Food Bank’s No. 1 goal is community outreach
Western Slope human service agencies can always use a little help. When another entity can help stretch hard-fought-for dollars, agencies are strengthened and can help even more clients.Food Bank of the Rockies collaborates with Feed My Sheep Ministries, Rifle Christian Fellowship, Summit Preschool and Day Care, LIFT-UP/Extended Table, and Colorado Mountain College Senior Programs to make their food budgets stretch, reduce food budgets dramatically and allocate that savings to new programs and activities. Food Bank of the Rockies (FBR) was founded in 1978, and was known as the Colorado Food Clearing House. Operating from a 900-square-foot schoolroom in northwest Denver, the fledgling organization collected food from nearby stores and distributed to one agency. Partnering with Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies (WSFBR) enables agencies to provide necessary statistical information to local, regional and national organizations that raise awareness for different types of human service programs.
One big challenge of the WSFBR is transportation. It has a large rural service area with numerous delivery routes and drop-off sites, and it works closely with its agencies to better serve them. The food bank and its agencies work creatively to get food where it is needed. Overall, its biggest challenge is building awareness in the communities and generating participation with eligible agencies that can benefit from its programs. Community outreach is its No. 1 goal this year. “In just the four-plus years I have been with Food Bank of the Rockies, we have grown from distributing 13 million pounds of food to over 22 million pounds of food annually,” said Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies agency relations person Andrew Coonan. “We will continue to grow and meet the needs of our communities, via our agencies, because there are still so many people in need – seniors, children, persons with disabilities and the working poor. Hunger (or food insecurity) is really a solvable issue for our communities. WSFBR aims to build strategic community partnerships. By all of us working together, we can fight hunger!”
Kay Vasilakis is the Garfield County Human Services Commission media coordinator. Her “Nonprofit Spotlight” column runs every other Wednesday. To contact her with news tips, call 384-9118 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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