Nourish Colorado: Addressing Hunger through Food Programs and Systems Change
Prior to the pandemic, fewer than 10% of Coloradans reported food insecurity, according to Nourish Colorado, a tenant of Urban Land Conservancy’s Tramway Nonprofit Center. Today, 33% of Coloradans report food insecurity, and 43% of those are non-white and Latino.
Nourish Colorado, formerly Livewell Colorado, has been fighting against inequities in our food system since 2009. Since the pandemic, their work is more critical than ever.
A system that devalues farmers, food workers, and small food producers in favor of supporting major corporations impacts the quality and type of food that is available, according to the organization. The effects of these inequities compound for marginalized communities–so as housing continues to be a challenge and nearly inaccessible in many communities throughout Colorado, rising food prices, healthcare costs, lack of dependable public transit, unaffordable childcare, and many other issues continue to work against families who are also experiencing food insecurity.
Nourish works to change the system by partnering with entities like growers, food retailers, school districts, and policy writers, facilitating communication and helping distribute resources and knowledge. Over the past year, Nourish has created a comprehensive Law and Policy Roadmap to provide guidance and recommendations on key legal questions in our food system at the state and federal level. Its seven key objectives are meant to guide policy decisions and keep the focus on reforming the food system through an equity lens and with community input.
“We believe in the importance of equity and intentional collaboration with partners to inform our ongoing work,” says Amber Clemetson of Nourish. As we continue to sharpen and refine these seven key objectives, we want to bring in the voices and perspectives of our partners. Qiana Mickie, Founding Principal of QJM Multiprise, has been working with us on bringing an equity lens to the roadmap development and ways to engage our partners on this journey. During August and September, Nourish and Qiana are hosting Zoom discussions to move beyond legal analysis to better understand the landscape around these issues. These 90-minute discussion-oriented webinars address five of the seven legal objectives from the roadmap.”
To register for the webinars, click here.
To read the Law and Policy Roadmap, click here.
Like many nonprofits, Nourish Colorado has faced challenges renting office space in Denver’s expensive real estate market. They moved into ULC’s Tramway Nonprofit Center in the beginning of 2022, where they were able to take advantage of below-market rental rates.
Jesse Hulling, a Project Specialist at Nourish, said of the move: “We are located in the Whittier district, just a few minutes from downtown and still close to the Capitol, surrounded by many other non-profits in our community. Despite the obstacles, we are grateful to have a workspace in the heart of Denver and are able to work alongside other amazing non-profits that are making a difference in the community.”
Nourish is a vital part of our nonprofit scene here in Denver, and Urban Land Conservancy is glad to play a part in keeping them close to the communities they serve.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Nourish, visit https://nourishcolorado.org/get-involved/, contact Contact@NourishColorado.org. or follow them at @LetsNourishCO.
If you’re interested in joining the collaborative community at Tramway Nonprofit Center, click here.