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 Food Bank of the Rockies expand their distribution center to Aurora, Colorado. A total of $55.5 million in NMTCs from five Community Development Entities will serve as a key funding source, addressing critical needs of the region, particularly in light of 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 the capacity for volunteer operations which are pivotal to the Food Bank’s mission.

“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 larger than the current one will increase the distribution of summer and after-school meals to rural students, grow the capacity for providing frozen meals for rural areas, and enable workforce development opportunities. Refrigeration space will increase by 318% allowing for greater distribution of fresh produce, and increased support to partners. By 2028, the Food Bank anticipates an annual distribution of 96.1 million pounds of food by way of direct services and network partnerships.

The new facility will introduce programs like the Order Ahead Program, providing outreach to individuals with specific dietary needs, and support the growth of the Food for Kids Program, projecting an increase of food distribution from 1.7 million pounds in 2021 to 5 million pounds in 2028. Pantry sites will be established at 20 additional schools in underserved rural areas, with the potential to engage over 100+ new rural partners by 2028.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support from Rural Development Partners. This investment is pivotal in our efforts to nourish our community and expand our reach to serve even more individuals and families facing food insecurity. The new distribution center will significantly enhance our capacity and essential services provided to our neighbors in need through our direct service programs and Hunger Relief Partners.” – Erin Pulling, President & CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies

RDP Impact

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

Skills

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