announced expansion plans. Those plans have become a reality with this move.

The move primarily affects staff, volunteers and agency partners. Guests of the Food Bank’s two fresh food pantries in Fort Collins and Loveland continue to shop for food as they in the past.

Please read the following FAQs about the move and don’t hesitate to reach out with any further questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHY DID THE FOOD BANK MOVE TO A NEW LOCATION?
When the Food Bank moved into the old warehouse in the 1980s, it was distributing less than 500,000 pounds of food a year. In 2017, the Food Bank distributed 9.2 million pounds of food. The new facility offers thousands of square feet of warehouse, cooler and freezer space and will allow the Food Bank to continue to expand as the need grows in Larimer County.

WHAT IS THE ADDRESS OF THE NEW LOCATION?
Our new HQ and distribution facility is located at 5706 Wright Drive, in Loveland, near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

IS THE FORT COLLINS OR LOVELAND FOOD SHARE PANTRY MOVING?
No, both Food Share pantries will remain in their current locations. In Fort Collins, the Food Bank plans to lease the warehouse space and continue to distribute food through its Food Share Pantry on Blue Spruce Drive.

WILL GUESTS BE ABLE TO GET FOOD AT THE NEW WAREHOUSE LOCATION?
No, the new building will serve as a distribution facility, with no public access, except for volunteers and community partners.

WHERE CAN I MAKE A DONATION?
For your convenience, we now accept food and monetary donations at all three of our locations. Addresses and donation hours are as follows:

5706 Wright Dr., Loveland, Monday – Friday, 8 am-4 pm
1301 Blue Spruce Dr., Fort Collins, Monday – Friday, noon-6 pm
2600 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am-2 pm

If you have further questions about the move, please contact us.

Students Gain Valuable Experience at Food Bank

ACE student River helps clean at the Food Bank

If you have been to the Food Bank’s Wright Drive warehouse lately, you may have noticed a few fresh faces around. Those faces belong to Poudre School District students who are part of the ACE program. ACE stands for Alternative Cooperative Education and is a program that provides valuable work-based instruction to students who have a barrier or disability.

The Food Bank has worked with students through various PSD programs for several years. The latest partnership began when ACE Coordinator Greg Brigham reached out to the Food Bank looking for vocational opportunities for students with a wide-range of needs. Finding student work options that align with school and program schedules can be challenging and Greg was overjoyed to learn the Food Bank had jobs for just about any schedule and skill set.

“Working with the Food Bank has exceeded my wildest dreams as an internship site,” Greg said. “The Food Bank volunteer coordinators have been wonderful. Our group gets to do real work in an environment outside of school. The work being done replicates tasks and skills that will be needed in future employment or volunteer settings.”

ACE students at the Food Bank

Top left, River and PSD paraprofessional Tom clean at the Food Bank. Above, Noah and Tom rearrange the volunteer break room.

Currently, seven PSD students work at the Food Bank. Most work four days a week, for about an hour and a half each day. Several of the students are very independent, showing up, signing in and going straight to work in the warehouse. A few students who initially needed additional supervision, now work independently doing tasks such as dishes, mopping and handling recycling. Still other students work directly with a paraprofessional to help as they sweep, mop, sort, break down boxes and organize. A paraprofessional is a job coach who helps the students learn new tasks and oversees their progress.

“They are getting pretty good at TEFAP production,” Greg said, referring to the students and their work sorting The Emergency Food Assistance Program items. “In all assigned tasks, they’ve progressed beyond direct verbal and physical support to being more independent.”

Greg is optimistic about the partnership continuing into next semester and beyond. “In addition to the steadily growing relationships being built between Food Bank staff and our students, what is most appreciated is the flexibility of staff to create and adapt work assignments to each student’s abilities,” Greg said. “Many times, young people who have difficulty in academic settings excel in work settings. Allowing them to have a taste of success just might be the catalyst towards a more fulfilling adult life.”

To learn more about the ACE program, visit the Poudre School District online.

CSU Community Sets Record with this Year’s Cans Around the Oval

2018 Cans Around the Oval totalsThe numbers are in for this year’s Cans Around the Oval event and once again the CSU community has gone above and beyond to support the Food Bank for Larimer County and its hunger-relief efforts.

In addition to collecting 35,456 pounds of food, this year’s Cans Around the Oval set a record with $61,459 in monetary donations. Once sorted, the food will be distributed primarily to the Food Bank’s community partners, while the monetary donations will be used to fund Food Bank programs like its Fresh Food Share pantries and Nutritious Kitchen

“Once again, the students, faculty and staff of CSU, along with other members of the community, have exceeded our expectations,” said Food Bank for Larimer County CEO Amy Pezzani. “To be on campus and see the energy around the issue of hunger, and then to witness the generosity of giving is heartwarming. A special thank you to all at CSU who worked to make this event such a success.”

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 Around the Oval has grown to become 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.

In the more than three decades since Cans Around the Oval began, it has evolved to become one of the largest food drives in the Larimer County, resulting in more than 2 million donated meals.

“We want to thank all who contributed food and monetary donations, participated in CANStruction, and volunteered at Collection Day,” said Sarah Stephens, senior program coordinator for the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office, which leads the annual Cans efforts. “We also thank the Food Bank for Larimer County for their continued partnership and support with this program. We are so appreciative of the collective efforts and the significant donations raised to better support food insecure folks and alleviate some of the burdens experienced by these individuals in our greater community. We are so appreciative of everyone at CSU and in the community who gave generously this year.”

Congratulations to the CSU College of Business, Office of the Vice President of Research and Rocky Mountain High School for being this year’s top three donors.

Click here to learn more about Cans Around the Oval.

18 Years and Counting: Volunteering to Make a Difference

Food Bank VolunteersVolunteers are the backbone of the Food Bank for Larimer County. In 2017, volunteers generously contributed more than 39,000 hours of their time – equivalent to 19 full-time staff! These volunteers helped us collect, sort, repack and distribute 9.2 million pounds of food! We simply could not do what we do without their help.

We’re incredibly thankful that many of our volunteers not only give their time regularly, many of them have been doing so for years. John and Susan have been volunteering at the Food Bank for nearly 18 years and we sincerely appreciate their support.

They are members of the Tuesday Morning Group – a bunch of hardworking volunteers who get together each Tuesday to get things done. “We’re a good group,” John said. “Sometimes new volunteers join the group and we try to show them how it’s done.”

After retiring in 2000, John and Susan moved to Fort Collins and Susan was concerned John “wouldn’t have anything to do.” A member of their church suggested the Food Bank and the rest is volunteering history.

“When we first started volunteering, I was amazed at the volume of food,” Susan said. “I thought there was no way they could distribute all that food. Boy, was I wrong. The amount of food that comes in and goes out still amazes me.”

Both agree that they are doing something worthwhile each time they volunteer. They also enjoy the time they spend with volunteers and staff. “The consistency of staff is always amazing,” John said. “They make you feel appreciated. Never have we come to volunteer and not received a thank you.”

John and Susan, and the many other Food Bank volunteers, are at the heart of our organization. We’re sending them a big BIG thank you for all their work and dedication over the years.

The Food Bank for Larimer County is in need of more volunteers for both regular weekly shifts or flexible weekend and evening shifts at all of our locations. Please click here to learn more about joining the ranks of John and Susan and our other many wonderful volunteers at the Food Bank.