COLORADO SPRINGS — 2021 has seen Food to Power break ground on their Hillside Hub while also working to rebound from 2020 and further their mission of creating a "thriving, equitable food system."
Founded in 2013, Food to Power, formerly the Colorado Springs Food Rescue before a name change at the beginning of 2021 to more accurately reflect the various facets of the organization's efforts, has always been dedicated to promoting food access, food education, and food production; goals this non profit pursues by offering access to several programs including the following:
- Food recovery
- No cost groceries
- Youth internships
- Garden and cooking activities/lessons
The principals Food to Power is committed to carrying out were exceedingly important over the past year as the organization kicked their efforts into overdrive to continue serving those in Colorado Springs.
The organization reports that over 2020, the majority of their no-cost grocery distribution sites shut down due to concerns over the pandemic; the non-profit's solution was to convert their own offices into a food distribution site every day of the week.
According to a report, staff and volunteers completed more than 1,200 food recovery shifts and distributed about 350,000 pounds of fresh food to the community.
As 2021 progresses, the non-profit reports that many of their no-cost grocery partner locations are starting to reopen and new partnerships are being formed, allowing Food to Power to scale back the usage of their own offices to only twice a week.
As if overcoming the challenges of the past year wasn't enough, during the first half of June, the group broke ground on their long awaited community-centric project known as the Hillside Hub.
We’re activating 3.5 acres of land in Southeast Colorado Springs into the Hillside Hub, an equitable neighborhood food center! The Hub will be a space for urban farming, compost production, micro-enterprise development, educational workshops, & fresh grocery distribution.
Planning has been underway since 2016 for the $2,000,000 project and the group reports already having covered $1,750,000 through grants, fundraising, and donations.
The goal is to begin operations out of the Hillside Hub during the first quarter of 2022.
As the group continues forward, the plan is to continue strengthening their current partnerships, seek out new partner agencies, and work everyday to help create a more equitable food system.
"We do that through partnerships, we do that through relationships, we do that through just being able to build in this work with people who are already doing the work," commented Patience Kabwasa, executive director for Food to Power, "so we're not looking to reinvent the wheel, there are a lot of organizations out there doing amazing work, we're looking to continue to build our relationships and strengthen our coalitions with them so that we together are better."
To learn more about Food to Power, from strategic plans to where you can access food and how you can get involved, CLICK HERE.