Some of the most successful marketing strategies used by the Garden Share programs at Community Food Share:

  • Word of mouth was one of the most successful ways to get volunteers into the Garden Share programs. Volunteers that were already part of Community Food Share’s work were interested in how to get involved in other ways. These committed volunteers spread the word to friends, family, and even coworkers to help increase the visibility of the program in the community.
  • The Garden Share program guide and informational brochure were both available for volunteers and interested community members. The brochure was handed out at tabling and community events as well as being available in CFS’s front lobby. The brochure is a quick “how-to guide” on getting started. The Garden Share program guide was available to interested volunteers that wanted more information and those who signed up for garden or gleaning events. Both a physical copy and a PDF were available for each document.
  • Reaching out to local newspapers was a great way to get short press releases and even full stories published to the public. This article ran in two different local newspapers. Within days of it being published, the VISTA was contacted by interested volunteers, potential backyard garden donors, and even a very generous man wanting to donate his private property for the Earth’s Table gardens.
  • Tabling at a local farmers market where produce was already being gleaned provided a lot of outreach to potential volunteers and interested community members. Other events, such as volunteer fairs at the local college, community events, and groups’ monthly meetings, were a great way to get the word out about the programs and engage with people.
  • The Community Food Share website also hosts a page with information on the Garden Share programs. This webpage gives information on how to get involved, how to donate from your garden, and even how a large agricultural producer can become a donor.



Community Food Share (CFS) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit food bank serving Boulder and Broomfield Counties in Colorado since 1981. Last year Community Food Share distributed close to 10 million pounds of healthy, nutritious food to food insecure individuals and families through its 42 partner agencies and pantries as well as its three direct distribution programs. The quality and freshness of the food is a strong focus of the organization with the goal of fresh produce accounting for 35% of distribution.  

In 2016, Community Food Share brought on a Harvest Against Hunger VISTA to put more focus on the Garden Share programs. During the 2017 season the VISTA brought in 17,300 more pounds than the previous season without the VISTA. Garden Share encompasses several growing and harvesting programs that bring fresh, local produce into the food bank. The Community Garden Donations is a collaboration with Earth’s Table, a nonprofit community of gardeners who maintain several garden sites around the Boulder area. The volunteers of the Earth’s Table group grow everything from seed to harvest to help feed hungry people by donating to Community Food Share and a few other local agencies. This program also encourages home and community gardeners to share their bounty from their backyards and community gardens. The Farm to Food Bank program works with local, regional and state farmers to bring in fresh produce, meat and dairy items to the food bank. Many of these farmers work with a culled produce recovery program, donating excess product already harvested from their fields. Some smaller local Boulder County farmers have even participated in the Monday Produce Pick-Up program, started by the VISTA, to collect excess produce from farms that did not have the staff time to deliver the product to the warehouse. The Gleaning program also works with some of these farms that do not have the labor or resources to collect all the produce out of their field but see the potential of the amount of food left that can be recovered. Farms will contact Community Food Share, and the VISTA will also reach out to farms to request for groups to come and gather the produce. 


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