Through intersectional research, CSFR has found that food pantries and distribution sites serve specific neighborhoods and city blocks, while there are neighborhoods that remain disproportionately underserved. We partner with these neighborhoods that are hardest to access, to create community-driven solutions to food insecurity.
All grocery programs are community-driven, with an average of 50 community members participating at each site each week.
The Grocery Program model exists to serve and collaborate with otherwise overlooked neighborhoods with a realization that income is inversely proportional to consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Often low-income communities exhibit diet related diseases that can be avoided by increased consumption of fresh produce.
How it Works
Volunteers bring fresh groceries to a trusted community venue, with community leaders in charge of handling the operations of a weekly grocery distribution program. Once the foundation of food security is generated, Grocery Programs also become sites for:
In other words, grocery programs become sites for programs and events that are relevant and decided upon by the community. Our robust network of partners, including the American Diabetes Association - Colorado, Colorado Springs Community Centers, Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, & UCCS' Flying Carrot, assist to maximize impact of programmatic sites.
We currently have 7 community-led grocery programs. Combined, these programs distribute thousands of pounds of healthy food to over 500 families each week. They are currently located at:
- Atlas Preparatory School
- Greccio Housing - Plaza on Platte location
- Highland Mobile Home Park's "¡Amor a la Comunidad!" Program
- Meadows Park Community Center
- Sleepy Valley Mobile Home Park
- "The Hub": Relevant Word Christian Cultural Center / Hillside Community Center
- Westside Community Center (collaboration with food pantry)
At our grocery programs, we have a programmatic model of participatory structure, in which "The individuals who do the work benefit from the work".
We aim to foster values of respect, dignity, community building and "mission matching", or partnering with people & organizations of complementary values and goals.
The community leaders of Colorado Springs Food Rescue provide the link between our organization and their community. They are trusted messengers of their community that ensure that the participatory structure is maintained and strengthened.
“Promotores are highly skilled community members / leaders ...Characterized by servicio de corazón—service from the heart—Promotores share a desire to serve their community and improve conditions so that their children, and all children, may know a better way of life. Living in the communities where they work, Promotores are powerful advocates for individual and community transformation. They share information with community residents about local resources and have the capacity to influence policies related to critical issues facing their communities” (Vision y Compromiso).