IFCS | A Denver Area Food Bank and More to Nourish Lives

IFCS’ Main Ingredient: Community

Hello! Today I am revisiting IFCS’ fresh food Market and would like to tell you more about what is happening here.

Going behind the scenes, I was able to see things that aren’t visible to the public: there’s a lot to be excited about! During Todd McPherson’s video tour of the Market at IFCS (which I shared about in my previous blog post), I saw numerous improvements underway.

There were air purifiers in the building, donated for basic dust and allergen filtering. These are a nice amenity when doors are open in the Market and when there is not enough air circulation upstairs. This healthful donation was made by Colorado State University and the Colorado Department of Environmental Health, and is allowing the program participants, volunteers, and staff to breath cleaner air in the building.

The IFCS community room was used recently for assembling donations of school supplies for the Ready, Set, School program. Student sponsors throughout the community provided backpacks for kids as they started the new school year last month. Lots of organizing happened in this room!

This enrichment program reminds me of when I was little and we used to fill shoe boxes with all kinds of personal care items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, small sizes of shampoo, soap, and other items of care. We also would put in little notes to the person who might receive these shoe boxes. They were shipped across the ocean. As a little girl, this experience taught me to see past my own self and I acquired a love for other countries and people who were there. My mother was instrumental in teaching me to think of others, and I can see that a lot of the people involved at IFCS have developed similar ways of thinking: they are invested in strengthening this community resource.

There are more than a few projects happening to improve both the property and the 50+ year old building. IFCS is approaching its 60th anniversary and has a lot of plans for streamlining services in the community – from making delivery truck spaces that won’t interfere with the scheduled times for participants to shop, to enlarging the parking lot and repainting the entire building.

There are renovations under way inside the Market too, making the space more workable for an indoor, market of choice – a shopping experience where income qualified participants can select the food items that they will use and know how to cook. All the building improvements are made possible through the generosity of private funders, as well as donated materials and services from corporate partners.

As you can see, many collaborators help IFCS with day-to-day operations and help IFCS make improvements that ultimately allow the services to reach more people. That’s essential, especially now, because more and more people are needing the support of IFCS. The Market Impact graph featured atop this blog entry shows that this summer, IFCS has seen more first-time visitors to the Market than they did a year ago, when records were breaking. With continued inflation and winter on its way, participant numbers are expected to grow. The staff is working hard to keep up with the demand, but funding is sporadic, making for ongoing challenge. It’s the support of the community that keeps things moving forward.

I am so amazed at the volunteers who come in and keep everything working at The Market @ IFCS. They’re restocking food and registering new visitors, helping them navigate the shopping experience, all with a happy heart – even if they have to use hand gestures to bridge language differences. It gives me a good feeling. In my next blog post, I am going to do a spotlight on one of IFCS’ corporate partners, so we can dive more deeply into why supporters want to collaborate with IFCS. Stay tuned!


Kathryn Adams is a Nurse Freelance Writer who started out her career as a Firefighter EMT-B then RN and has transitioned to professional writing.  She started volunteering with IFCS in 2018 because she has a passion to help others. When she isn’t writing she enjoys hiking, yoga, skiing, and traveling. She lives with her husband, dog and kitty in the Colorado Mountains.

 

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or  retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. Mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. Fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or 
  3. Email:
    program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

This statement was updated 8.3.22 in accordance with USDA updates and guidelines.

Eligibility and Income Guidelines

Anyone experiencing food insecurity and self-identifying as meeting the Income Guidelines below is eligible for IFCS Food Market services.

Income Guidelines:
As of March 1, 2023, a household may meet income-based standards in either of the following two ways:

  1. Participate in one of these public assistance programs:
    • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
    • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
    • Old Age Pension (OAP)
    • Aid to Needy Disabled (AND)
    • Aid to the Blind (AB)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Medicaid Eligible Foster Children
  1. If the household does not participate in any of the above public assistance programs, the household must meet the requirements based on the chart below, having a combined gross income not exceeding the maximum income limit for the applicable household size.

For IFCS Financial Assistance Programs (Rental and Utility Bill Payment Assistance), we have a service area of western Arapahoe (Centennial, Englewood, Glendale, Greenwood Village, Littleton, and Sheridan) and southwest Denver Neighborhoods. This includes Bear Valley, College View, Fort Logan, Harvey Park, Harvey Park South, Marston & South Platte (Southwest Neighborhoods further defined as being south of Jewell and west of Santa Fe). IFCS Rental Assistance Programs may be limited to the cities listed within Arapahoe County.

For IFCS Enrichment Programs, we have a service area covering:

  • Western Arapahoe County: Centennial, Englewood, Glendale, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Sheridan, and unincorporated Arapahoe County.
  • Southwest Denver Neighborhoods: Bear Valley, College View, Fort Logan, Harvey Park, Harvey Park South, Marston & South Platte (Southwest Neighborhoods further defined as being south of Jewell and west of Santa Fe).
  • Northern Douglas County: Highlands Ranch, Littleton, and Lone Tree.
  • Southern Jefferson County: Lakewood, Littleton, Morrison (Neighborhoods further defined as being south of Jewell and the C-470 Corridor – including Columbine, Bow Mar, Dakota Ridge, and Ken Caryl Ranch)

 Applications outside of these listed areas will not be accepted. (Central Denver, North Denver, and Aurora applications will not be accepted.)