Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Holiday
Lunch Lizard summer food trucks take to the streets

Now in its third summer season, the Lunch Lizard mobile meals program is busy serving hot meals to children in low-income neighborhoods. This summer, new stops in Palisade and Riverside were added. A total of 3 routes with 17 stops are projected to serve 28,000 meals between May 30th and August 4th, 2017.

Notes Dan Sharp, Director of D51 Food and Nutrition Services, "we like to remind the community that child hunger doesn't take a summer break. We are seeing huge need and phenomenal growth in the program. Our first summer (2015), we served 4,000 meals. Last summer we served almost 16,000 meals. This summer it looks like it could be 28,000 meals."

For more information or to volunteer to provide activities for children at the truck sites, contact Jody at

Zoe House Gets A Permanent Home
Challenge grant helps secure a permanent 
safe house
Karis/The House has been expanding the number of homes and services it offers to homeless teens in need of a safe place to live and regroup as they look for jobs or complete their secondary education.  

Zoe House provides services for young victims of assault and abuse to get back on their feet. The program has been renting a house for several years. The State of Colorado has made it possible for Karis to purchase the home pending a commitment of $30,000 for roof and furnace replacement.

One of our donors has issued a $15,000 challenge match to Karis in order to secure the property. An additional $15,000 needs to be raised by August 30th. 

If you would like to donate to the Zoe House match challenge, contact John Mok-Lamme,  jmoklamme
Celebrating our 20th Anniversary!
An invitation to support our 20th Anniversary Fund

Help us meet our goal of $100,000 for impact grants! 

There is still time to contribute to our Community Foundation's 20th Anniversary Fund and support impact grants like those highlighted in this newsletter!

Donations of any size received by August 30, 2017 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous challenge from the Boettcher Foundation.

For more info, contact Anne Wenzel at awenzel@
$20,000 Impact Grants Available
Funding available to support innovative solutions to unmet needs

In celebration of our Community Foundation's 20th anniversary, we will be making up to five $20,000 impact grants. Impact grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations that identify a clear, documented need, are proposing innovative solutions, and are collaborating with other nonprofit and government entities.

The deadline for nonprofits to submit a Letter of Intent is June 30, 2017. More information is available on the website,



The Western Colorado Community Foundation is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations by the Council on Foundations.

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An anticipated 18 tons of fruit and 48 tons of vegetables will be grown and donated to Mesa County food banks this summer

Community Alliance
Growing fresh fruits and vegetables for those in need

Fruit and vegetable growing is in full swing at CSU's Research Station on Orchard Mesa. Local nonprofit Grow Another Row and its new partner organization, Colorado State University Extension Program, are working together to involve the community in growing and distributing more fresh fruits and vegetables to our community's food banks. The bulk of food available at food banks are packaged and fresh produce is limited, if available at all.  

CSU is making 9 acres of fruit trees and 9 acres of vegetable plots available for community use at its research facilities, something that is unprecedented in our state. School age children are planting and growing healthy food. Many different community groups will be involved in harvesting crops and packing fresh produce for delivery to Food Bank of the Rockies. An anticipated 18 tons of fruit and 48 tons of vegetables will be grown and donated this summer.  

This multi-organization partnership is called the Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief and involves Western Colorado Community College, School District 51, the John McConnell Math and Science Center and the Food Bank of the Rockies.

Our $20,000 impact grant provides general operating support to cover staff and expenses related to this summer's pilot effort.

Micro Housing
New program teaches youth construction skills through building affordable housing 

The tiny house movement is spreading across the country as both a means for simple living and a solution to affordable housing. Here in western Colorado, CASA and Housing Resources of Western Colorado are partnering with Hilltop's Residential Youth Services and the Division of Youth Corrections to help youth in these programs develop construction skills and build these small homes. The standard model provides a loft for a bedroom, kitchen and dining/living areas, and bathroom carefully compacted in 450 square feet of livable space.  
A first house being built this summer will be sold and a portion of the proceeds will be used to build a second house. The long-term goal is to have youth who are aging out of the foster care system be able to build and afford their own home. The Micro House Partnership is exploring land parcels and zoning to develop a whole community of affordable micro houses for veterans, homeless or other low-income individuals.

Our $20,000 impact grant will purchase the necessary materials to build the first micro house. Another $5,000 grant enabled CASA to purchase the hand and power tools that will be used to build this first house and future houses.

Youth at work building a tiny house gain marketable construction skills and support affordable housing
Colorado Canyons Association
Launches Catalpa Project
Riverside camp developed for outdoor education and recreation programs 

Catalpa Camp on the Colorado River  will serve 
as an outdoor classroom for under-served 
high school students

Catalpa trees are common here in our western region, but opportunities for students to learn about science, math and engineering in an outdoor classroom environment is a new and exciting initiative of the Colorado Canyons Association (CCA).

Phase I of the Catalpa Project involved clearing and developing land for a  camp on the Ruby Horsethief stretch of the Colorado River and is now completed. Grant funding from several of our Community Foundation donor-advised funds provided funding for Phase II to complete the camp infrastructure and purchase river and camp equipment. Programs are being developed that will bring under-served high school youth to the camp for STEM-based programs, afford CMU students the opportunity for restoration research, and provide training to D51 teachers on conducting STEM-based environmental education safely in an outdoor setting.  
Reflections from the
Executive Director
"Summertime, and the livin' is easy..." So goes the classic song by George Gershwin. 
As the temperatures rise above 100 degrees, day-to-day living is NOT so easy for many people in our communities. Our Community Foundation is supporting different projects this summer that are making life a little bit better for our neighbors. Our signature project in partnership with School District 51 Food and Nutrition Services, the Lunch Lizard food trucks feed hundreds of children who may go without lunch or other meals during the summer months when they are not in school. The exciting new hunger relief alliance featured in our story (above) is growing and distributing fresh produce to our food pantries, thanks to the generosity of CSU and the ingenuity of our local Grow Another Row hunger relief organization.

As temperatures soar, and we all retreat indoors to cool places, we hope our donors and friends will continue to "look outward," beyond themselves, and find ways to make a difference. Thank you readers for donating time and money to make our communities a better place for all of us.

-- Anne Wenzel