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DENVER (KDVR) – A Denver nonprofit received a great greeting from Colorado Governor Jared Polis during one of its COVID-19 press conferences this week.

“I want to highlight some examples of positivity. The Denver grow house is a source of fresh food for community workers to use. When COVID-19 hit there was a tremendous increase in households foraging for food. They mobilized the team to start packing and delivering emergency food kits, ”said Polis.

The Denver grow house was established 10 years ago and serves the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods.

“We started in this neighborhood with the vision of creating an oasis of hope and health as well as nutrition and growth in the middle of the industrial food wasteland. We are working to ensure permanent access to healthy food in these parts of the city through food access and food education. These neighborhoods are so much more food insecure than the rest of Denver, and we saw it even more dramatically in the COVID crisis, ”said managing director Kayla Birdsong.

They currently look after more than 500 families, that is around 2,500 people.

They estimate they have delivered enough groceries in the past three months to prepare more than 135,000 meals.

“It wasn’t until the first few weeks of the crisis that we received notes on our door from neighbors that they had run out of food, where they would go, how they would get food,” Birdsong said.

At the same time, the grow house was dealing with structural problems that prevented them from using part of their building.

“Now we are changing and adapting like the rest of the world. We got up and very quickly started a program to bring free groceries to our community. That’s why we deliver boxes of produce, fresh groceries and dry supplies to every family in our area who signs up, ”said Birdsong.

People like Dina Soria are grateful for the help.

“My family received a grocery box every Monday, so my family can now have food on the table. I am deeply grateful for these services. I don’t have a job right now, I’ve lost my job. The only person who supports the house is my son. There is no way we can survive on his income with six people, including me and three grandchildren, ”said Soria.

The grow house has no plans to slow down even in the toughest times because the community is counting on them.

“I am deeply grateful that the team is risking their life to continue this service,” said Soria.

The grow house receives food from partners such as Denver Food Rescue and We Don’t Waste.

They also received a $ 25,000 grant from the COVID-19 Relief Fund. If you’d like to help, you can find more information here.

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