Vino, a fest, recognition and ... poop

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And now to the matter of upcoming food and drink events, two of which pertain to festivals and two of which pertain to sustainability: 

• This Saturday, Sept. 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ranch Foods Direct will host Poopapalooza, the "4th annual great manure stimulus event." Urban gardeners are encourage to come grab some hormone- and antibiotic-free manure in exchange for a donation to Colorado Springs Utilities' Project COPE. A free pig roast will be held in conjunction. 
This year's winemaker's dinner for The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey will be held at the Warehouse in Colorado Springs (versus a typical Cañon City venue). - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • This year's winemaker's dinner for The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey will be held at the Warehouse in Colorado Springs (versus a typical Cañon City venue).

• Next Wednesday, Sept. 24, The Academy Hotel will host the 4th annual Fall Food Festival in partnership with the Mike Boyle Restaurant Show from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets to sample from more than 30 participating food entities are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. 

• The 13th annual Harvest Fest at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey will take place Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28. Catch live music, a local foods market, a winemaker's dinner (at the Warehouse Restaurant), a Saturday festival on the winery's grounds and special wine releases. 

• Lastly, a congrats to the Colorado Springs Food Rescue, who we mentioned in our recent Simplicity column. According to a press release issued by executive director Shane Lory, the group is tentatively set to be featured on NBC's Today show as part of its "Hope To It" series. Here's more from that release: 
An NBC spokesperson says the series profiles people and organizations that find creative ways to make a positive impact on their community. The CSFR segment is tentatively set to air October 7 in the 9 a.m. time slot, though this could change based on other news developments.

CSFR Executive Director Shane Lory said the nonprofit from day one has kept a careful tally of rescued foods, and as of mid-August that total was just over 25,900 pounds. They’ve since added even more, reaching 30,000 pounds. “With the help of generous food donors and our remarkable crew of volunteers, we are achieving the twin goals of cutting down on food waste and getting more food onto the tables of community agencies serving the hungry,” Lory said.

Among the key donors of food have been Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers, Bon Apetit, Jimmy Johns, the Wild Goose Meeting House, La Baguette, Asian Pacific Market, Old School Bakery, and Hunt and Gather. CSFR continues to recruit additional food donors.

Lory said an initial story on CSFR in the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper in February caught the eye of the “Today” Show, whose staff contacted him about doing a segment on CSFR. The show’s production crew was in Colorado Springs August 28 and 29 for interviews and filming.

Food collection and drop-off locations that were filmed included Rastalls cafeteria at Colorado College, Ivywild School, Asian Pacific Market, Marian House Soup Kitchen, Urban Peak, Springs Rescue Mission, and Seeds Community Café. “They filmed meals being served, interviewed key personnel and volunteers,” Lory said, “and I was also able to talk about the basics of how we function and how other cities can get started with their own Food Rescue programs.”

Typical foods collected by CSFR include fresh produce, baked goods, prepared hot foods, and frozen foods. CSFR volunteers pick up these still edible foods which in the past would most often have been thrown out and immediately deliver them to area soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other agencies that are prepared to use them.

Lory pointed out CSFR fills a unique niche by rescuing foods with short shelf life and keeping them usable through its direct redistribution model. Adding to CSFR’s sustainability goals, volunteers transport foods via bicycle trailer whenever and wherever feasible.

Lory said the genesis for CSFR was a group of local college students seeking to help meet hunger needs in the community while also addressing the huge issue of food waste. He said research they conducted showed that one in every six people in the United States is considered at-risk nutritionally, while a joint USDA/EPA study found that 30% to 40% of the food supply in this country gets wasted. “We knew something isn’t right here,” he said, “and we decided to do something about it.” The local program is modeled on similar Food Rescue programs currently active in Colorado in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver.

An early Indiegogo campaign raised initial seed funding for CSFR to buy needed transport equipment and underwrite other set-up expenses. Additional monies have come through fundraising events, grants, and individual donations. CSFR will be one of 76 community charities participating in this year’s IndyGive! Campaign sponsored by the Independent newspaper and Pikes Peak Community Foundation. 

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