To provide food to all in need through community partnerships and hunger relief programs.
Imagine trying to operate a food bank out of 900 square feet of space - with only one phone, a chair, and a card table. Sandy Bowden didn't just imagine it, she did it! The genesis of the food bank was a survey in 1983 conducted by Bowden, a VISTA volunteer. The intent was to determine the food status of the elderly and low-income residents in our community. The survey made it clear there was a need for a centralized location where donated food could be given to those in need. Fortunately, the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was able to donate space in a building on east Oak Street in Fort Collins. In the first month of operation, volunteers were proud to give out 3,800 pounds of food.
What began as a small operation to feed more people in Larimer County has grown into a far-reaching and efficient organization. The Food Bank for Larimer County now serves 7.2 million meals annually to over 37,500 individuals through various programs.
Our Fresh Food Share program is one of the nation's largest client-choice fresh food pantries. Around 14,000 individuals receive food each month through our two main locations in Fort Collins and Loveland, a pantry at the Family Medicine Center, and several mobile pantries. Over 40% of what we distribute is fresh produce.
Our Nutritious Kitchen programs serve free, scratch-cooked meals and snacks to children during the school year and summer at locations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs. Snacks are provided to Poudre and Thompson School District students through Kids Link, a partnership with the Junior League. In 2016, we began serving meals to seniors through a partnership with Volunteers of America.
The Nourishing Network program allows over 80 non-profit partners to receive food for their programs, saving them more than $2 million in food costs annually.
In May of 2018, we moved our offices, kitchen, and warehouse to a new facility at 5706 Wright Drive in Loveland. This new headquarters provides 42,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, including 173,500 cubic feet of freezer and cooler space. This building will allow us to continue to grow to meet the need for food in Larimer County for many years to come.
"We are overjoyed with all the snacks we have been receiving this year, it has been amazing. Students are able to function so much better with food in their tummies and now they know they can count on having a snack even when they didn't bring one from home!"
"I've volunteered at a number of food banks throughout my life and noticed that there's usually only a lot of processed foods to choose from. Not here. I was blown away at the variety of organic foods, gluten-free options, and fresh produce."
"At the age of 59 ½ I was laid off and found it literally impossible, even working through Larimer County Workforce, to find work and finally got on the old age pension program through the State of Colorado. During this gap, it's [the food bank] been a life saver."
"I appreciate you guys being here... I never thought I would need the Food Bank… I've worked full time my whole life."