Forward Food Summit

“We know that 1 in 8 jobs in Colorado are in the food industry and yet many people working in the food industry are food insecure.”

The 3rd Annual Forward Food Summit is happening at the Mercury Café in Denver on April 16th.   The event is organized by Denver Food Rescue, an offshoot of Boulder Food Rescue that was founded to facilitate perishable food donation. Hana Dansky, one of BFR’s co-founders says it’s important that Denver Food Rescue is co-hosting the summit as the city has its own specific food justice issues that are very different to Boulder.

“We really want to focus on participatory work and really work with the communities that are most affected by the issues that we’re trying to work on. So to assume that because of the landscape in Boulder had a lot of food waste and a lot of food insecure people and that we figured out a system to address both of those.  To assume that that would be exactly the same in Denver isn’t valid because there are a lot more food recovery organizations there, food pantries doing different things and there are communities that are living in food deserts that don’t have access to grocery stores and those communities are culturally different….even though we focus on fruits and vegetables and direct distribution, it looks really different, it feels really different down in Denver.”

The topic of this year’s summit is the intersection of food and economic justice “We’re trying to look at the food industry. We know that 1 in 8 jobs in Colorado are in the food industry and yet many people working in the food industry are food insecure and we’re trying to delve into some of those questions around why is that the case and what is a minimum wage, what is a living wage. We’re trying to look at why does the economy benefit some people greater than others? and teasing apart the intersection of food and economic justice.”

The summit brings together speakers from around Colorado to engage the audience in specific areas such as: job readiness, entrepreneurism, minimum and living wage, cooperative food systems, healthy food access, anti-oppression and more. Our goals are to both engage the audience with new ideas and challenging conversations, as well as to provide a space for individuals to network and facilitate potential collaborations between people working in the food justice field in the Front Range area.

Boulder Food Rescue recently collaborated with the City of Boulder in publishing a report on food waste in Boulder and its impact on the local food system and carbon emissions.  The report estimates that current food donation in Boulder is responsible for diverting three percent of the commercial organic solid waste stream.  Increasing food retailer participation in donation programs and increasing diversion to six percent could save an additional 700 tons of usable food and avoid more than 580 tons of carbon emissions.


The 3rd Annual Forward Food Summit happens April 16th at the Mercury Café in Denver.