Kids Cafe Expands Summer Meal Program to Reach More Kids

Kids-Cafe-30Last summer, the Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program created and delivered a record-setting 41,609 meals at sites around Larimer County. The program served roughly 1,000 kids each day. Approximately 650 of those kids attended sites in Fort Collins. According to recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Colorado Department of Education and the Hunger Free Colorado, nearly 1,200 additional children are in need of summer feeding services in Fort Collins.

 “This summer, our focus will be on feeding more Fort Collins kids,” said Bruce Wallace, Programs Director. “After seeing the data from the USDA, CDE and Hunger Free Colorado report, we are committed to shrinking that gap.”

To work towards filling that gap, the Food Bank will partner with two new sites, CARE Housing at Peace with Christ Lutheran Church and Mathews House at Genesis Project, in 2015. To help meet increased demand, the Food Bank applied for and received a $15,000 grant from Disney Worldwide Services and a $20,000 from ConAgra. With new sites and additional funding, the Food Bank hopes to feed 500 more children this summer and increase the number of meals served to over 50,000.

Since 2005, the Food Bank for Larimer County’s Kids Cafe program has served free, nutritious meals to low-income children ages 3-18 after school and during the summer. The Food Bank partners with several Larimer County sites where children already congregate, including Boys and Girls Clubs, community centers and schools. In addition to healthy meals, Kids Cafe program sites also offer a safe place, where under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can get involved in educational, recreational and social activities.

Volunteers are needed to fill additional shifts in the Kids Cafe kitchen. Learn more here

Help the Food Bank Stamp Out Hunger on May 9

Stamp Out Hunger LogoThe Food Bank for Larimer County is asking for the community’s support on May 9 as it joins America’s letter carriers and Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Hosted each year by the National Association of Letter Carriers, Stamp Out Hunger is the largest single-day food drive in the country. The event helps to support the one in ten Larimer County residents who struggle with hunger.

“Stamp Out Hunger is like no other food drive. It allows every community across the country to collectively come together on one day to do their part to fight hunger. We are so grateful to community members who donate non-perishable items and for the letter carriers who take the time to collect each bag to help fight hunger in Larimer County,” said Amy Pezzani, Executive Director, Food Bank for Larimer County.

Residents can participate by donating non-perishable food items and leaving them near their mailboxes in the blue bag provided by their mail carrier or another sturdy bag on May 9. The Food Bank places a particular emphasis on nutrition and asks community members to donate nutritious items, including peanut butter (non-hydrogentated oil); canned tuna & chicken in water; canned fruits in fruit juice; and low sodium canned soups. No glass containers, please. A letter carrier will collect the donations and deliver them to the Food Bank. Items will then be distributed to those facing hunger right here in Larimer County. Residents are urged to call 970-481-5541 in the event that the food they have left outside for pick up has not been collected. If their call is not answered, they should leave a message that includes their phone number and their address.

Cash, checks, or on-line contributions towards the food drive are always welcome. Please write, “Letter Carriers Food Drive” on the check or make a note to an online donation. However, cash and checks should never be placed in the food drive bags left for the letter carriers for pick up, because processing so much food takes several weeks. Cash donations can be mailed to the Food Bank for Larimer County, 1301 Blue Spruce, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80524.

According to Feeding America’s recently released Map the Meal Gap 2015 study, 43,940 Larimer County residents are food insecure. Stamp Out Hunger is the opportune time for the public to help neighbors who struggle with hunger.

“Hunger affects every community in the country,” said Fredric Rolando, NALC president. “At least six days a week, our letter carriers are a local touch point in communities everywhere and we are thrilled to be able to support our neighbors in need though the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.”

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive was created in 1993 by the National Association of Letter Carriers to encourage communities to come together in an effort to stock the shelves of food banks and pantries nationwide. The event is held on the second Saturday of May each year. For 22 years, the Food Bank for Larimer County and local letter carriers have worked together to contribute to the national food drive, delivering over 1,000,000 pounds of donated food to help those in need. Stamp Out Hunger  is held in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Last year, letter carriers collected over 70 million pounds of food donations to be donated to their local food bank and pantries. The United States Postal Service, AFL-CIO, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, United Way, Valassis and Valpak are all supporting this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

New Fort Collins Food Share Days/Hours To Address Food Insecurity Service Gap

FoodShareFoodBank_LoFCBeginning June 1, 2015, the Food Bank’s Food Share pantry in Fort Collins will be changing operational days and hours to provide expanded access for Larimer County residents in need of food assistance. According to Map the Meal Gap (MMG) data recently released by Feeding America, 43,940 individuals or 14.4%, of Larimer County residents are food insecure. Further, 19% of Larimer County children are considered food insecure. Food insecurity is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measure of lack of access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

“Despite reports of low unemployment, food insecurity is an ongoing concern in our community,” said Amy Pezzani, Executive Director, Food Bank for Larimer County. “The 2015 Map the Meal Gap data supports what we see every day – a consistent need for food assistance. The numbers of people we serve really have not changed since 2010 and neither has the percentage of food insecure individuals in our community.”

Since 2010, the Food Bank’s two Food Share pantries (Loveland and Fort Collins) have served approximately 29,000 unduplicated individuals each year. Through the Food Bank’s partnerships with more than 80 nonprofits and its child nutrition programs, the Food Bank serves an additional 6,000 individuals each year. Comparing the MMG data with internal Food Bank service data, there is a gap in service of approximately 9,000 individuals.

While the Fort Collins Food Share will be changing days and hours of operation, Loveland Food Share days and hours will remain the same. Altering the Fort Collins’ schedule provides individuals in need of food assistance with access to a Food Bank Food Share facility six days per week. Additionally, the change to the hours of operation will allow individuals who work traditional hours to visit Food Share in Fort Collins after work.

“We believe that this change, given our current resources, will help us reach more people in need of food assistance,” said Pezzani.

 

New Fort Collins Food Share Days/Hours

Monday – Friday; 1 – 6 pm

CSFP Distribution

Tuesday & Thursday

1 – 4 pm

 

Loveland Food Share Days/Hours

Tuesday – Saturday; 9 am – 2 pm

CSFP Distribution

Wednesday & Friday

9 am – 12 pm

Open Call for Plant It Forward: More Neighborhood Champions Needed!

plant it forward logoPlant it Forward, a joint partnership program between the Gardens on Spring Creek and the Food Bank for Larimer County, is recruiting interested Northern Colorado community members and groups to become 2015 Neighborhood Champions. These individuals and groups advocate and encourage their network of neighbors to plant, grow, and harvest an extra row or two of garden produce to donate to the Food Bank to feed neighbors in need.

Are you interested in learning more? Attend our info session about this year’s efforts at our upcoming Plant it Forward Neighborhood Champion Info Session on Thursday, April 30 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Avenue, Fort Collins. RSVP to Josh Greene at jgreene@foodbanklarimer.org.

Neighborhood champions volunteer their front porches or places of business as drop off locations so that those who cannot make it to The Gardens or the Food Bank will still be able to donate. Champions receive identifying yard signs and designated collection bins to make collecting produce easy throughout the growing season.

For more information or to RSVP for the orientation, please contact Josh Greene, Food Resource Manager, at jgreene@foodbanklarimer.org.

Front Range Rally Tickets on Sale Now!

FRR2014-950 Craft Brewers. 12 Food Trucks. 2 Live Bands.

The third annual Front Range Rally is scheduled for Saturday, May 30 in the parking lot of the Loveland Food Share, 2600 North Lincoln Avenue from 2:30 – 7 pm. Beer and food lovers are invited to gather for an afternoon of beer tasting, food sampling and live music from Taggart, Silas & Wickam and the Felonius Smith Trio. All event proceeds benefit the Food Bank.

New this year, with the purchase of a “VIP PlusTicket,” beer aficionados can attend the American Sours Seminar featuring a panel discussion with five brewers as well as a sampling of a variety of sours. This private session ticket is $80 and also includes VIP admission to the festival. Session attendance is limited to 40. VIP tickets to this year’s event are $60 and provides early entry (1:30 pm), access to the VIP tent which features exclusive beer varieties, seating, shade and private restroom as well as admission to the festival grounds, unlimited beer sampling and live music. General Admission tickets are $40 and include unlimited beer sampling and live music. A Designated Drive ticket is also available for $10 and offers festival admission, live music and water and soft drinks; no alcoholic beverages. All food is sold separately.

Buy Tickets

Walmart’s Fight Hunger Spark Change Campaign Kicks Off April 6

Fight Hunger Spark Change_LogoFrom April 6 to May 3, 2015 Walmart is teaming up with Feeding America member food banks, including the Food Bank for Larimer County, to fight hunger and spark change across the country.

3 easy ways you can help:

In-store Purchases
Purchase your favorite specially marked products and participating manufacturers will donate $0.10/per item to member food banks based on the location where the items are purchased.

Register Donations
Your financial gifts of any amount made at the register will be allocated to member food banks based on the location where the donation is made.

Social Media
Share your smiles to raise funds for the Feeding America food banks, including ours! During the campaign, Walmart will raise awareness about the one in six people struggling with hunger in the U.S through a social media challenge. All food banks stand to benefit! Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a picture of six people committed to fighting hunger (for the 1 in 6 people in our nation who struggles with hunger)
  2. Post the picture on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – use the campaign hashtag #wesparkchange
  3. Make sure your post is public to ensure it can be counted
  4. Walmart will donate $10 for every qualifying post, up to $1.5 million!
  5. Share your post and encourage others to participate

 

April is National Volunteer Month!

Motherlove
Volunteers are the hearts and hands of our organization.  Without them, we would not be able to provide food to nearly 36,000 people each year. In 2014, over 2,400 volunteers donated their time and talents to the Food Bank. These volunteers logged over 34,000 hours of service; the equivalent of 16 full-time staff!

Volunteer positions at the Food Bank vary from regular weekly shifts that include sorting food or assembling meals for our Kids Cafe and snack programs to one-time assistance at one of our special events. We also offer group volunteer opportunities. To learn more about volunteering at the Food Bank, click here.

To all of our volunteers, thank you for all that you do!

Take a sneak peek at the 2015 TASTE Menu!

TASTE-logo-tagline-final (2)

Buy Tickets

 

4th Street Chophouse

Confit lamb belly sliders; Chophouse crab cakes

Ace Gillett’s Lounge

Steamed buns with house cured pork belly, Asian BBQ sauce  and fresh Kim Chi; Ahi lomi lomi on puffed rice; montaditos

Austin’s American Grill

Slow roasted pork ribs, chipotle barbecue sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes

Avogadro’s Number

Roasted chicken noodle soup; a variety of open-faced sandwiches; homemade chocolate chip cookies

Babette’s Feast Catering

Mini quiche appetizers; beef/asparagus roll-ups; chocolate truffles

Beantrees Drive-Thru Coffee Café

Iced chai and flavored lattés; hot regular and decaf drip coffee

Bent Fork the Grill

Buffalo pot roast with Parmesan scalloped potatoes and butternut squash

Biergarten @ Anheuser-Busch

“Chipanada” slider-size Budweiser-poached bratwurst with black crown onions; caprese skewers; Island Cake (Goose-Island carrot cake)

Bisetti’s Ristorante

Roasted garlic rock shrimp penne; tiramisu

The Boot Grill

Slow-marinated pepper steak medallions; cream cheese bites with balsamic sweet chili drizzle; house-made pork green chili

Butter Cream Cupcakery

Red velvet, vanilla on chocolate mini cupcakes, and salted caramel mini cupcakes

Cache Old Town Bar & Grill

Café Vino

Bacon wrapped dates; “barely buzzed” cheddar and balsamic pearl onion skewers; dark chocolate truffle/milk chocolate raspberry truffle; blood orange macaroon

CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing

Sigda’s Green Chili Ale cheddar elk sausage on a pretzel bun with bacon beer sauerkraut; cheese and artichoke dip in a mini bread boule; white chocolate bread pudding

El Monte Grill

Duck tamales with house-made mole

Enzio’s Italian Kitchen

Pasta putanesca, roasted chicken, olives, garlic, tomato, chile infused ditalini; angel wing cookie; blueberry infused ganache; vanilla bean anglaise

FCB Modern Tavern

Chocolate Stout braised sirloin tacos with roasted red pepper coulis topped with cojita; bacon-wrapped pretzels with IPA mustard; smoked marzen bacon beer jam crostini with ale-braised turkey and dill havarti

Fish

Gluten free, organic king salmon gravlax canapé; gluten free juniper and coffee crusted albacore with stone fruit demi

Food Bank for Larimer County Community Kitchen

Whole wheat soft pretzel with cheese sauce; meatball slider on a whole wheat bun; Southwest lasagna

Food for Thought Catering

Beet goat cheese ravioli with micro greens and honey herb vinaigrette; Peruvian chicken wings; pork meatballs stir fry

Happy Lucky’s Teahouse & Treasures

Cocoa Rosa herbal blend; Wuyi Oolong; apple cinnamon spice black tea blend; Rooibos Red Bush Chai herbal blend; iced hibiscus ginger lemonade

Island Grill

Blackened fish tacos

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar

Fresh shucked oysters, atomic cocktail sauce, lemon, mignonette; scallop aranicini, bacon aioli, pea shoots; s’mores torte, dark chocolate ganache

Mainline Ale House

50/50 sliders; grilled sweet corn bisque; crème fraiche (gluten free); PB and marshmallow brownies

Moot House

Red bird chicken terrine, Hatch green chile, stone ground grits; dark chocolate mousse, salted caramel, espresso crunch

Pulcinella Pizzeria

Gourmet spinach pizza; garlic cheese bread; gourmet marinara sauce

RARE Italian

House-made mozzarella; peperonata with crostini

Restaurant 415

Mini beet salads with house-made balsamic dressing, mini fried goat cheese, roasted beets; vegetarian stuffed shells; spaghetti squash

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

Shrimp diabla; Rio house salsa; Rio atomica salsa; Rio crème brule

Social

Jamón serrano; smoked salmon pâté

Spoons Soups and Salads

A taste of international soups; Spoons handcrafted focaccia bread

Spring Creek Grille @ the Hilton

Buffalo rueben griller; cherry cobbler

Tastebuds Catering and RISE! a breakfast place

Thai pork meatballs with fresh ginger lime glaze; roast kale and white bean crostini

Tortilla Marissa’s

Street tacos with drunken salmon, pork with mango mole and  achiote chicken – all gluten free; guacamole, chips and salsa

beef/asparagus roll-ups; chocolate truffles

 

 

Join the fight!

FoodFightLogo v 6Grab your colleagues and join the fight against hunger in our community by participating in the Corporate Food Fight. Now in its 16th year, the Corporate Food Fight challenges local businesses to raise food and funds for the Food Bank for Larimer County. The event runs the entire month of April, but each company designs their own campaign timeline. Some companies do a basic and simple food drive or have a food based event like a bake sale or chili cook-off – others get down-right creative and do things like executive tricycle races or have genuine food fights! Big or small, your business can make a huge impact on the fight against hunger in our community! To join the fight, contact Heather Buoniconti before April 1.

The 15th annual Corporate Food Fight raised nearly $120,000 and over 10,500 pounds of food! Thirty-two companies participated in our biggest fundraiser of the year. And in 15 years, the Food Fight has raised nearly $1 million for local hunger-relief programs. 

These companies have already joined the fight!

Advantage Bank  * Associates in Family Medicine * AMD * Avago Technologies * CA Techonologies * Clay Pot Creative * Constant Contact * Employment Solutions * Eye Center of Northern Colorado * FirstBank * First National Bank * First Tech Federal Credit Union – Fort Collins * First Tech Federal Credit Union – Loveland * First Western Trust * Flood and Peterson * Heska * HP * Intel * Liberty Tax Service * LPR Construction * Neenan Company * New Belgium Brewing * NVIDIA * Odell Brewing Company * Platte River Power Authority * PROSCI * University of Colorado Health * Versus Bank * Xcel Energy * Wells Fargo Advisors – Davis Management Group * Woodward