At the Food Bank for Larimer County, we believe no one should be hungry. Our dream is to deliver health, hope and humanity to stabilize the lives of our clients and build a vibrant community. We are a private non-profit organization and the only Feeding America clearinghouse for donated food in our county. Each year, we provide food to more than 33,000 people in need through our programs and community partners.
A hunger-free Larimer County
Provide food to all in need through community partnerships and hunger-relief programs.
Integrity, accountability, efficiency, dignity
After conducting a survey in 1983, VISTA volunteer, Sandy Bowden verified a need for an efficient, centralized food collection and distribution resource that would avoid duplication of effort. She looked around the state to learn how other communities were serving the food needs of low-income individuals and determined that Larimer County needed a Food Bank. In 1984, under Sandy’s leadership, the Food Bank for Larimer County opened its doors on East Oak Street. During the first month of operation, Sandy and her volunteers were proud to provide 3,800 pounds of food to individuals and families in need. In those days, food came primarily from rotating food drives between different houses of worship. In the first 12 months, the Food Bank distributed 56,836 pounds of food.
We’ve grown a lot since those early days of operation. The Food Bank for Larimer County today distributes enough food for up to 8 million meals a year.
There have been so many innovations, adaptions, and expansions—bettering our ability to help those who are food insecure. We couldn’t have come so far without the work and dedication of the volunteers and staff before us.
Here are a few milestones that help tell our story:
1984: Sandy Bowden founds the Larimer County Food Distribution Center on East Oak Street in Fort Collins to respond to a food security need.
July 11, 1994: Wendie Robinson becomes the Food Bank’s next executive director. One of her first accomplishments was installing a new and larger-scale freezer.
Fall of 1999: The nonprofit gets a name change. Formerly called the Larimer County Food Distribution Center, it is renamed the Food Bank for Larimer County in an effort to better describe what the nonprofit does.
July 6, 2004: The Food Bank’s board appoints Amy Pezzani as the newest executive director. Amy brings a wealth of nonprofit experience to her role at the Food Bank. She had formerly served as the agency director and executive director for the Ozarks Harvest Food Bank.
June 2005: The Food Bank begins its Kids Cafe program. The focus is to address a critical need to provide children with lunches during the summer months, when they’re no longer able to get food access at schools.
June 2006: The Loveland Fresh Food Share opens at 2600 N. Lincoln Ave. The expansion comes after the Food Bank sees more than double the number of Loveland residents in need of services — from 489 Loveland visits in 2002 to 1,051 visits in 2006.
2008: Feeding America is rebranded. The Food Bank for Larimer County is a Feeding America partner. What’s Feeding America? It’s the nation’s largest food bank and food rescue network, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest. The organization got a name change as way to explain its mission more succinctly.
2017: Following an analyzation of service gaps, the Food Bank in October of 2016 launched its Mobile Pantry program in partnership with Foothills Unitarian Church. Just a month before, the Food Bank also created partnerships with Volunteers of America to create made-from-scratch meals for homebound seniors. In its first four months of operation, the program provided 7,800 meals.
Summer of 2017: The Food Bank debuts its Kids Café food truck. This was made possible thanks to a $50,000 grant from Northern Colorado UNIFY.