There are countless nonprofits around Colorado doing wonderful work. These three organizations are on a mission to nurture and support their local communities in unique ways. Read on to learn more about these nonprofits and get inspired to pay it forward.
Mountain Roots Food Project
Mountain Roots Food Project is committed to bettering the local food system with a variety of community-based classes and programs. Based in the Gunnison Valley, the goal of this nonprofit is to foster knowledge and provide opportunities for accessible, affordable, and nutritious food that benefits the local economy and is sustainably produced. Mountain Roots Food Project was founded in 2010 and its first 2,100 square foot urban garden produced more than 600 pounds of food that was donated to local schools and food pantries and offered to volunteers. In 2022, Mountain Roots Food Project began three new community partnerships at the community gardens in the Gunnison Valley, including collaborations with Inmigrantes Unidos; a garden club for women, infants, and children; and support groups in partnership with Project Hope.
Mountain Roots Food Project offers a variety of hands-on experiences, including teaching environmental science in K-12 schools, kids cooking classes, school gardens, a weekly farm stand, middle school nutrition curriculum, high school internships, and a post-graduation “Beginning Farmer Training Program” that teaches regenerative agriculture to the next generation. To volunteer, make a donation, or get more information, visit mountainrootsfoodproject.org.
FocusedKids partners with schools, families, and community organizations to teach mindful self-regulation and brain-building techniques to prioritize healthy brains in children. This research-based social and emotional learning model teaches participants about their brain, helps develop self-awareness, and improves focus both in and out of the classroom.
FocusedKids works with kids as young as two years old in preschool through fifth grade. When used in a classroom setting, FocusedKids meets with teachers for professional development training to explain why the work is important. The FocusedKids team then meets with the whole classroom to teach over a three-week period. Following the three-week program, FocusedKids supports program participants by providing a year-long professional development course as a foundational building block for teachers to successfully manage their classrooms and show up for their students. FocusedKids extends beyond the classroom as well, partnering with parents to provide personalized sessions for their kiddos. To learn more about how this program could work for you and see how they’re making a difference, visit focusedkids.org.
Beef Sticks for Backpacks
Did you know that one in seven children in the United States is unsure where they will get their next meal? This is often due to a lack of financial resources in the household and is an issue more prevalent in Colorado than you may think. Beef Sticks for Backpacks was created by members of the Colorado agriculture community with the goal of helping children who experience food insecurity in Colorado. In partnerships with local sponsors including Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Livestock Association, and Colorado State University, Beef Sticks for Backpacks provides high-quality, protein-rich beef sticks to numerous counties throughout the state. Beef Sticks for Backpacks has distributed a total of 1,561,727 beef sticks to local communities since 2019. Today, every single child in Larimer County receives a beef stick on a weekly basis. This Colorado-grown nonprofit’s commitment to both quality ingredients and ending childhood hunger in Colorado is what makes it shine, and it hopes to one day serve the entire state with its weekly program. You can get involved with Beef Sticks for Backpacks by visiting beefsticks.org.