Important Updates for our Partners – May 4, 2020
Thank you for your patience during Food Bank of the Rockies’ reorganization to our emergency distribution model during the pandemic. We implemented this model, using designated Emergency Support Team food pantries. These pantries had the greatest capacity to quickly ramp up distribution and collaborate with smaller food pantries to serve their clients, with the goal of distributing greatly increased quantities of food as quickly as possible. This was a necessary change in the face of unprecedented times, it’s working, and we appreciate your support and understanding.
Together, We’re Feeding our Community
We are currently distributing 40% more food than we were previously – more than two million pounds per week. Many of your programs are reporting double and triple the number of clients needing help. In some communities, need has increased as much as five times the amount prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to prepare since we expect the need to continue months into the future.
Food Bank of the Rockies is NOT Running out of Food
During this pandemic, even national food distributors and grocers are having a difficult time sourcing inventory. Some fruits and vegetables are harvested yearly, and won’t be available until new crops can be harvested. Requests from wholesalers and distributors have tripled and quadrupled, so manufacturers struggle to fulfill large orders. The current environment has created a significant increase in delayed, reduced, or canceled orders for Food Bank of the Rockies.
Despite these challenges, Food Bank of the Rockies continues to receive a steady supply of purchased food. Recently we received eight full truckloads of macaroni and cheese, assorted canned vegetables, assorted canned fruits, tuna, oatmeal, and pasta sauce. We are expecting nine more full truckloads of canned vegetables, canned beans, peanut butter, and more. Feeding America has provided us with 19 full truckloads of donated products and 10 more truckloads scheduled to arrive shortly.
We are doing everything we can to keep our racks full. Thank you for your patience as we work through this crisis together.
We’re Working for You!
We are committed to doing everything we can to help our partners. We’ve removed agency support fees from all donated product and passed on funds to help with capacity at your facilities. We’ve committed $300,000 to aid our Emergency Support Team partners with purchased products and we plan on sharing more funds as we’re able.
We’re determined to ensure food is available throughout our service area. Even with decreases in our donated food supply chain, Food Bank of the Rockies has raised funds to purchase additional food and increased the amount we distribute. We are also expecting new TEFAP shipments and food through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
While we are not yet at our new normal, we are prepared to slowly and strategically bring more of our partners back into our distribution channel. Phase 1 was implemented last week with Phase 2 started Monday, May 4. We anticipate all partners returning to warehouse ordering by Tuesday, May 26. Effective Monday, May 18. Food Bank of the Rockies Agency Relations ordering and Fresh Food Center hours will return to our traditional hours.
Fresh Food Center Hours - Effective Monday, May 18:
With an order - Monday - Friday 9:00 - 3:10, must arrive 20 minutes before pick up time
Without an order - Monday - Thursday 12:00 - 3:10 and Friday 9:00 - 3:10.
Only one person per partner is allowed in our warehouse/waiting area
Please wear closed toe shoes when visiting – no sandals or flip flops are allowed in our warehouse
The USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
The USDA’s CFAP aims to keep workers in the food industry employed and provide people in need with access to food. This product will be distributed to food banks and other non-profits serving Americans in need. The USDA plans to spend $300 million per month for six months on produce, meat, and dairy products. The program will use regional or local distributors to deliver pre-packaged boxes of fresh produce, dairy, and pre-cooked meats at no cost to nonprofit locations. There are no eligibility restrictions (such as income) for people who receive food boxes. This program is fast-moving, and Feeding America is working hard to support food banks as a key part of the process.
We are expecting high volumes of nutritious food starting in mid-May and continuing to the end of December. Agencies do not need to take any special actions to participate and these boxes will be available through Agency Express. You may have received communication from some of the proposed suppliers attempting to line up distribution partners, and you can work directly with them if you prefer. Our expectation is that we will have a substantial volume of these items available.
We will share more information with you as it is released. You can read about the overall program here.
Large Volumes of Fresh and Nonperishable TEFAP Product Expected in May
Click here to view the scheduled allotments to be delivered. Please remember all deliveries are subject to change. Nonperishable products will be allocated for June, perishable product may be available in May.
Capacity-Building Funding Available Soon – Think BIG!
Through Families First Cares Act and USDA/FNS Purchased Food Program funds, Food Bank of the Rockies is able to offer capacity-building opportunities to our TEFAP partners. There is no limit to the amount of funding a site can request. The USDA/FNS and CDHS will review and determine approval for any expenditures over $5,000. Please request amounts over $5,000 if you have needs these funds can help fill.
What would help your program be more efficient? Do you need a large glass front freezer to replace a row of old units? Maybe some pallet jacks or racking? What would assist your hunger relief program outreach to more clients and create a larger impact on alleviating hunger within your community? This is your chance to ask for those important items on your program’s wish list.
Click here to download and complete this short request form and it to email Jonelle Addabbo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faster Communication with Food Bank of the Rockies – Texting Style!
Food Bank of the Rockies is implementing a texting platform to increase our communication with each other. Sign up to receive information about new produce loads ready to be distributed to clients, food safety recalls, and other important notices. In turn, you can send us your urgent questions for an immediate response.
To ensure we have the right cell phone number connected with your program, and to connect you to the texting platform, please fill out this quick survey to register. This helps us identify and track numbers once the texting service is launched.
With the wonderful support of volunteers, we will be reaching out to those who have not completed the texting survey to get you registered and ready!
Once registered, you will receive a text message to opt-in.
After you opt-in, you’ll be ready to receive updates, text your questions to the appropriate number below, and connect with a staff member who will help you.
TEFAP & CSFP: Coming soon!
Western Slope: 970-464-1138
Can Your CACFP Site Distribute Grab-n-Go Meals to Kids?
Food Bank of the Rockies has been granted waivers from the state to offer Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meals to our current sites. If you are interested in distributing packaged or grab-n-go meals from Revolution Foods, please reach out to Brandy immediately.
Are your shelf-stable meals for kids about to expire?
We have places to distribute them. Please reach out to Brandy as soon as possible, thank you!
Do you host a summer food service program site (SFSP) or other children’s feeding site?
We’re looking for partners to join us in distributing meals to kids. Revolution Foods, City of Denver’s Early Childhood Council, Faith Bridge in Green Valley Ranch, Clayton Early Learning and Mile High Learning have joined us to provide grab-n-go meals. We’d love to see your program on this list!
If your site is interested in joining us, we may be able to provide these meals at no cost through reimbursement from our summer emergency program. Check with Brandy to see if your program is eligible to participate.
If you know of any additional sites that would be interested in this opportunity, please refer them to Brandy. We will review each interested site to determine if your program is a good fit.
Our Emergency Support Team is Here to Help
Please continue to refer clients you’re unable to serve, any potential volunteers, and those wanting to help, to our Emergency Support Team partners at https://www.foodbankrockies.org/emergency-assistance/.
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