The Denver Foundation's vision is a Metro Denver community where all people have the opportunity for a high quality of life. Our focus on Basic Human Needs includes ensuring access to nutritious food for all people. Unfortunately, many in our communities currently do not have access to a consistent source of food.
During the economic downturn, Colorado and Metro Denver saw increases in the number of people accessing emergency food through pantries and the number of people eligible to access sources of ongoing food security. Studies show Colorado at or near the bottom of nearly every measure related to providing ongoing food security for the state's residents.
What is The Denver Foundation doing?
Emergency Food Supply
With the partnership of generous donors, we activated its Critical Needs Fund to bridge gaps in emergency food provision. In 2009-2010, we distributed over $840,000 to food programs in Metro Denver and throughout Colorado.We also invested $195,000 to coordinate efforts among local pantries working together to improve food pantry operations, utilize more client-centered approaches, raise awareness of health and nutrition, and promote the benefits of working together. These grants highlighted the importance of encouraging emergency food pantries to work together to ensure high quality access for those in need.
Healthy Food for those who are Hungry
Not all food calories are equal, and we strive to ensure that the food available to those who have limited resources to access food is nutritious. If you have an interest in donating fresh food to emergency food pantries, Growing Healthy Communities with Produce for Pantries [PDF] offers some helpful tips to ensure the food reaches those in need. Healthy food is much more likely to be used if people understand nutrition and how to use the foods available in the stores and at pantries. Cooking Matters Colorado provides basic education to those who are in need to increase their ability to purchase and use affordable healthy foods.
Hunger Free Colorado
To address systemic issues of hunger in Colorado, The Denver Foundation joined Kaiser Permanente to provide initial funding for Hunger Free Colorado, an organization created through the merger of the Colorado Anti-Hunger Network and the Colorado Food Bank Association. Through Hunger Free Colorado, you can learn of opportunities to be a champion for ending hunger in your community such as joining the Hunger P.O.D. Squad.
Hunger Free Colorado also has an exciting partnership with Share Our Strength and the Governor’s office to end childhood hunger by 2015 through the No Kid Hungry Campaign. Ongoing Grants The Foundation provides numerous grants through its Community Grants Program, donor-advised funds, and Strengthening Neighborhoods Program to address food insecurity in Metro Denver.
For more information on The Denver Foundation's efforts to address hunger and how you can get involved in the issues, contact the Philanthropic Services Group at 303-300-1790. Find out more information about the Foundation's work to study and address poverty as a root cause of food insecurity.