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. One of the conclusions from the survey was a need for a centralized location for donated food. Fortunately, the re-organized 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 the Fort Collins and Loveland areas has grown into a far-reaching, efficient organization. The Food Bank for Larimer County now serves 7.6 million meals annually to over 36,000 individuals through various programs from our two locations in Fort Collins and Loveland.
Our Food Share program is one of the nation's largest client-choice fresh food pantries. Nearly 14,000 individuals access Food Share each month. We distribute enough food to provide each client with the equivalent of 1.5 meals per day.
Our Child Nutrition 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, and our backpack program fills bags with food for low income children to take home on weekends and school breaks.
Food Link allows 83 non-profit partners to receive food for their programs, saving them more than $2 million in food costs.
The food bank's newest initiatives in 2017 include a partnership with VOA to provide senior meals at several sites in the county, along with mobile pantry sites at Foothills Unitarian Church, CSU, and the Family Medicine Center.
In 2017, we were again awarded a 4-star charity rating from Charity Navigator. This is our fourteenth consecutive 4-star rating, placing us among the nation's top charities for fiscal and donor responsibility as evaluated by Charity Navigator.
"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!"
"You helped us when we had no money for food. It's been many years since I stopped going to the Food Bank now. But I have not forgotten how grateful I was each week. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
"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 [Food Bank] been a life saver."
"After a lifetime of working and raising children on my own with little child support, I'm now retired and the Food Bank really helps."