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Feeding Our Community Ourselves, Inc.

As the only non-profit restaurant in Northern Colorado, FoCo Cafe serves all people, while filling a gap and need that many struggle with; there is not face to food insecurity. We do not offer hands outs, rather a way to participate in community in a way that lifts people up and offers hope.

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FoCo Cafe Giving Clubs

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

At-Risk Populations
Families
Homeless
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

Monthly Giving Clubs

Seedling Circle ($5-$24.99 monthly)
Join the Seedling Circle by making a recurring, monthly gift of $5-$24.99 to FoCo Cafe. Members will receive benefits including an invitation to our annual Member's Open House event. You are able to change the amount of your monthly gift at any time for your convenience. Recurring gifts are important to the Cafe's sustainability!
ColoradoGives has a $10 donation minimum. If you'd like to make monthly contribution below the $10 level, you may do so through Paypal on our website at fococafe.org/donate.

Rainmakers ($25-$49.99 monthly)
FoCo Cafe Rainmakers are those who make $25-$49.99 monthly, recurring contributions to the Cafe. These contributions help to keep our general operating expenses low while still allowing us to use the best quality ingredients and offer a great experience for all the guests we serve. Rainmakers are invited to our annual Member's Open House Event and will receive a welcome gift for their continued support. Rainmakers have made a difference at the Cafe since our opening - we love our rainmakers!

Salad Sponsor ($600-$1,499)
FoCo Cafe's Salad Sponsors support the costs of fresh, local, organic, sustainably grown ingredients by contributing $600-$1,499 annually. We work with local farms, ensuring that our relationships are both beneficial for them and us. Fresh produce is not inexpensive, and for good reasons - buying local allows us to know the farmer, their practices, and their products. We pay fair prices for our produce in order to support the whole community and feel good knowing that these funds create jobs, build infrastructure, and support local families. Salad Sponsors help us purchase healthy, local food. Members of FoCo Cafe's Salad Sponsor group receive a welcome gift, and an invitation to FoCo Cafe's annual appreciation event for Soup Society and Salad Sponsors.

Soup Society ($1,500-$3,499)
FoCo Cafe's Soup Society giving club is for those looking to support the cafe with a gift of $1,500-$3,499 annually. This club supports FoCo Cafe's recipe development, the purchase of ingredients for our freshly made small-batch soups, and helps supplement the cost of equipment used to prepare our meals. Having the right equipment in operating condition is critical to cafe operations. Members of the Soup Society will receive a welcome gift as well as an invitation to our annual appreciation event for Soup Society and Salad Sponsors.

Chef's Circle ($3,500-$5,000)
FoCo Cafe's Chef's Circle is for those who give between $3,500 to $5,000 annually. Members of this giving club provides funding that supports new initiatives and programming. This allows our staff to get creative and better meet the needs of the community. (i.e., the FoCo Cafe Hydration Station!) Chef Circle members enjoy many benefits, including a welcome gift, and two complementary tickets to our community dinners that will be occurring monthly throughout the year.

Cafe Community Allies ($5,001+)
These members give $5,001 or more annually to support FoCo Cafe. Cafe Community Allies supports FoCo Cafe in its entirety. Our biggest area of need is general operating expenses so that we can allocate funds where they are needed most. By becoming a Cafe Community Ally, you will be providing a minimum of one months food costs for the cafe. Food is one of our biggest expenses and we strive to offer the best options available to our guests. Members of this club will truly have an impact on the greater local community through the work we do at FoCo Cafe. Cafe Community Allies will enjoy many benefits such as a welcome gift, along with two complimentary tickets to FoCo Cafe's Community Dinners, which happen once a month throughout the year. Cafe Community Allies also receive special opportunities as they arise throughout the year (i.e invitations to special events).

Tribute and Memorial Gifts:
Honor a loved one through a gift to FoCo Cafe. Remember someone special or celebrate a loved one's birthday, wedding, graduation or anniversary with a gift to the Cafe. If you have a friend who is a Cafe volunteer, this might be the perfect way to honor them!

Estate Giving:
Estate Giving is a way to leave a meaningful gift to help ensure longevity of FoCo Cafe. An estate gift is one that is given through your estate plans. A gift like this shows strong belief in the mission of FoCo Cafe and helps to provide healthy food to all people. Please consult FoCo Cafe in the planning phases so that funds can be directed to the area of best fit.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In our first full year of operation (2015), we were able to sustain our organization through donations in exchange for meals. For the first five months, we remained an entirely volunteer organization. In order to maintain quality and consistency of meals and experience, we introduced a modest budget for payroll, slowly adding our four paid positions. Our focus in 2016 was building long-term sustainability as we expanded services to our community. We expanded hours for our operations manager, began offering employee benefits, transitioned our volunteer executive director position to a paid position, and introduced new initiatives that have had great impact.

We launched a summer family breakfast program, spread the word about nonprofit cafes through a TEDx presentation and other presentations in three states, received a national eChievement Award and a local award for human relations, introduced soup flights, and began hosting community glass recycling. Also, with the help of community members we introduced several high-impact resources that are used every day: The Giving Tree, FoCo Freedge, and The Kindness Cupboard. These are resources with a "give and receive" concept providing non-perishable foods, fresh produce, and basic need items for all community members to contribute to and enjoy.

Since opening on Thanksgiving Day 2014, the Cafe has served over 58,000 meals (as of August 2017), surpassing our wildest dreams. We have seen that food has the power to bridge barriers constructed by society and bring people together because participating in community fills a need as basic as that of food. The need for connection is incredibly important to body and soul, so it is incredibly important to us and our mission moving forward. 2017 has shown much growth and transition, and through this we must find the capacity to keep up with the demand for the services we offer. Growing our donor base will help us further the success and overall sustainability of the organization.

Kids Feeding Kids Summer Family Breakfast Program

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Single Parents
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

FoCo Cafe's Kids Feeding Kids Program is a summer family breakfast program that includes activities. The goal of the FoCo Café's "Kids Feeding Kids" program is three fold - to supply children with healthy breakfast foods, to support kids volunteering and participating in community in order to empower them to make change, and to help children to learn more about nutrition, develop other skills, and build social capital.

The pieces essential to implementation of this program are funding for the food and funding for interns to develop curriculum around health and food and other activities, and manage the program.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We completed our first Kids Feeding Kids Summer Breakfast and Activities Program in 2016. During this pilot program, we hosted families on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during June and July. We served a healthy breakfast and provided fun activities for the kids and their families. We invested in food for the breakfasts, hosted our first paid intern, purchased a "Vegication" curriculum in order to teach the kids more about nutrition, and purchased supplies for activities. We partnered with noosa yoghurt and Rainbow Restaurant to provide healthy and nutritious meals.

Success was apparent, as we had participation from many families, drew program sponsors, and participants are eager for more. We also learned a great deal in this first year of programming and have developed plans to make this an even stronger program in summer 2017.

In Summer 2017, the program grew significantly. We served 49 families, and 120 children. We hosted children from 9 months to 17 year old, 8 languages total were spoken by our many participants, and 3/4 of our kids were food insecure. We served a healthy breakfast and had fun and educational activities, from milking a goat and learning where milk comes from to taste testing fruits, vegetables and herbs to meeting and learning about goats, chickens and worms that help to compost waste. 2018's program will follow previous years while seeking to grow and expand where we can for years to come!

Community Nutrition Partnership with Colorado State Nutrition Students

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
Females, all ages or age unspecified
Males, all ages or age unspecified
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

FoCo Cafe works directly with students in the Nutrition Program at Colorado State University. These students develop projects for the Cafe under the direction of Cafe leadership. This is a capstone project that lasts for a semester and culminates in a presentation of their work. In 2015, we had a Cafe recipe and gardening guide project. The students chose seasonal menu items, completed a nutritional analysis, and develop content for a recipe card. In addition to the recipe, the cards will have one side devoted to the nutritional benefits of a key ingredient and how to grow that ingredient. In 2016, the project will be development of informational content for the FoCo Freedge, a public refrigerator for community members to share their excess produce. This project is meant to build community, reduce food waste, and feed hungry people. Every year, they come up with a new project, so for 2017, they may stick to the Freedge project, or may choose to focus their attention where its needed more.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Most of the students from the first semester project are still Cafe volunteers, regularly involved in fundraising events and other activities. The Cafe has provided references for several of the participants for employment and practicum applications. Students interested in previous class projects have taken that work and develop it further.

C Partnership with Students at Colorado State University

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

General Public
Homeless
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

FoCo Cafe works directly with students in a class entitled "World Interdependence: Food and Population" at Colorado State University. Each Spring semester, these students develop projects and volunteer for the Cafe under the direction of Cafe leadership. This is a service learning program that is part of their coursework.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Last Spring, 11 of the 80 students in Food and Population class chose to volunteer their time to FoCo Cafe. We received Cafe projects related to composting, aquaponics, handicapped access, garden development, etc. The students had a wonderful experience - they toured a large aquaponics facility, saw and learned about the campus compost systems, and visited the CSU greenhouses. The faculty member teaching the course, Greg Graff, is a great supporter and is working to get his colleagues across many departments to find valuable ways to connect with FoCo Cafe. He shared with us the reflections of his students, noting that these are not the kind of reflections he has ever received on course surveys in a typical lecture style class.

Here are just two examples:
"The first major experience I had was finding out just how many people really suffer from food insecurity; this topic was discussed in class but it never really hit me until I could see how it affected my own community. I feel blessed to be a continuing aid to this cause and greatly value what it has already taught me."
"I was able to be part of this local community movement that makes Fort Collins such a special place. I was able to give back and in doing so, made meaningful connections to both the land and the people."

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.