DIG IN! with Nourish Colorado – June Newsletter

Welcome to our June newsletter, colleagues and friends!    The state legislative session is (finally!) over and with much to celebrate (read on below), the summer farm season is underway, and hopefully many of you are finding some time to take a vacation in the coming months. Read on to hear more about what we have been up to!   We are now six months in to our new brand. How are we doing?! If you have not visited our “About” page, please take a moment to read through our guiding values and commitments. Our commitments include:    Including the voices and elevating the roles of those that our work aims to benefit. Seeking the knowledge, guidance, and partnership of local, state, and national organizations. Employing solutions that are informed by research evidence as well as by community.  Testing and trying new solutions. Being adaptive and responsive in our work. Working ourselves out of our jobs. Ensuring that our decisions, actions, and allocation of resources contribute to an equitable, multicultural, and multiracial society with distributed and shared power.     We have included a few examples under each commitment. Most importantly, you can share your observations with us here. We’d love to hear from you about what you see us doing well, or not so well, and we’d appreciate talking with you more about your own efforts, so we can learn from each other.     Welcome to summer, and Happy Juneteenth! May you all have a celebratory weekend! Adding to the celebration: Juneteenth is now officially a federal holiday with the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which President Joe Biden signed today!     -The Nourish Team 
HEALTHY FOOD INCENTIVES
Double Up Food Bucks  Not sure if there is a Double Up location near you? Check out the Double Up Food Bucks Colorado participating sites map. Double Up is available at over 30 counties across Colorado! The map updates as markets open, so if you still don’t see a location near you, we encourage you to check our full site list. Did you know that food producing plants and seeds are now eligible with Double Up!? Check out what other types of produce are eligible with Double Up here to help plan your shopping trip. Don’t miss out on fresh, Colorado grown produce this season!     WIC FMNP  Nourish Colorado, in partnership with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is launching WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program on July 1st! WIC FMNP offers WIC participants $30 worth of vouchers to be spent on Colorado grown, fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. In this inaugural year, 12 farmers markets in Colorado will be participating. Recipients will receive vouchers and market dates information from County WIC offices.  
CNIP The Colorado Nutrition Incentive Program — weekly boxes of local produce for participants in either WIC or Older Adult Congregate Meal Programs — continues to expand in 2021. Thanks to partnerships with NextFifty Initiative as well as newly secured funds from the state legislature, we are launching 2021 seasonal partnerships to bring weekly local produce to older adults in rural and mountain communities, as well as WIC mamas in metro Denver, southern Colorado, and the Western Slope. This year, we are fortunate to expand our partnerships with Area Agencies on Aging, county WIC offices, Cooking Matters, and a really cool new twist with our very own Chef Jess! She will enhance this program by developing multi-media materials to correspond with the CSA products. These materials will be a mix of recipe cards and videos (of our chefs!) demonstrating how to use a mix of items everyone will receive. Everything will be oriented towards small portions, avoiding food waste, cooking for 1-2 people, and low-labor. We will share them widely when done! 
HEALTHY FOOD IN INSTITUTIONS
Local Procurement Colorado (LoProCO)  Don’t forget to sign up for our June LoProCO call on the 29th from 2-3pm. Our topic is “Sprouting Conversations – Building the Farm to School Movement” and we are featuring Cucumbers and Radishes. Register Here 
We also have our July LoProCO call on the 20th from 2-3pm. We will have a guest speaker for our topic “Understanding and Navigating USDA Grants to further your Farm to School Efforts” and we are featuring Tomatoes and Chard! Register Here 
And finally, our August call is scheduled for the 3rd from 2-3pm. It’s back to school time and now is prime time to promote your local food efforts. Rainey Wikstrom will be joining us for this call and we are featuring Sweet Corn and Melons! Register Here  Culinary Trainings For Culinary Trainings – there are some great opportunities coming up! Our main focus right now is our Virtual Knife Skills Training for K12 foodservice workers. It is a 2-part series with Part 1 on July 14th and Part 2 on July 21st. Both trainings run from 2-3pm. We have limited spots available with registration closing on July 7th. Participants will receive a gift card to cover the cost of food along with a grocery and equipment list to ensure you are ready to go! Sign up here! 
HEALTHY FOOD SYSTEMS POLICY
The state legislative session finished their work four days earlier than their constitutionally mandated deadline, which this year, due to the pandemic, was June 12th. In a flurry of activity, however, they managed to wind things down in the evening of Tuesday, June 8th. They passed more legislation than in the previous four years, with 81 percent of the introduced bills passing. That track record was good news for food systems and food access as we increased funding in the healthy food incentive fund from $200,000 to $500,000 improving our ability to reach more Double Up Food Bucks and Produce Box program participants. Significant immigration reform (SB21-199) passed enabling more people access to public services, including food access, and agricultural workers gained new rights and protections (SB21-087). This provided just a peek at what went on under the gold dome in 2021. Click through to get a more thorough review of farm and food system legislation. We were not idle on the federal front while the state was doing their thing. Marker bills for Child Nutrition Reauthorization are getting introduced and USDA has been seeking comments and input on a variety of issues of interest, most currently on supply chains. We will be watching (and commenting) closely as the USDA decides how the $4 billion for food systems infrastructure through the Build Back Better initiative will be allocated and how the new $1 billion to purchase healthy foods and help build food bank capacity benefits Colorado farmers and consumers. Stay with us through the summer as we keep you updated and seek assistance and input on our current federal efforts as well as our 2022 state legislative agenda. Dive deeper each month with our Sprouting Change Policy Blog, follow our State Bill Tracker, follow our Federal Bill Tracker, and join us on the Food Bill Action Team!
FOOD SYSTEMS CHANGEMAKERS
NextFifty Initiative Supports Produce Boxes for Older Adults We would like to recognize a new funding partner for their support of the Colorado Nutrition Incentive Program: CSA Produce Box Program for Older Adult Congregate Meal Participants. The NextFifty Initiative has awarded Nourish Colorado a two-year grant to support produce boxes for older adults in living in high-cost, but remote mountain communities. We are excited that CNIP, which is designed to increase access to locally grown produce for older adults in our community, has received funding from the NextFifty Initiative. It is a tremendous endorsement to have this backing from funders so aligned with our mission. Read more about CNIP here
Root Down, Rise Up with MENV Students! Check out our new summer blog series, Root Down, Rise Up with MENV and meet the talented group of students and changemakers leading the project! These students are focusing their studies on Sustainable Food Systems and are dedicated to finding ways to improve our food system for the benefit of all. The series will focus on topics related to food and justice, such as on-farm food security concerns, agricultural labor rights, and Indigenous foodways. With each topic, the MENV students will provide a digestible update on recent research, context surrounding the importance of each issue, and different opportunities for you to take action, so we can all contribute to creating more sustainable food systems together! Follow along every other week and stay tuned for our upcoming events this fall in partnership with these Masters of the Environment, CU Boulder Graduate Program students.
Opportunities & Resources We are currently seeking a facilitator to lead several statewide (virtual) listening sessions with SNAP recipients to learn more about how to strengthen SNAP’s ability to ensure access to nutritious foods. This is a contract position. Please apply or share with your networks! We also keep an updated events calendar on our website to host the incredible meetings and events happening in the food systems space that we are aware of. Please submit any upcoming events and details or open partner job opportunities you’d like to share to Amber Clemetson. 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. Through an individual contribution or a corporate sponsorship, we most respectfully ask that you contribute whatever you can, whenever you can, to support our work and help us in these endeavors. For every part you play in transforming the food system, we appreciate you!
Nourish Colorado   Nourish Colorado 1490 Lafayette St., #403 Denver, CO 80218   Get In Touch Support Our Work  
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