FERN is if a food resource collaborative headquartered at 2830 S. Zuni Street, Denver, Colorado. FERN feeding an estimated 800 families each week. We have seven sharing partners, eight participating member food pantries, a shared 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse, an industrial size refrigerator and freezer, reliable food transportation vehicles, and a framework for continued strategic business planning.

All of the collaborative partners use the client choice model for an engaging, interactive, and empowering experience that better serves their clients. The client choice model, in addition to reducing waste associated with the traditional food box model, honors diversity based on cultural food preferences and enables the power of choice. Use of this model has proven to be a critical part of the equation to move people away from dependency and toward self-sufficiency.


To increase the volume and quality of food offered to hunger-relief organizations through 

  • collective food acquisition
  • coordinated and streamlined food delivery and storage
  • collaborative programming and services
  • a shared commitment to promoting best practice
  • building more effective systems that reduce waste

CORE values

Adequate Scale: FERN partners are committed to ensuring all who are hungry have access to healthy food sources, and the collaborative is committed to maintaining a scale of donations adequate to meet demand.

Collaboration: Collaborative networks of hunger-relief organizations accomplish more than can be achieved independently.

Transparency: Democracy and Shared Risk — Power is in the collective and no one partner will have more power or a louder voice than another. Decisions are made collaboratively, collectively and transparently. Partners share risks and have shared ownership of positive and negative financial results.

Best Practices: Partners are committed to sharing best practices and to supporting each other in their adoption.

Staple Foods: Hunger relief organizations should consistently provide staple food to their clients, including fresh fruits,vegetables and dairy products.

Advocacy: As a collaborative our voice is amplified, and we commit to using this voice to influence local and statewide policy to the benefit of our constituents.

Contact: Joyce Neufeld, Executive Director Community Ministry of Southwest Denver, 303-935-3428

Fiscal Sponsor: Rocky Mountain Research and Prevention Institute, Dr. Lisa VanBramer, MD, Executive Director