DIG IN! with Nourish Colorado
Welcome to our first quarterly newsletter! I want to welcome you all to Winter, but as we are still waiting for the cold snaps and snowy days to come our way, I will just say: Welcome to the Winter Light. The Winter Solstice (the morning of Dec 21st!) is also called the “hibernal solstice” and we all wish for you some time to hibernate with your loved ones over the coming weeks. As we reflect on 2021, we have so many things to be grateful for – including you all for your support digging in and engaging in our newsletter each month! Below, our team shares some of the partnerships that brought them joy, relief, and support over the past year. As you’ll see, we could not do our work without many partners, so THANK YOU for all the work you do to transform our food system! For my part, most of my job fills me with gratitude. But whenever anyone asks me what I enjoy about my work, I immediately think ‘I love the people I get to work with’! First and foremost, my co-workers and our core partners. Check them out on our website’s About page – thoughtful, passionate, committed, super fun, and brilliant people. Thanks to you, team! We also have a few happy announcements to make. In November, we welcomed Lonni Byrd as our new Food Access Manager. Lonni will be managing many aspects of Double Up Food Bucks, and Caronne will move into the Community Engagement & Navigator Manager role. Double Up partners will hear a lot more about this in the new year! We also are hiring and hope to have two new positions up and running in January. See our own and many other job opportunities here. We are excited to announce the launch of a Nourish Advisory Board in January as well! Learn more here and apply here. Our offices will be closed Dec 20th-Jan 3rd to provide staff some rest and rejuvenation. We will also be closed the week of Jan 3rd as we move offices – you can come visit us at our new location in the John Hand building at York & Colfax in January!
In the meantime, all of our very best to you. – Wendy Peters Moschetti, Managing Director
I can hardly express how thankful and impressed I am with our K12 and ECE providers. This year has not brought the respite from the COVID-related challenges in 2020 like we thought it would. And many new challenges have emerged in 2022: Staffing shortages, food and supply shortages, schools becoming cultural and political battlegrounds. Our child nutrition operators continue to work through all of this, ensuring our children receive daily meals and many of them are TIRED. I am thankful for every single cook, food service director, kitchen manager, warehouse manager, delivery driver, dishwasher, purchaser, and menu planner who shows up to work each day despite the challenges! My appreciation can only go so far. Please take a minute and send a message of thanks to your local child nutrition program, even if you don’t have kids! They provide critical food access to millions of children, and set them on a path towards educational success and healthy eating habits. Speaking of the importance of school food programs, check out The True Cost of Food: School Meals Case Study by the Rockefeller Foundation, a report that shows that school meals are essential for the health and economic stability of communities.
P.S. Don’t forget to register for the LoProCO workshop series launching in Southeast CO on Jan 28th! Learn more. – Chef Jessica Wright, Senior Program and Policy Manager of Healthy Food in Institutions
There is so much to be thankful for at Nourish Colorado! It is an honor and a true gift to be able to work with incredible partners that are deeply imaginative in visioning a world where our food system works for everyone. This season, I am especially grateful for the nine farmers market managers who piloted the first season of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program. These managers stepped up and rolled out a new program in a moment when so many families needed it. I am also deeply grateful for our Value Chain Coordinators at the East Denver Food Hub. We are in the process of piloting farmer-to-store matchmaking, through which farms can supply small stores with produce, which has historically been a challenge for a variety of reasons. The East Denver Food Hub is working with us to find new ways of supplying food to communities. In 2021, our small stores increased Double Up sales by 31% and there is plenty of room to grow! We can’t do it without partners actually working to bring the food to the people. Every other week, I have the pleasure of joining forces with market managers, state leaders, and community members who learn about policy with me, motivate each other to make those calls and sign those letters, and brainstorm new ideas that could be implemented through legislation as part of the Food Bill Action Team. These partners help us stay on top of policy changes and opportunities at the state and federal level. To all our partners – we cannot do any of this without you, and we don’t do any of this work alone. It is a pleasure to work alongside you in this space! – Amy Nelms, Senior Program and Policy Manager of Healthy Food Incentives
I’d like to thank all the market managers, coordinators, and those that handle all the behind the scenes work that make the markets and farm stands happen. Thanks to each of you for your patience and understanding as I learned and managed this new role. Many thank yous! To the spectacular being that is Andrea Loudd! She came into her role as Senior Navigator during world chaos (the pandemic) and has dominated the role! Many hats off to you. You’re the real MVP! I give thanks for being in the position to do work I love, while integrating the Colorado Food System with Black & Brown community members who’s voice matters!
To all the Changemakers I get to do this work with, big up yourselves! We’re doing the work! Happy Holladays!! – Caronne Porter, Community Engagement and Navigator Manager
This year has been one of big transitions at Nourish Colorado. I’m so grateful that I could contribute to the transitions and watch the organization flourish under a new mission and vision. Our future is bright and I’d like to thank all of our supporters and donors for making that happen – particularly the wonderful funding partners who work with us to refine our ideas and make them stronger, including the Gates Family Foundation, the Telluray Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, the Anthem Foundation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the NextFifty Initiative, Centura, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
It’s a pleasure to work with the Nourish team and I’m excited to see what 2022 has in store for us! – Sara Struckman, Grants Manager
Throughout our big transitions and exciting changes over the past couple of years, I am very grateful to have had such amazing support from our vendors, who are very much an extension of our team to help move us forward through all of these changes smoothly and reach our goals. A big shout out to our teams at NFP Partners, GrahamGolden Technologies, Grapevine Local Marketing, Top Fox Marketing, All Copy, and Community Language Cooperative for always being so great to work with, providing excellent service, ensuring our projects are completed efficiently and effectively – and doing it all with a personal touch.
You all make a big difference in our day-to-day operations and we couldn’t do it without you – thanks for all you do! – Amber Clemetson, Strategic Initiatives Manager
I haven’t been here very long, but I am grateful to Nourish Colorado for not only giving me the opportunity to grow and develop as a professional, but also work around a team of people who are nothing short of passionate about their line of work. I hope for nothing but great things for Nourish in the New Year!
– Devin Porch, Director of Business & Operations
Welcoming Lonni Byrd, Food Access Manager to the Nourish Team!
Lonni Byrd has joined the Nourish team as Food Access Manager and will be will be managing the Double Up Food Bucks program, while also supporting other Healthy Incentive programs. Lonni has worked in many capacities in the food system for over 10 years. She is passionate about and committed to helping facilitate equity and accessibility to healthy food for people in underserved and underrepresented communities. Lonni is the proud mother of one child, and loves travel, food, and art. Connect with Lonni at Lonni@NourishColorado.org!
Opportunities Nourish is currently hiring for a full-time Project Specialist and a part-time Produce Access Specialist! We are also accepting applications to join our Nourish Advisory Board. There are many other partner opportunities to check out right now on our job board. Events Register for our Local Procurement Colorado (LoProCO) workshop series launching in Southeast Colorado on January 28th! Learn more about the series here. Let’s Dig In! Together to Transform the Food System Thank you for digging in with us again this month, and we hope you continue to read our newsletter each month! If you haven’t already, please subscribe. We are working to sustain – and grow – our initiatives across the state and to do the advocacy we know must be done to make these efforts the norm. To help support our work, we most respectfully ask that you contribute whatever you can, whenever you can, to help us in these endeavors. For every part you play in transforming the food system, we appreciate you!
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