Partnership with Whole Foods Market for new mobile service to increase healthy food access

 

Hunger Free Colorado is pleased to announce a new partnership with Whole Foods Market® to launch a mobile food assistance van called Your Neighborhood Food Connection.

The van will travel across the state, sharing information about food access and providing food assistance program sign-up services on the spot. The goal of the initiative is to ensure no Coloradan goes hungry and to ensure residents of Colorado receive easy, transparent access to resources near their homes and workplaces. Hunger Free Colorado food assistance navigators and other staff will also provide information about local food pantries and meals and provide healthy food options to support area residents until they have access to a food pantry whenever possible.

The Your Neighborhood Food Connection van was made possible through a Whole Foods Market Community Giving Day grant that raised over $64,000 for the organization. Five percent of net sales from 20 Colorado stores on Oct. 24, 2016, were donated to Hunger Free Colorado. The van was purchased and outfitted to be easy to spot and comfortable for residents to sit in while receiving information and vital resources, following the Community Giving Day.

The van was unveiled at a ceremony at the Whole Foods Market’s regional office on Monday, June 12, at 10:30 a.m. Bilingual staff members will begin traveling across the state this summer to serve and engage with residents in communities across the state.

“By partnering with Hunger Free Colorado, Whole Foods Market is making the bold statement that they want bigger systemic solutions to hunger, alongside much needed direct service,” said Kathy Underhill, CEO of Hunger Free Colorado. “The new mobile assistance van is a tangible sign of our joint commitment to bringing attention to the issue of hunger in communities across Colorado and increasing access to healthy food.”

The timing of the mobile food assistance van launch will help ensure school-age Colorado children will continue to receive access to healthy food during the summer—a time when food security dips for the nearly 1 in 5 Colorado children who don’t know when or where they will get their next meal. As a result, every summer, hundreds of community sites across Colorado offer nutritious meals at no cost to children and teenagers 18 years and younger, at safe and fun locations. Sharing site locations and service hours for these programs is one example of the service residents will receive from the Hunger Free Colorado van. Visit KidsFoodFinder.org or call (855) 855-4626 to find nearby, participating summer meal sites.

“We believe access to healthy food is a fundamental human right. We’re honored to support Hunger Free Colorado’s life-changing work throughout the state, connecting our communities to vital resources and food security. We hope the van is seen far and wide and that it makes it easier for people to access benefits that nourish them with ease and dignity,” says M’lissa Baker, Metro Marketing Coordinator for Colorado and the leader who secured funding for this grant. “We can think of no better way to share our 5-percent Community Giving Day grant than to ensure all people in Colorado have access to healthy food. It’s the building block of life, and Hunger Free Colorado allows us to support that in an inspiring way.”

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