With nearly one in six Coloradans facing a time when there is not enough money to buy food, collaboration is key in connecting our neighbors—from children to seniors—with the fuel needed to lead better, healthier lives.
The Full Pantries, Full Lives Leadership Institute, a first-of-its-kind endeavor in Colorado, launched in April 2014, with a goal to ensure that those seeking food assistance not only are aware of available resources but have reasonable access to adequate, nutritious food in a client-centered experience. It is a two-year project—facilitated by Hunger Free Colorado and generously funded by The Denver Foundation—to support a cohort of local food pantry leaders in sharing knowledge, developing skills, deepening connections and leading innovative efforts to better serve clients and the Denver metro community.
Those leaders participating include:
- Michael Bright of ACS Community L.I.F.T.
- Kent Replogle of Amazing Grace Community Church
- Judy Barrow of Aurora Interchurch Services
- Greg Pratt of Bienvenidos Food Bank
- Todd Clough of Denver Inner City Parish
- Tammy Mulligan of Denver Urban Ministries
- Sharon Smith of Evergreen Christian Outreach
- Teva Sienicki of Growing Home, Inc.
- Andrew Coonan of Helping Our People Excel
This is a strong group of thought leaders who will share best practices, explore new models, build synergy and further collaboration in providing important services provided in their communities. Their participation will result in improved organizational efforts, as well as allow them to build upon each other’s work, creating a ripple effect of positive change.
The Denver Foundation invested in the Full Pantries, Full Lives Leadership Institute, in partnership with Hunger Free Colorado, due to their commitment to building effective systems for the provision of emergency food to those in need. Their involvement also, in part, was a result of their work with the nonprofit organizations and grassroots entities involved in the Food Pantry Partnerships Project.
Here’s what Monica Buhlig, Director of Basic Human Needs for The Denver Foundation, had to say: “We recognize that leadership development and innovation—and the necessary support for advancement—are critical in connecting with those in our communities. The Denver Foundation has a long-term commitment to inclusiveness and resident-centered practices, which is why we offer dedicated technical assistance to all participants in these areas. By investing in the leadership of pantries, we’re investing in those who play a critical role in ensuring people have access to food.”
Learn more about the Full Pantries, Full Lives Leadership Institute at HungerFreeColorado.org.
Posted on behalf of Kathy Underhill, executive director for Hunger Free Colorado