Celebrates Efforts to Combat Food Insecurity During COVID-19 Pandemic
UPDATED AUGUST 31, 2020:
Local Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations Raised $750,000 and Provided More Than 326,000 Free Meals to Low-Income Families and Elderly Community Members Since March
Denver Metro Emergency Food Network (DMEFN), a group of local businesses and non-profit organizations, is proud to conclude its initial community outreach efforts, having raised more than $750,000, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Response who also raised significant funding, and provided more than 326,000 free meals to low-income families and elderly community members since March.
DMEFN, a coalition between Lost City, Bondadosa, Focus Points Family Resource Center, and Denver Food Rescue, was swiftly created in response to the economic and social challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic for thousands of Denver residents. The organization, which launched on March 18, had an initial goal to deliver 10,000 meals but this number was quickly surpassed to meet the growing needs of the community.
"The COVID pandemic pushed food insecurity to the forefront of everyone's mind,” said Christine Alford, Executive Director of Denver Food Rescue. “DMEFN was able to cohesively collaborate to serve the needs of those whose experiences often go unheard and underserved. We built authentic relationships with the community, used integration of feedback to equitably, and inclusively deliver more than 326,000 meals.”
In order to prepare and deliver thousands of meals per week while keeping staff, volunteers and food recipients safe, DMEFN quickly employed innovative solutions to maintain proper social distancing including partnering with the Colorado Restaurant Response (CRR), an alliance between Rioja, Mercantile, Morin, Kachina, Stanley Marketplace, and others. In conjunction with Lost City Cafe, Serendipity Catering, and Comal Heritage Food Incubator, the satellite kitchens produced the majority of DMEFN’s meals.
DMEFN’s efforts were also made possible through the support of more than 75 restaurants and partner organizations which donated ingredients and other supplies to the cause, including Bridge & Tunnel Restaurant Group, We Don’t Waste and Stoney’s Bar and Grill. Generous donations of sanitizer from local distilleries including Leopold Bros., Woody Creek, Golden Moon and more helped make the operation as safe as possible. Check out the full list of supporting partners at DenverDelivered.com/supporting-organizations.
“We could not have done this without the support and trust of the community. We will continue to work with communities and uplift the voices of those experiences we seek to address," Alford said.
The DMEFN founding organizations will return to focusing on their core missions, many of which support the ongoing fight against food insecurity, while keeping a pulse on the changing impacts the pandemic creates for Denver residents. The organizations are ready to reconvene and determine the best ways to support the community moving forward if/when necessary.