Greetings BFR community, our team here at Boulder Food Rescue has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 as it affects communities across the U.S. We’d like to provide you with some updates of actions we’re taking and how you can help us mobilize.
Follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) or sign up for our monthly newsletter for more regular updates about our work. We are excited to share our journey with you. We can also be reached by email at [email protected]
January 15, 2021
“Don’t let anybody, anybody convince you this is the way the world is and therefore must be. It must be the way it ought to be.” – Toni Morrison
At the onset of COVID-19, and because of our community-led systems, we were already distributing fruits and vegetables directly to people’s doors when they were not leaving their homes. Our No Cost Grocery Programs are community-led food distribution points that operate in the hearts and backyards of program participants. Community-based Grocery Program Coordinators:
- Ensure that their neighbors continue to have food, and many of them even take food to the front doors of those who weren’t able to leave their homes.
- Create their own unique system of no contact door-to-door deliveries with sidewalk chalk marked physically distanced lines, and pre-bagged groceries available at the entrance of community centers and playgrounds.
This decentralized system addresses common barriers in accessing food:
- Distributing food from places that people are already gathered (affordable housing sites, schools and daycares) ameliorates barriers associated with operating hours, transportation, and carrying groceries long distances from bus routes.
- Programs are run by community members, which ameliorates common barriers associated with shame and stigma of accessing food in the charity system.
In the coming years, we will:
- Enhance our leadership development program.
- Advance advocacy engagement.
- Continue to teach workshops on building participatory structures for other nonprofits.
- Continue developing food rescue protocols with grocery stores and local farmers.
- Decrease food waste and greenhouse gases to maintain a world that we can all inhabit in the future.
- Together, we are creating a new world that insists on access to healthy food for all and that edible food is kept out of the landfill.
January 7, 2021
We are so grateful for the generosity and collaboration of our community partners!
Thank you to East Denver Food Hub for their huge donation last month. Through this partnership, they helped us deliver 300 carton of eggs and 148 produce boxes (images above) to 15 No Cost Grocery Programs around Boulder and the surrounding areas!
We also received a donation of cleaning and personal supplies from the Denver chapter of International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (below, left).
Boulder Housing Partners invited us to collaborate with Boulder County to deliver a kit of biosafety supplies for COVID. These kits contained a thermometer, hand sanitizer, masks and important information (below, right). They were provided to residents-participants who, by the nature of their work, could be exposed to the coronavirus.
January 1, 2021
Thanks to community members like you, your gifts brought us over our End-of-Year goal to a total of $120,000!!
We distribute over 400,000 pounds of food to 30+ No Cost Grocery Programs every year. What makes BFR special isn’t just what we do, it’s how we do it. It is through relationships with our community members, food donors, partner organizations and financial donors that we are able to collectively work towards a more just and less wasteful food system.
The contribution reports for financial donations will go out by the end of January. If you need yours before then, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].
December 11, 2020
This is a heartfelt thank you from the Boulder Food Rescue team for contributing during Colorado Gives Day this year. Your generosity surpassed our goal and we raised $45,400 from 365 donations! We are incredibly grateful for you and our community for continuing to show up and support local food justice.
I would like to share with you a documentary that we created, “Voices of Community Food Access”. We had begun filming four of our No-Cost Grocery Programs in February (before COVID-19 hit) and decided to follow-up with them in September to learn more about how each Grocery Program Coordinator had adapted their program.
November 1, 2020
October 1, 2020
Grocery Program feedback from participant
Mary, the Grocery Program Coordinator at Boulder Day Nursery, shared this comment from one of the programs participants:
“Hey Miss Mary! Thanks so much. I was so thrilled with the produce last week. We came home and made a huge salad. The next morning grilled peppers with eggs. We made fajitas that night. The veggies made it through the week 🙂 very much appreciated.”
Feedback like this is why we do the work that we do. The individuals and families who use our No Cost Grocery Programs have supplemented their diets with more fruits and vegetables. We value working with community members to elevate their voices in their food access.
September 12, 2020
BFR in the News
|We are so excited by the amount of news coverage Fresh Food Connect has been receiving! We are so grateful for your growing support.|
In a recent segment of Colorado Matters on CPR, Fresh Food Connect’s CEO Helen Katich spoke about a resurgence in home gardening and connecting gardeners to local organizations like Boulder Food Rescue to support the food systems within their communities.
Click here to listen to the segment.
|CSU Cooperative Extension’s Carol O’Meara spoke to BFR’s Executive Director Hayden Dansky for a Times-Call article about the partnership between BFR and Fresh Food Connect, and the Boulder residents who are working together to improve food access in their communities.|
Click here to read the article.
September 8, 2020
Food Procurement from Local Farms
On Fridays for the rest of the growing season, our program team and courier volunteers will be sorting and redistributing farm fresh food from East Denver Food Hub and Emerald Gardens to eight different communities – six No Cost Grocery Programs at affordable housing sites, 9 to 5, and Mountain Community Resource Center.
Thank you to all of our volunteers and food donors – this decentralized food redistribution system is able to run smoothly because of your dedication and support!
August 26, 2020
No-Cost Grocery Program Participant Testimonial
I wanted to contact you as a recent addition to the North Port Community and beneficiary of the food rescue program. I’ve only been here since late September but have created multiple healthy and nutritious meals from Boulder Food Rescue’s contributions and at Jamie’s recommendation wanted to thank you and let you know how appreciated the work you do is. Food scarcity is more prevalent than most people realize especially for members of marginalized communities. For disabled folks, there are multiple barriers to access including affordability, low mobility, the necessary skills and abilities to prepare, clean up, and even eat food that meets our nutritional needs. For most people, food is inseparable from culture and sufficient access to healthy food nourishes the health and well being of an entire person. I’m currently a Nutrition and Dietetics major at Metro State University in Denver (online) and one of my courses is an intro to cooking class. While I’m an experienced cook with food sensitivities and allergies I’ve been learning quite a bit and have been incorporating food from your program into the assignments and recipes wherever possible. Since I’m unable to safely eat most processed foods, I do my own prep cooking weekly and use a lot of fresh produce. I’m using a considerable amount of these items along with the GF/DF bread and canned beans. What I’m able to procure from the program stretches my budget so that I’m able to purchase more ingredients for recipes improving the flavor and nutritional content of my meals. I’ll be attaching a few pictures of the completed product.
Thank you again for all of your hard work, and I look forward to connecting with you in the future.
Meira Merz (she, her, hers)
August 6, 2020
|“BFR and Sprouts’ generosity fills me with gratitude. As you know, all of us here are at higher risk for Covid because of our age and existing health conditions. Those of us who are lower-income are at increased risk. Their kindness touches me because our American culture seems to be youth-oriented. Through their actions, they’re demonstrating how much they value us seniors as human beings. We are among the fortunate ones.”|
– Grocery Program Coordinator at an affordable housing site for adults and seniors
|COVID-19 Resources and Updates Quarantine ScenariosThe CDC has released a set of quarantine guidelines that describe different COVID-19-related scenarios and how to properly quarantine in response to each scenario. Click here to view the scenarios and guidelines.|
Instructions for People Who Have COVID-19The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) put together instructions for people who are sick and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 – or are suspected to have COVID-19 – to help prevent its spread. Click these links for instructions in English and in Spanish.
Boulder County Testing SitesVisit Boulder County’s COVID-19 testing web page for detailed information about COVID-19 testing criteria, antibody testing, and testing sites in the county and state.
If You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19If you are in Boulder County and have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are encouraged to contact the Boulder County Health Department at 303-441-1100 for more information on how long to quarantine and getting tested.
|BFR in the News|
The Times-Call recently spoke to BFR Executive Director Hayden Dansky for a piece about how Boulder County non-profit organizations have been impacted by COVID-19 and have responded to their communities’ needs.
Click here to read the article!
July 2, 2020
May 8, 2020
written by: guest blogger, Zoe Larkins
As many of us have read by now, the safety measures being taken to stem the spread of COVID-19 are impacting all aspects of food production and consumption in the US and around the world. Farmers are destroying excess crops, grocery store shelves are unevenly stocked, and food banks are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over their budgets to try to keep up with increased demand for their inventory. Most concerning of all, of course, is the fact that millions of people are suffering from more extreme food insecurity or experiencing it for the first time.
At a time when the flaws in our food system are being exacerbated and laid bare, Boulder Food Rescue’s mission is more critical than ever. We are proud that our simple, well-honed model for rescuing food from landfills and delivering directly to people in need has us on the front lines of the tragedy caused by COVID-19. In the midst of an almost constant stream of frustrating and heartbreaking news about how this crisis is affecting people and our planet, Boulder Food Rescue has a lot of positive and hopeful things to report. We want to make sure you know how much you, as volunteers and donors, are doing to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our community.
An increase in volunteers
We have seen a major uptick in volunteer involvement. Typically, there are between 14 and 18 regular weekly shifts in need of a volunteer. Right now, there is only one regular shift that isn’t accounted for. And this is after new shifts were added to the schedule to accommodate new donations!
A quick response
In the wake of Colorado’s school closures and Governor Polis’s announcement of the statewide stay-at-home order, BFR responded quickly to new donations, making sure as little food as possible was wasted. When restaurants that had to close or reduce their hours got in touch to offer us perishable ingredients they couldn’t use, we coordinated new pick-ups. In support of Boulder Valley School District’s efforts to continue to feed students who participate in the free and reduced-cost lunch program and their families, BFR has helped to deliver the food bags BVSD is putting together to No Cost Grocery Programs.
Fresh food: more important and scarcer than ever
In the past week, there have been new reports about the correlation between general wellness and susceptibility to COVID-19. Especially in children, obesity has been linked to increased risk of contracting the virus. Access to fresh, nutrient-rich produce has always been essential to good health, but it is even more important now.
Right now, BFR’s focus on rescuing produce sets it apart from many organizations that provide food to those in need. Because of the simultaneous decrease in donations and increase in demand that food banks are experiencing, many have reported that they aren’t able to donate fresh produce to the food pantries they supply or the individuals who come to them directly. This means that the produce that BFR volunteers deliver is more valuable than ever.
We are so proud of the work that we are doing, and we are grateful to each of you who has signed up for a shift, donated food, or contributed to our operating costs at this critical moment.
If you’d like to volunteer, please get in touch!
April 2, 2020
We have been doing community-led resiliency work for a long time – the current crisis only exemplifies why this work is so important. As things progress, we expect our work of going into communities to distribute food will be more and more necessary. The infrastructure we have in place already allows us to bring food to people who are immobile and/or cannot afford to stock up on food while in weeks or months of quarantine.
Throughout this pandemic crisis, we have witnessed our diverse and unique community band together in mutual aid. Our team has adapted to the crisis by changing logistics to include higher sanitization and hygiene precautions, as well as no-contact food drops between courier volunteers and grocery program coordinators.
Community leaders create their own food access programs and distribute the food amongst themselves. These people already know who needs the food most, who is most vulnerable, and how to get food to them. Furthermore, these community leaders are ready to change the programming to be as safe as possible. When asked to take on extra responsibilities to bag food ahead of time, in order to have quick and safe distribution, they were ready.
We’ve been in coordination with public health officials and have been encouraged to continue delivering food to our No Cost Grocery Programs. When folks will not be able to go out to access other services, they will be able to access this healthy food in their communities. We care deeply about our community and will continue to serve the most vulnerable populations in the safest way possible.
While our team is monitoring and preparing, we continue to work towards ensuring that all community members feel honored, welcomed, and protected. We have encouraged all community members and BFR volunteers and staff, both in and outside of BFR activities, to practice important health and safety precautions, which is always important to keep us all well. Each individual and each community is able to assess their own risk and notify us of their needs. We have always ensured safe food practices and will continue to do so as we prioritize this crucial work.