KeyBank Grants $450,000 to Support Food Bank of the Rockies

Originally published at 3blmedia.com. KeyBank ranked No. 18 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.

 

Food Bank of the Rockies and KeyBank announced a $450,000 grant from KeyBank at a mobile food pantry hosted by Food Bank of the Rockies at an event held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Since its founding in 1978, Food Bank of the Rockies has been a leader in the fight against hunger. The organization serves about half of Colorado and all of Wyoming, providing food and other essentials to over 800 Hunger Relief Partners and through signature programs like their monthly 70 plus mobile pantries.

The KeyBank grant will aid Food Bank of the Rockies in purchasing fresh and nutritious produce and additional culturally responsive food for partners serving their communities through the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative, which impacts approximately 10,000 households annually in the Metro Denver area. During the next three years, Food Bank of the Rockies plans to scale the program to serve approximately 30,000 households through 10-20 Hunger Relief Partners and their 70 plus mobile pantries.

“The work Food Bank of the Rockies is doing through the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative will change lives in our community by offering nutritious food, and also delivering training to Hunger Relief Partners serving food insecure populations,” said Mike Katz, President of KeyBank’s Colorado market. “KeyBank is proud to help scale this meaningful community program over the next three years.”

In addition to food distribution, the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative offers an Inclusive Capacity Building Program to Hunger Relief Partners, which includes best practices and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training for agency staff members and volunteers, an implementation plan for operational changes and capacity building projects and completion of a six-month progress report detailing participation with the program.

“Inflation is currently at a 40-year high and is hitting Food Bank of the Rockies’ budget with some staple items costing as much as 70% more than last year. To meet the needs of our neighbors experiencing hunger, we are spending $1.3 million or more on food purchasing every month — more than triple what we were spending pre-COVID,” said Erin Pulling, President & CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies. “We’ve been able to meet the increased demand, thanks to the generosity of companies like KeyBank. Their gift will help fuel our culturally responsive food initiative and allow us to distribute food to our diverse communities while honoring their needs and preferences with respect. We are grateful for KeyBank’s inspired support in answering the challenge of hunger across our communities.”

During Food Bank of the Rockies mobile pantry, volunteers from KeyBank distributed corn husks, masa flour, pork, chilis, fresh produce and more to ensure families have the ingredients for tamales to enjoy during Navidad. “Having the ingredients to make tamales will help a lot, especially right now with the prices so high. And it’s hard sometimes to find stuff in the stores, especially right now…I’m excited to have ingredients for tamales. We’re going to have food on our table. I bought 12 tamales for Thanksgiving and they were small, and it cost $35! It’s a lot. So this helps a lot,” said Estela Michel, a food box recipient from Aurora, CO.

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