Culinary Artists Add Additional Flair To Empty Bowls Fundraiser

247479009-tomato-soup-ladle-dish-object-potMore than 18 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.

This year, beyond the coveted hand-crafted bowls created specifically for the event and the artwork showcased in the annual silent auction, Empty Bowls is proud to feature the culinary arts. With the expanding list of quality, local dining options in the community, area chefs are using their creativity to invent tasty and distinctive soups for this year’s event.

One unique addition to this year’s menu comes from the Food Bank’s new community kitchen manager, Justin Kruger. Kruger joined the Food Bank in December after moving to Fort Collins a little over a year ago to be closer to family. With 11 years of restaurant experience in Portland and Napa Valley, he brings a new perspective to the Food Bank kitchen. For this year’s Empty Bowls, Kruger will be preparing Fabuda Asturiana, a traditional sausage and bean soup from Northern Spain. Kruger perfected the recipe when he was executive chef at a tapas restaurant in Oregon.

“The owners of the restaurant traveled extensively in Spain and asked me to add Fabuda Asturiana to the menu,” explained Kruger. After extensive research and experimentation, Kruger developed his signature recipe. “I’m excited to use my skills to help the mission of the Food Bank in any way I can.”

Another new addition to the Empty Bowls’ menu comes from one of the city’s newest restaurants, The Kitchen. “The Kitchen’s mission ‘Community Through Food,’ is founded upon the belief that the ability to share good food and drink connects us as a family, friends and community,” said Whitney Flight, Hospitality Manager at The Kitchen Fort Collins. “As a part of the Fort Collins community, we are so pleased to provide food to the Food Bank for Larimer County[‘s Empty Bowls event] so that others may enjoy the comforts and value of a shared meal.”

Also new to this year’s menu is the Pateros Creek Cache La Porter Cheese Soup, from Silver Grill Cafe. This fun and unique collaboration soup will be served with cinnamon roll croutons. The newly opened Anheuser-Busch Biergarten will provide Chef Antoine Salazar’s smoked red pepper and tomato bisque.

Empty Bowls has grown from offering five signature soups in 1998 to twenty soups in 2015. Confirmed restaurants include: Anheuser-Busch Biergarten, Austin’s American Grill, Bisetti’s, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, Crown Pub, Fish, Fiona’s Deli and Catering, Food Bank Community Kitchen, The Moot House, Panino’s, PVH Café 1024, The Rio, Silver Grill Cafe, Spoons Soups and Salads, Spring Creek Grill at The Hilton and Whole Foods.

The 18th annual Empty Bowls Fort Collins will be Thursday, February 5 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hilton, 425 W. Prospect. Event guests will enjoy hand-crafted soups and have the opportunity to select a pottery bowl made by students in the Poudre School District or by local artists from the City of Fort Collins’ Pottery Studio and the Northern Colorado Pottery Guild. A very limited amount of tickets remain. Tickets are $50 each or $95 for a pair and can be purchased online or by phone (970) 493-4477.

Year in Review

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   “I never thought it would be this hard.”

                       – Food Bank Client, Senior, Living on Fixed Income

 

 

 

As we head into 2015, here’s a snapshot of last year’s work.

In 2014, the Food Bank for Larimer County…

  • served 29,034 individuals through Food Share (up 2.7%)
  • provided 8,918,016 pounds of food (enough for 7,431,680 meals)
  • distributed 3,406,648 pounds of fresh produce (up 16.6%)

Of additional significance and concern is the fact that the number of seniors we served through our Food Share pantry increased for the fifth year in a row. Our older clients tell us how difficult it is to find affordable housing, pay for medicine and other necessities on a fixed income. In the words of one client, “I never thought it would be this hard.”

And despite reports of economic growth, the need for food assistance in our community is still great. We see it every day in the lines outside our door. We hear it in the stories our clients tell of their struggles to find good paying jobs that cover expenses like rent, childcare and utilities. And, sadly, we learn about the struggles of the retired teacher who lost everything she worked for after a catastrophic illness.

With all of these stories in mind, we will continue to look for ways to better serve our clients in the coming year. As always, we are grateful for our supporters who allow us to work towards our vision of a hunger-free Larimer County.

Tough Choices

The lines we see during the long, cold days of winter remind that many of our clients, who are already struggling to make ends meet, face tough choices every day. Food or heat? Food or childcare? Food or rent? Food or medicine? Whatever their situation happens to be, these families and individuals don’t have enough money to buy food and sometimes have to skip meals or make a simple sandwich last an entire day.

Fortunately, with the help of supporters like you, we are able to provide food to our neighbors in need. Clients can visit our Food Share pantry twice each week to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk and bread. Our services allow our clients to use their limited funds for housing, transportation to get to work, heat or other necessities.

The 2014 Hunger in America Study conducted by Feeding America, revealed the face tough choices our clients face:* 

  • 79% had to choose between food and medicine/medical care

  • 76% had to choose between food and utilities

  • 67% had to choose between food and transportation

  • 54% had to choose between food and housing

  • 39% had to choose between food and student loans or tuition

*Choices clients reported making in the past 12 months.

What would you choose?

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Make Monthly Giving Your 2015 Resolution!

 

2015-Calendar-01f04Fight Hunger Year-Round! Join our Elite Sustainers’ Club. Each month, nearly 13,000 children, seniors and struggling families are counting on food from the Food Bank for Larimer County to get by when times are tough. To make sure we can help our neighbors in need, we count on our Elite Sustainers, a special group of our most dedicated supporters who are committed to ending hunger in Larimer County.  You can become an Elite Sustainer by joining our monthly giving club. There’s no easier way to help fight hunger. By giving up just one cup of coffee or restaurant meal each week, YOU can help make sure no one is hungry in Larimer County.

Reasons to join our Elite Sustainers’ Club

Efficiency. Your monthly commitment helps us to plan ahead, budget more effectively and respond to needs throughout the year.
Impact. Every $1 of your monthly gift provides $5 in groceries for seniors, children, young families, students and veterans who are struggling to make ends meet.
Convenience. Monthly credit card gifts save you time and postage.
Flexibility. You can change or stop your donation at any time.

Get Started

To set up a monthly gift, please go to our secure online donation page and indicate that you would like your donation to recur each month. Your credit card will conveniently be billed on the same day each month. If you have questions about this program, please email Heather Buoniconti or call 970-530-3101.

In thHoliday Emaile first 10 days of December, 10,000 people visited the Food Bank’s Food Share pantry needing help.That’s 1,000 more people than last year at the same time. Times are tough for many of our neighbors this holiday season. We’re serving seniors who are struggling to live on fixed retirement incomes. We’re helping young families who are working, but can’t make ends meet after paying for housing, childcare and other fixed expenses. Students and young graduates are turning to us when the costs of education far out weigh their earnings.
Whatever their situation happens to be, these families and individuals aren’t able to buy enough food and sometimes have to skip meals or make a simple sandwich last an entire day. Without our help, these people face tough choices. Food or rent? Food or childcare? Food or heat? Food or medicine? Fortunately, with the support of donors like you, we are able to help. Our neighbors in need can visit our Food Share pantry twice each week to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk and bread.
But with the increased demand for our services this holiday season, comes an increase in our need for your help. Will you donate today to make sure all of our neighbors have enough to eat this holiday season? Just $10 will provide enough food for 40 meals and hope for the future. Thank you so much for your support.

Bread N Boards Raises Record $39,000!

Bread N BoardsSears Trostel’s Annual Bread N Boards fundraiser raised a record-breaking $39,000 for the Food Bank. The long lines when the  doors opened at 8:30 am were a good indication of things to come. In total, just shy of 1,000 custom wooden cutting boards were sold with all proceeds benefiting the Food Bank.  Sears Trostel employees handcraft cutting boards from scrap they collect throughout the year from other projects. With the purchase of each cutting board, guests also received finishing oil and a coupon for a free loaf of bread at Great Harvest. Since the event began nine years ago, it has raised over $180,000 to fight hunger in Larimer County!

Colorado Gives Day is December 9!

CGD 2014_Master(WORKING)Please help us raise $100,000 in 24 hours!

On Tuesday, December 9, Colorado Gives Day, our goal is to raise $100,000 in 24 hours to provide food for 400,000 meals. Each year, we serve nearly 36,000 individuals in need and provide food for more than 7.5 million meals. The numbers are staggering, but this isn’t just about numbers. It’s about real people who are struggling every day. It’s a grandmother living on social security struggling to find affordable housing. It’s a young family faced with housing, transportation and childcare costs while trying to live on wages that barely keep up with price increases. It’s the underemployed who can’t find full-time work in their chosen profession after spending years earning a degree and taking out student loans. These neighbors need your help.

 

 Will you join our supporters across the county and donate on December 9? 

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Don’t Miss Bread N Boards

Bread N Boards web Sears Trostel’s Annual Bread N Boards fundraiser is Saturday, December 6. Doors open at 8:30 am at Sears Trostel, 1500 Riverside Avenue, Fort Collins. Sears Trostel’s beautiful, handmade cutting boards make the perfect holiday gift. For your $25-30 donation you will receive one unique hardwood cutting board, a coupon for one free loaf of Great Harvest bread and one bottle of finishing oil. Personalization is available for an additional charge. A limited number of premium “signature” boards made by Sears Trostel employees and local woodworkers are available at additional cost. All proceeds from the event benefit the Food Bank - last year’s event raised nearly $24,000!

PSD Turkey Round Up Collects Record-breaking 1,669 Turkeys!

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Woooooooo Hoooooo! The Poudre School District and its turkey wranglers collected a record-breaking 1,669 turkeys for the Food Bank! Congratulations to Bacon Elementary School, the top wranglers, for collecting 300 turkeys.  Thank you to all of the schools that participated:  Bacon Elementary, Beattie Elementary, Blevins Middle School, Fort Collins High School, Fossil Ridge High School, Harris Elementary,  Johnson Elementary,  Laurel Elementary, Lesher Middle School, Lopez Elementary,  McGraw Elementary, Olander Elementary, Poudre High School, Preston Middle School, Riffenburgh Elementary, Shepardson Elementary,  Traut Elementary, Webber Middle School  and Zach Elementary. Finally, thanks to the staff at JSSC for delivering turkeys via Buster the school bus. The generosity of the PSD community means that thousands of Larimer County residents will get to enjoy a traditional holiday meal this season. 

 

Many Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

We are so grateful to live in a generous community. This time of year, many businesses and organizations partner with the Food Bank to offer many ways to give back this holiday season. Thank you to everyone for your support of the Food Bank and our vision of a hunger-free Larimer County.

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November 1 – December 31

Feed4More

This holiday season, Whole Foods Market shoppers can donate funds to the Feed4More campaign. Proceeds will be used to purchase foods at cost and then food will be donated to the Food Bank for Larimer County.

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November 1 – December 31

Donate to the Food Bank at Natural Grocers in November and December and they will match your gift (up to $50,000).

 

 

 

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November 1 – December 31

Check Out Hunger

Walmart shoppers can donate to the Food Bank for Larimer County at the check out counter throughout the holiday season.

 

 

TurkeydonationscroppedNovember 1 – December 19

Turkey Drive

Each year, the Food Bank collects, stores and then distributes frozen turkeys and holiday “fixins” to our agency partners, including Salvation Army and Catholic Charities. Our partners, in turn, provide meals and/or holiday food baskets for people in need. , This year’s goal is 2,500 turkeys – up from 2,000 last year due to increased requests.

Frozen turkeys can be dropped off Monday – Friday, 8am – 4pm at the Food Bank facility at 1301 Blue Spruce. 

 

 

 

subaru share the loveNovember 20 – January 2

Subaru’s Share the Love

This holiday season, with the purchase/lease of any new Subaru at Dellenbach Subaru in Fort Collins, $250 will be donated to the Food Bank. 

 

Turkey Roundup LogoNovember 27

Thanksgiving Day Run

This Fort Collins tradition features a 4 mile run through Old Town Fort Collins and City Park and is a fun way for families to kick off the holiday season while supporting the Food Bank. Learn more!

Bread N Boards logoDecember 6

Bread N’ Boards

Hosted and organized by Sears Trostel Lumber in Fort Collins, Bread N Boards raises more than $20,000 for hunger relief each year. Guests chose from thousands of custom made bread boards to purchase for holiday gift giving and are treated to certificates for a free loaf of bread at Great Harvest Bread Company. Learn more! 

 

CGD 2014_Master(WORKING)December 9

Colorado Gives Day

Help us raise $100,000 in one day! Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. And for the first time ever, it features a $1 Million Incentive Fund created by the partners, one of the largest gives-day incentive funds in the country. Pre-schedule your donation today!