Food Bank of the Rockies – Aurora CO

Industry: Community Food Distribution RDP Investment: $15 million Launched: March 2024

Aurora Food Bank Rendering provided by Food Bank of the Rockies

AURORA, Colorado – The Food Bank of the Rockies was established in 1978 and has grown to become the largest hunger relief organization in the Rocky Mountain region. The Food Bank serves over 800 partner organizations in 55 counties (42 rural) encompassing the entire state of Wyoming and a substantial portion of northern Colorado. Over 18,000 volunteers assist with sorting and distribution throughout the year (pre-expansion).

Rural Development Partners is honored to invest $15 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing to help the Food Bank of the Rockies expand their distribution center to Aurora, Colorado. A total of $55.5 million in NMTCs will serve as a key funding source, addressing critical needs of the region brought on by rising inflation. Without NMTC financing, the expansion would be significantly delayed or scaled back, limiting the ability to address food insecurity. The new facility will support 179 full-time quality jobs, 134 temporary construction jobs, increase farmer sourcing, and quadruple capacity for the volunteers pivotal to operations.

“We are excited to partner with the Food Bank and assist them in completing their new facility in Aurora. The added space will allow them to further their mission in reaching food insecure individuals throughout Wyoming and Colorado. It will also greatly increase their ability to provide additional services and programs on top of their daily food distribution.”  – Dan Helgeson, CEO of Rural Development Partners

The new facility will increase capacity of food storage and production by 109,000 SF to better support program expansion to rural communities. Among the amenities, a new commercial kitchen seven times greater than that of the current facility will increase distribution of summer and after-school meals to rural students, and enable workforce development opportunities. 318% more refrigerator space will allow for increased distribution of fresh produce, increased partner relations, and expanded Mobile Food Pantry programs.

The project will enhance existing outreach programming and allow the development of additional programs. The Order Ahead Program will be developed providing outreach to individuals with specific dietary needs. Increased commercial kitchen space will equip them for expanded rural reach by creating frozen meals; with anticipated annual distribution of 125,000 pounds of food by way of direct delivery to shelters and network partnerships by 2028.  The new facility will also support the growth of the Food for Kids program with a projected increase of food distribution from 1.7MM pounds in 2021 to 5MM pounds in 2028.  Pantry sites will be established at 20 additional schools in underserved rural areas, with potential to engage 200+ new schools by 2028.

RDP Impact

*Expanded Capacity
*Improved Efficiency
*Expansion to Underserved Rural Markets
*Expanded Programs & Services
*Expanded Farmer Sourcing
*Job Creation & Retention

Share this Project