COLORADO SPRINGS – Colorado Springs Food Rescue is growing programs, putting down roots and helping to provide fresh food access for more people than ever.
According to an annual report, the group had its most successful year ever in 2018.
CSFR, which started saving food in 2013, rescued 371,000 pounds of food valued at $1,357,900 which was then distributed to more than 13,000 people.
The food is gathered up from more than a dozen grocery store partners and several local gardens before being redistributed to the group’s nine community-led no cost grocery programs.
The annual report indicates volunteers redistributed more than 5,000 pounds of food to about 600 families each week.
In a poll, 64% of the families participating indicated they attended the program each week and another third stated that they received “most” of their fruits and vegetables from the program.
Over the course of 2018, CSFR also worked to reinforce and grow their education, composting, and additional fresh food access programs (learn about all of them here).
Going forward, the organization has big plans to set up a large, permanent site called the Hillside Hub. That’s where they will pilot out new programs and reinforce their existing ones.
“The Hillside Hub is going to be a community-operated space where neighbors can come to grow, cook, access, advocate for and learn about fresh food. So it will be rooted in a variety of different programs,” stated Zac Chapman, executive director of CSFR.
According to Chapman, there will be:
- An outdoor community garden partnered with multiple non-profits
- A compost park, or ecological playground
- A 4-seasons, solar passive greenhouse
- And a 3,000 sqft community space for various classes, food distribution, and administrative offices
The complex is expected to cost $1.7 million, and it’s raised about $800,000 so far. The group will be running fundraising campaigns to make up the difference. If you would like to get involved, CLICK HERE.
CSFR hopes to start construction on the greenhouse and community space next year but plans to pilot out its community learning farm this summer.
“So it is going to be a multi-phase approach… our goal though is to be fully operational with programs that integrate fresh food access, fresh food education and youth employment, and fresh food production by the second half of next year,” finished Chapman.