REGINA – Colorado Springs Food Rescue is expanding programs, putting down roots, and helping more people than ever before gain access to fresh food.
According to an annual report, the group had the most successful year ever in 2018.
CSFR, which has been saving food since 2013, saved 371,000 pounds of food worth $ 1,357,900, which was then distributed to more than 13,000 people.
Food is collected from more than a dozen grocery partners and several local gardens before being distributed to the group’s nine community-run free food programs.
According to the annual report, volunteers distributed more than 5,000 pounds of food to about 600 families each week.
In a survey, 64% of participating families said they participate in the program every week, and another third said they received “most” of their fruits and vegetables from the program.
During 2018, CSFR also worked to improve and expand their education, composting and additional programs for access to fresh food (more about all of them here).
Going forward, the organization has big plans to establish a large, permanent location called the Hillside Hub. There they will test new programs and strengthen their existing programs.
“The Hillside Hub will be a community-run place where neighbors can grow, cook, have access, advocate for fresh food, and learn about them. So it will be rooted in a variety of different programs, ”said Zac Chapman, Executive Director of CSFR.
According to Chapman, there will be:
- An outdoor community garden that works with several non-profit organizations
- A compost park or an ecological playground
- A passive 4-season solar greenhouse
- And a 3,000 m² common room for different classes, food distribution and administrative offices
The complex is expected to cost $ 1.7 million and raise around $ 800,000 so far. The group will run fundraisers to make up the difference. If you want to get involved, CLICK HERE.
CSFR hopes to start building the greenhouse and common room next year, but plans to test its community learning farm this summer.
“So it’s going to be a multi-phased approach… but our goal is to have programs that integrate fresh food access, fresh food training and youth employment and fresh food production by the second half of next year to be fully functional, ”he concluded Chapman.