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Food Resource Manager Plays an Integral Role at the Food Bank

Food Resource Manager for the the Food Bank for Larimer CountyIn the simplest terms, Josh Greene is responsible for getting food for the Food Bank for Larimer County to provide to families, children, and seniors in need in our community, but his role is anything but simple.

Greene grew up in Fort Collins, attending Poudre High School, and when he decided to settle down and start a family he headed back home; he now has three children and loves living here. Josh says he got into this career by accident. 

He worked in audio production, drove a truck, and then began managing a local food distribution company’s logistics and operations. When he saw a job posting for a similar role at the Food Bank for Larimer County he knew it was a perfect match of his skills and passion. At the Food Bank, Josh is the Food Resource Manager, in charge of all sourcing and transportation of food. He spends his day working to determine what the Food Bank needs, finding available food from retail partners, local farmers, and other organizations, and managing the logistics of getting it in house. 

Josh navigates partnerships with Feeding America, local retailers, and farmers, to source donated food that the Food Bank, in turn, distributes to people in need. While the food is donated, the Food Bank does have to pay transportation fees and other associated costs. However, Josh works hard to keep costs low, in fact, on average, the Food Bank pays less than $0.15 per pound for the food it distributes. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 9 million pounds of food through its hunger-relief programs. More than 3 million pounds of that food came from retail donors within Larimer County. An additional 25% of food was sourced from local Colorado agricultural producers and the remainder was acquired from national partnerships based on availability. Last year, the Food Bank served more than 36,000 individuals. 

When asked about his favorite part of his job, Josh said, “I like food system development. I thoroughly enjoy being a part of building a strong local food economy, working to reclaim waste and make food accessible to everyone.”

He wishes people better understood the scale at which the Food Bank operates. “There is a misconception that we are operating out of a garage and only distributing at church pantries, but it’s more than that. If people understood the scale, they would understand the need.”

Josh relayed a story of one Food Share client saying to him, “Thank you for feeding me today.” That sentiment has stuck with him to this day and he comes to work every day intending to do just that.

Watch this short video of Josh detailing the scale at which the Food Bank for Larimer County operates.

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Food Waste and the Food Bank Battle

We all do it. The day the milk goes “bad” according to a “best by” label it goes down the drain and the plastic container goes in the recycle bin. It’s understandable; we have been raised to believe that label on our green beans and spinach, our canned corn and pumpkin. Yet the reality is that none of those labels are regulated or even accurately indicate if a food is safe to consume.

Most foods are still good well past the “expiration date”, even fresh foods. As Ben Mensch, the volunteer coordinator at the Food Bank for Larimer County, puts it “Milk is not going to be fresh at 11:59pm and rotten at 12:01am, it just doesn’t work that way.” The problem with the dates and labeling is that none of it is regulated by the FDA or any other government agency (except for baby formula) for the consumer to actually know what is good or bad for them to consume. These numbers don’t even relate to food freshness, but instead are meant to work as a cataloging system for retailers to know when items were stocked. In May, a bill introduced in Congress has asked for federal regulation of food labeling in an attempt to cut down on food waste and inhibit states from passing bills that limit donations to food banks.

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Tough Choices

Making tough choices and trade-offs to keep food on the table

According to Hunger In America 2014 more than 46 million people each year including nearly 12 million children and 7 million seniors are receiving food assistance. Locally, the Food Bank for Larimer County and our partners participated in a study with 150 face-to-face interviews collected at 49 Food Link agencies, including the Food Bank’s Food Share programs, in Spring 2013.

Note: This report does not account for clients receiving food from other food providers such as day care centers and senior centers, residential programs for disabled and other food bank programs such as Kids Cafe and Kids Link.

Following are the choices client households reported making in the past 12 months:

  • 76% report choosing between paying for food and pay for utilities
    • 40% of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 67% report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation.
    • 39% of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 79% report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care.
    • 38% of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 54% report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing.
    • 33% of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 39% report choosing between paying for food and paying for school loans, tuition or other educational expenses.
    • 31% are making the choice every month.

You can be sure your gift to Food Bank for Larimer County will be used efficiently and effectively to feed those in need. $.96 of $1 is used for hunger-relief programming. And with just $1, Food Bank for Larimer County can provide $5 worth of food to an individual or family in need. We greatly respect and value our donors; please visit our Privacy Policy which ensures our commitment to you. For the 12th straight year, the Food Bank for Larimer County has been ranked as a 4-Star Charity by Charity Navigator.

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