July 2, 2024

Reducing cultural barriers to food security

To reduce barriers, Food Bank of the Rockies’ Culturally Responsive Food Initiative is expanding, with support from Kaiser Permanente in Colorado.

There’s a growing need for culturally responsive foods in Colorado food pantries.

Food Bank of the Rockies is expanding its Culturally Responsive Food Initiative, increasing access to culturally relevant foods, inclusive training, and language services across Colorado and Wyoming.

People from diverse cultural backgrounds can face major obstacles when they need to access community food pantries and programs. Their challenges range from language barriers to a lack of culturally important ingredients, such as masa flour or ginger.

To reduce those barriers, Food Bank of the Rockies’ Culturally Responsive Food Initiative, with support from Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, provided 20 of their Hunger Relief Partners with special training, $5,000 in food credits, and $1,000 in capacity funding to address language and other barriers. These Hunger Relief Partners, including local food pantries and relief organizations, also received assistance to deploy community needs surveys that facilitate the foods and services of interest for community members.

All of these efforts were part of Food Bank of the Rockies’ Building Belonging Program, which is an extension of the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative.

Foods of the heart — why they matter

Studies show food insecurity rates are higher for racial and ethnic minority groups. Providing Hunger Relief Partners (community organizations and food pantries) with training, resources, and food allows diverse populations to access and prepare culturally relevant meals and reduces barriers to food access.

Described by Food Bank of the Rockies, culturally relevant foods are “foods of the heart,” which help people feel “at home.”

In partnership

A $480,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente in Colorado is helping Food Bank of the Rockies expand the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative and its Building Belonging Program.

Hunger Relief Partners throughout Colorado and Wyoming will have access to web-based training supported by the grant.

Learn more about our commitment to building healthy communities.