Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 21 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Agnes
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Denver Food Rescue is on a mission to feed everyone in need

J-P Mauro - published on 01/17/19

The system is designed to reach the most people and leave the smallest environmental footprint.

It is a popular practice among parents of picky-eating kids to remind them that, “there are hungry children in other countries who would be happy to eat that food.” While this is most likely true, there are also most likely hungry children in your city right now who would be equally happy to eat fresh produce. Unfortunately, in the city of Denver, it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of perishable food will see a landfill before it ever reaches a plate.

This is the statistic that the folks at Denver Food Rescue are trying to change with a direct distribution program which takes food from donors and immediately brings them to a family in need. By bypassing the middle-man — in this case a storage facility that would organize and distribute donations — DFR is able to bring fresh groceries to families before they spoil. This means less unnecessary waste in the landfills and more healthy food for low-income homes.

DFR began their work after a close examination of the city’s food redistribution system, which they said was full of gaps. They noticed that food pantries can only reach small portions of their community. In addition they identified many reasons for which those in need may decide not to go to a food pantry, barriers such as stigma, public transportation, ID requirements, language and cultural differences, and below par foods.

They also noticed that most full-service grocery stores were located in high income areas, while the low-income streets were more likely to be dotted with fast food joints. A poor diet of low-quality food can lead to a variety of health concerns and diet-related illness.

As a No Cost Grocery Program, all of the DFR’s services are free of charge and conducted by volunteers. In order to ensure that the needs of the communities are heard and met, DFR recruited one community leader from each neighborhood in the program to join the Denver Food Rescue Board of Directors, which puts the power in the hands of the very people they serve.

If this program didn’t seem ambitious enough, food deliverers only travel on bicycles, which means their entire distribution network will have limited, if any, impact on the environment. This is a stark contrast to operations that use distribution centers, as carbon-emitting trucks would be needed to bring the food to the warehouse and then again to take it away for distribution.

As of 2018, the Denver Food Rescue had grown to 16 No Cost Grocery Programs. A typical program can feed up to 50 families per week with about one week’s worth of fresh produce. This means the DFR is currently distributing food to around 800 families per week.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to the Denver Food Rescue, you can do so on their website, or call them up at (720) 675-7337.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
Jorge Graña
Did you know Martin Luther King appreciated the Rosary?
Anna Gębalska-Berekets
Couple praises Padre Pio's recipe for a happy marriage
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
'An American Blessed': A documentary to thank God in 2021
Fr. Michael Rennier
What if you think you missed your calling in life?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.