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Press Release

Arvada Sunrise Rotary and Metro State Launch ‘Food for Thought’ Nutrition Initiative

600+ DPS students receive weekend take-home food

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: March 16, 2012

WHAT:   The Arvada Sunrise Rotary and Metropolitan State College of Denver have joined forces to establish a new food bank that provides weekend food distribution to 600+ students from two Denver Public School (DPS) elementary schools, Fairview and Columbian. The groceries will include nonperishables such as tuna, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, and dried goods.


HOW:    The Arvada Sunrise Rotary club has raised about $40,000 so far to fund the program. It’s estimated that providing groceries each week to students at the two schools for one school year will cost $80,000. The food is purchased from the Food Bank of the Rockies at a cost of $4.00 per bag. Faced with the logistical challenge of establishing a food bank, the Rotary turned to Metro State for support with storing and assembling what is being called “Power Sacks” of groceries. Each week, volunteers will ensure the food is delivered to the schools. Since more than 90 percent of the students at both schools are Title 1, all students are eligible and automatically enrolled in the program.


WHY:      Students from lower-income households qualify for the federally subsidized school lunch program, which helps meet their nutritional needs during the week. However, several studies have found that many students are still unprepared to learn on Monday morning because they received insufficient or sometimes no food over the weekend. The Rotary has been involved in a similar effort benefiting Swanson Elementary in Arvada, but wanted to do more and identified a larger need in DPS locally. According to the USDA the number of US household accessing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (Food Stamps) nationwide has more than doubled in the last ten years from 17 million participants in 2001 to 44 million participants in 2011.


WHEN: Program Implementation Agenda

 Wednesday, March 14, 2011                                                                   (11:00 a.m. – Noon)                    

             Metro State ‘Food for Thought’ Power Sack assembly by students, faculty and staff

Plaza Building 127


Friday, March 16, 2011 

Loading food from the Metro State Plaza Building 127/Loading Dock    (7:30 – 9:30 a.m.)

Delivery to Fairview and Columbian elementary schools                          (9:30 – 10:30 a.m.)

Distribution of grocery Power Sacks to students as school ends                (2:45 – 3:15pm)              


WHO:   Program principals Bob Bell and John Thielen, Avarada Sunrise Rotary;

              Michael Wray, Ph.D., Metro State Associate Professor Hospitality, Tourism and Events


WHERE: Auraria Campus (900 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204) Plaza Building 127 Loading Dock

For parking and directions, visit

Fairview Elementary School (2715 W. 11th Ave. Denver, CO 80204)

Columbian Elementary School (2925 W. 40th Ave. Denver, CO 80211)


About Metropolitan State College of Denver

With nearly 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts nearly 75,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.