Food banks across the city are working hard to provide food to a record number of people suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pantries have adapted their operations to reduce face-to-face contact, improve hygiene practices, and meet increased demand at the same time.

The pandemic has created a unique challenge for organizations battling food insecurity, creating an increased need for supplies and volunteers in many Denver pantries.

“In addition to the increased demand, we are hit hard by the rise in food costs,” said Teva Sienicki, CEO of Metro Caring. “What we spent over an entire calendar year on supplementing groceries such as rice, oats, beans and milk, we now spend in less than a month. We are seeing increased costs in keeping our warehouse, sorting area, walk-through, and drive-through safe and clean to continue this vital service, and are spending $ 30,000 monthly on PPE, bags and cleaning supplies. ”

With a vaccine in sight, food banks still expect large amounts of food for those in need for the foreseeable future. Here are six organizations in the Denver Metro Area that need your help making sure Denverites don’t go hungry this winter.

Raza Services is dedicated to delivering culturally engaging human service to the Latinx community in Denver. You currently need both perishable and non-perishable food donations, gift cards, and monetary donations. In addition, the pandemic has put a strain on their volunteer capacity and requires volunteers on Wednesday and Friday mornings to prepare the delivery of food. For more information and to get involved, visit serviciosdelaraza.org.

Sacks of love Located in the Montebello neighborhood, the hotel opens its doors every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to provide perishable and non-perishable food to those in need. Donating is one of the best ways to support Sacks of Love in the best possible way, as $ 50 can support a family for a week.

Metro caring Serves many people who have never had to go to a pantry, including small business owners, hotel workers, retirees, and healthcare workers. “We cared for an average of 2,364 families per month before the COVID and cared for an average of 7,128 families per month during the COVID,” says CEO Teva Sienicki. To help, volunteer or donate through their website.

Rocky Mountains Food Bank Since March “a whole new level of food insecurity” has been recorded. Over 30% of people say they have received food aid for the first time. To meet this demand, the Food Bank of the Rockies is expanding its business with a temporary distribution center and night shift. The best way to help the Food Bank of the Rockies is by making a donation. As little as $ 21 a month can provide a week’s worth of groceries to a family of four.

We don’t waste Asks for cash donations and volunteers to support their operations through the pandemic. Executive Director Arlan Preblud says the demand for food has increased by 300% during the pandemic and that employees have to work long hours and take extra precautions to protect themselves. We Don’t Waste has moved its operations to mobile grocery stores that operate eight times a month to distribute groceries safely and limit personal contact.

Vineyard pantry accepts non-perishable food as well as monetary donations. To safely meet the needs of the community, they provide prepackaged boxes of groceries and use a pickup system to reduce personal contact. Director of Marketing and Communications, Jenny Herren, says the need for food assistance for the Jewish Family Service (JFS) has increased dramatically this year. Those interested can check their most wanted items and shop on Amazon to have groceries shipped straight to their office.