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Help us Expand our Capabilities
Food Connect Colorado is currently holding a free food market every Thursday from 10 am-5 pm where our guests can shop for their own food. No income requirements, must be a resident of the Aurora/Montbello Area. Every week, with the help of our valued volunteers, we stock our market with fresh produce, dairy, dry groceries, and bread and distribute it to people in our community.
Although all of our food is sourced from Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, we have many other expenses just to “keep the doors open”. Since moving to our new bigger space that can accommodate the market and shoppers, our biggest expense is rent on our warehouse.
Our market will distribute predominantly nutritious food. We would like to change the public image of a food pantry as being a place stocked with canned goods and stale bread. There is a great deal of fresh produce and dairy available to rescue, but to do so we need more cold storage capacity. Therefore we need more refrigeration and freezer units. We may need to install air conditioning in the warehouse, which would be a large expense. We will also need more shelving and some office furniture.
Aurora is under-served with resources for the food-insecure. Most pantries are open only a few hours a week. After we have established ourselves at the new location, our plan is to be open 3 days a week, including Saturday and one evening. This would enable more clients to access our services. Our new warehouse is on Airport Blvd near a bus stop, so those without cars could still get food. We use timed entry to limit the number of shoppers in the market at one time.
We also plan to hold cooking classes in our new location to educate our clients in cooking, shopping, and nutrition. One of our founders is a Hall of Fame volunteer with Cooking Matters and has experience teaching people to cook. We would also like to assist clients in signing up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infant and Child Program (WIC).