Anniversary campaign launches with commemoration of trail-blazing founder

LARIMER COUNTY — In a 900-square-foot building on 216 E. Oak Street in Fort Collins, Sandy Bowden turned a need in her community into action.

On June 1, 1984, she opened what was then called the Larimer County Food Distribution Center with the aim to create a centralized food acquisition and distribution center. The idea was to help under-resourced human services organizations efficiently get nutrition out into the community.

Sandy had few tools at her disposal. But with a card table, folding chair, telephone and only $100 in the bank, her leadership, as the Food Bank’s earliest executive director and founder, would grow humble roots into an operation that today feeds more than 40,000 people annually.

This year, the Food Bank celebrates its 40th birthday. To mark the milestone, the Food Bank is launching a year-long campaign that will celebrate its pride in distributing food that has provided so much more than nutrition.

Food brings us all together. A home-cooked meal can be a message of love and comfort. A recipe shared is culture passed to a new generation. Food is a reason to gather. It is a way to create memories, mark milestones, and share laughter. Everyone deserves these experiences and to have enough to eat so that they can thrive.

As part of the campaign, stay tuned to catch stories celebrating food, shared through our website and social media channels. The Food Bank is also in the planning stages of creating a community celebration to mark this important milestone.

As Food Bank leaders look ahead, they’ll also be looking back at storied roots.

Bowden’s call to open a food bank started when she was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer conducting a survey to determine the nutritional needs of the marginalized. What it showed was a whole lot of food waste. The agencies to get the food out were there, but they needed a centralized location for storage and acquisition. Bowden noticed these agencies were using limited time and funds just to locate food and that there was no efficient system in place to get them food variety. One agency may be overflowing with bread, but have no meat, while another agency may be struggling to get any food at all.

Sandy, who died in September, 2023 at 81, was a trail blazer in fighting food insecurity and preventing food waste. She used multiple sources to get food. She worked with local grocery stores to glean high-quality food that otherwise would be wasted. She rallied local churches to host food drives and led droves of volunteers to clip coupons from newspapers and magazines. Volunteers taped the coupons to grocery store items and the store would give the coupon’s value back to the Food Bank, raising thousands of dollars.

By harnessing the power of the community, Sandy believed everyone who needed food could get food.

“In a country of plenty, we should be aware of those who are hungry and eliminate this hunger,” Sandy told the Coloradoan in 1985. “It is within our power to see that no one in Larimer County goes hungry. It is up to each of us as individuals to make this happen.”

With this same vision in mind, the Food Bank has grown and adapted to increase its reach to fight food insecurity. In 2023, alone, the Food Bank distributed more than 10 million pounds of food.

Today it provides food to Larimer County across multiple programs, including two brick-and-mortar no-cost markets and a Nutritious Kitchen which makes meals for seniors and kids.

The Food Bank also continues to distribute food to a network of nonprofit partners — more than 120 partners today —allowing food to reach rural and remote parts of the county. Staff also provide resources through numerous outreach endeavors, including free cooking classes and a team that assists people in signing up for SNAP benefits.

As the Food Bank marks its 40-year milestone, it will be taking pride in all the ways it has stepped up to fight hunger and it will be encouraging the community to get involved. Whether it’s volunteering 40 hours or donating $40, you can help us distribute food to Larimer County neighbors.

“I think when you give, it returns back to you in other ways,” Sandy told the Coloradoan in 1990. “Today may be a day you can donate and next week may be a week that you need donations.”

Learn more about the Food Bank’s 40th anniversary at

Food Bank for Larimer County Web Search

The Food Bank for Larimer County Fresh Food Share No-cost Markets and administrative will be closed Thursday, July 4 

This affects Food Bank locations.


El banco de alimentos para el condado de Larimer Fresh Food Share sin costo Los mercados y la administración estarán cerrados el jueves 4 de julio.

Esto afecta las ubicaciones de los Bancos de Alimentos.


A full closure of northbound College Ave. in Fort Collins will affect easy/regular access to our Food Share location at 1301 Blue Spruce from April 15 – 19. Plan accordingly. 

PLEASE NOTE: The Loveland Fresh Food Share has closed early Saturday, Feb. 24. It will re-open during regular business hours Tuesday. 


The Food Bank Food Share location at both Fort Collins (Blue Spruce) and Loveland (Lincoln Ave.) are closed Saturday, April 6.

Administrative Offices at Wright Drive in Loveland are closed Friday, April 5. 


Las ubicaciones de Food Share del Banco de Alimentos en Fort Collins (Blue Spruce) y Loveland (Lincoln Ave.) estarán cerradas el sábado 6 de abril.

Las oficinas administrativas en Wright Drive en Loveland estarán cerradas el viernes 5 de abril.

Due to inclement weather, the Food Bank’s office and Fresh Food Shares will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Normal business hours will resume at all locations Wednesday.
Please stay warm! 
Debido a las inclemencias del tiempo, la oficina del Banco de Comida y Fresh Food Shares estarán cerradas el martes 16 de enero.
El horario comercial normal se reanudará en todas las ubicaciones el miércoles.
¡Manténgase abrigado!

Due to winter holidays, please observe the changes in our regular schedule listed below:


Dec. 23-26: Food Share Pantries & Administrative Offices CLOSED

Dec. 27-29: OPEN Regular Hours

Dec. 30 – Jan. 1: Food Share Pantries & Administrative Offices CLOSED

Jan. 2: OPEN – Resume Regular Hours


We are different together.

At FBLC we are not all the same. And that is our greatest strength. We draw from our differences of who we are, what we have experienced, and how we think. We cultivate a dynamic and diverse work environment, one that plays a critical role in our ambitious work to end hunger, so we believe in including everyone.

FBLC is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy-related conditions), gender identity or expression (including transgender status), sexual orientation, marital status, military service and veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws and ordinances in the provisions of its programs, services, or activities to include discrimination against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

FBLC’s management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities, access to facilities, and programs and general treatment during employment.

We embrace a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity.

Our goal is to attract, develop, retain, and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.

FBLC endeavors to make our careers site accessible to any and all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact our Human Resources team at This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

Thinking about applying and feel you may not meet all of our qualifications?

If you believe you can shine in one of our roles, we encourage you to apply!

Be aware of altered Food Share hours during the week of

Monday, November 20 | OPEN | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday, November 21 | OPEN | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday, November 22 | OPEN | noon – 3:00 pm
Thursday, November 23 | CLOSED
Friday, November 24 | CLOSED
Saturday, November 25 | CLOSED
Sunday, November 26 | CLOSED
Monday, November 27 | CLOSED – Regular schedule resumes

If there is a government shutdown...

The most important thing for you to know, is the Food Bank for Larimer County IS NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY. No matter what happens, we will remain open and available to support you. 

There will be other changes you’ll need to know about.  Click here to learn more. 

Si hay un cierre del gobierno...

Lo más importante que debe saber es que el Banco de Comida del Condado de Larimer NO ES UNA AGENCIA GOBERNAMENTAL. Pase lo que pase, permaneceremos abiertos y disponibles para apoyarlos.

Habrá otros cambios que necesitarás conocer. Clic aquí para saber más.

The Food Bank for Larimer County Fresh Food Share Pantries will be closed Saturday, September 2. 

Our Administrative Offices will be closed Monday, September 4.


El Banco de Comida estará cerrado sábado, 2 de septiembre y lunes, 4 de septiembre.

Food Bank for Larimer County is closed Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

Banco de comida ester estará cerrado el miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2023.