When it comes to food justice and accessibility, 25-year old Dana Guber is a veteran volunteer. As a middle school student she volunteered alongside her mother and grandmother at Boulder’s Meals on Wheels. She helped start a student-run farm during college. Now she works as program coordinator for Fort Collins’s Meals on Wheels and volunteers as a member of The Growing Project’s board of directors.
Once FoCo Café opens its doors, Guber has her sights set on helping the Café meet its mission to use local, organic, and sustainably grown ingredients through The Growing Project’s Food Finders initiative, a program she co-founded with other local food activists and helps coordinates.
“I work with 10 volunteers that go to gardens, farms and grocers by bicycle to pick up food that would otherwise be composted or thrown away,” Guber says. “Then we deliver that food to local nonprofits that feed the hungry, such as The Food Bank of Larimer County, Catholic Charities, and The Matthew’s House. Eventually I want FoCo Café to become a recipient. We’re really excited for them to be open so we can help them.”
Guber originally learned about FoCo Café and met Jeff and Kathleen through The Growing Project. “I support them endlessly,” Guber says, whether coming to events, donating equipment and supplies to the Café—through Meals on Wheels she was able to pass on 200 boxes of high quality olive oil—or making the Café a beneficiary of Food Finders.
In return, the Café supports Guber’s personal mission to increase food accessibility. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or how much money you make,” she says. “You can go there and hang out and have delicious food you don’t cook yourself. I think that’s inspiring to a lot of people who don’t normally have access to cooking that sort of food.”
She also hopes that in addition to feeding people, the Café will become a hub for food justice. “I’d like to see the space be open to the community or free or donation-based classes, where meetings can take place, and where anyone can learn how to grow and prepare their own food,” Guber says.
In the meantime, Guber’s working days and free time are dedicated to “putting good food in everyone’s mouth.” FoCo Café, through Food Finders, is one more way to make that happen. “That’s really where I hope we can help them,” she says. “I want to get them as much good food as possible.”
To learn more about Food Finders, The Growing Project, or Meals on Wheels, contact Dana Guber at firstname.lastname@example.org.