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!

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)
  • NVIDIA
  • 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.

Monthly Donations Have a Big Impact Over Time

Monthly Donations to the Food Bank for Larimer County

Making monthly donations to the Food Bank for Larimer County is a great way to support families, seniors, and children in need in our community. As a Stability Partner of the Food Bank, your donations over time will add up to have a big impact on those living with food insecurity. Signing up for monthly donations makes it is easier to fit your donations into your budget. Plus, our system is automated, meaning you just have to set it up once!

Every gift, no matter how large or small makes a difference to those who face hunger. Thanks to a nationwide network of food donors and our efficient operations, for every $1 you donate, we can provide $5 worth of food to a family in need. As a Stability Partner, your monthly donation sustains our mission and fosters our ability to provide a consistent source of nutrition for our clients. By making a regular contribution, at any level, you will 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.

In thanks and recognition for your gift, Stability Partners receive:

  • Invitation to annual reception
  • Personalized year-end impact statement

When you donate to the Food Bank for Larimer County, $0.94 of every dollar donated is used for hunger relief initiatives and more than 36,000 individuals will be served this year alone. Learn more about the impact monthly donations will have on those in need in our community by clicking here.

All donations to the Food Bank for Larimer County are tax-deductible and easy to make. Donate safely through our online donation system here or donate over the phone with a credit card by calling us at 970.493.4477. Donations can also be made by mailing your gift to Food Bank for Larimer County, 1301 Blue Spruce Dr., Fort Collins, CO 80524.

Save the Date – Empty Bowls 2018

Empty Bowls presented by First National Bank

Great news! Empty Bowls 2018 is officially sold out!

Twenty-one 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. Empty Bowls has grown from offering five signature soups in 1998 to over twenty soups in 2016 and has raised $775,000 for the Food Bank’s hunger-relief programs.

This year, as in years past, local restaurants like Spoons will be serving delicious soups – more than 20 different offerings to sample. Even better, attendees will get to take home soup bowls created by local artists and students.

Thursday, February 15, 2018, at the Hilton Fort Collins

Time: VIP Reception: 4:30-5:30 pm; Dining & Silent Auction: 5:30-8:30 pm

Your Support Matters: Food Bank Guest Stories

Your continued support of the Food Bank for Larimer County really does matter. For every $1 donated, we are able to provide $5 worth of food to children, seniors, and families facing hunger every day. Many families rely on the Food Bank to eat and without your support, they would simply go hungry.

See the faces of hunger in our community and learn more about how your support helps them and their families, exactly where they need it most:

James, Food Bank Guest

James

James is an 81 year old guest of the Food Bank for Larimer County. He works part-time and is currently looking for full-time work because his Social Security benefits and savings are not enough to make ends meet. He has worked for decades as a painter, plumber, and electrician but is having trouble finding a steady job. James uses the money he saves on food to cover his fuel traveling to and from jobs and looking for work. James said, “I appreciate the help of the Food Bank and love the good quality food here.”

Linda

Linda lives with her husband and her daughter who is a single-mother daughter of two. The family does not qualify for Food Stamps and the Food Bank has been a, “huge blessing to feed their family.” Linda comes in weekly for food and especially diapers for her granddaughter, “They are a lifesaver.”

Allie, Food Bank Guest

Allie

“The Food Bank takes off a lot of pressure off of me. I am able to afford my monthly student loan payment and worry less about also buying food,” Allie, a 25 year old Food Bank guest, said. Despite working full-time, Allie and her partner rely on the food savings to afford to live in Northern Colorado. She loves the diversity of the Food Bank and enjoys the conversations and connections she’s able to make with other guests.

Rebecca

As a result of the rising housing costs in Larimer County, nearly all of Rebecca’s paycheck is eaten up by paying rent and filling her car with gas, despite her full-time job. She has little left for food or other expenses by the end of the month. “The Food Bank helps me eat much healthier than I could on my own. I worry less about food by coming here.” She also mentioned, “I LOVE the books available; it’s my only source of entertainment.”

Mike

Mike, a disabled Veteran, frequents the Food Bank to help put food on the table for his family including his wife, step-daughter, and grandson. “The Food Bank is a tremendous help for us and we’re thankful for all the good food we get here.”

Please consider a monthly, recurring donation to the Food Bank for Larimer County, volunteering or supporting us with a one-time donation to continue our mission of a hunger-free Larimer County.  By making a contribution, at any level, you will 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; giving us all a brighter and more vibrant community.

Be a Hero: Help Us Raise 60k in 60hrs with a Matching Campaign

60k in 60 hrs - Food Bank for Larimer County

We did it! Thanks to your generosity, the Food Bank exceeded its goal of raising $30,000 in its $60k in 60 Hours year-end match. Because of you and a matching donation from two local brothers, the Food Bank for Larimer County raised more than $60,000 to feed children, families, and seniors.

Thanks to all of our supporters who gave and helped spread the word for this last-minute event. Your gift will make a real difference in the lives of individuals and families who will come to rely on the Food Bank in 2018.

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.