Denver Food Rescues mission is to "Produce Health Equity with Denver Neighborhoods."
DFR was founded in 2012 to reduce food waste and increase food security, without adding to carbon green gasses. Research on food deserts (areas without access to food sources) shows several communities in Metro Denver without access to a grocery store. Additionally, and historically, many residents of these communities suffer from or are at-risk of developing diet related illnesses. To support the health and food security of these communities, DFR launched the No Cost Grocery Program (NCGP) model.
In 2014, three community-led and volunteer-driven NCGPs were established. Through strategic partnerships with food distributors and collaborations with existing community agencies. DFR volunteers rescues high-quality, fresh produce and healthy foods from distributors and delivers it to community NCGP sites. Rescued food is distributed within 2-hours, which maximizes the freshness and quality of the food choices and reduces further waste.
During 2019, over 185 DFR volunteers, rescued and delivered over 670,000 pounds of produce to 19 NCGPs who collectively provided healthy food access to over 57,000 individuals, which translated into 2.3 million dollars' worth of food being saved from the landfills and redirected to communities with the most need.
In 2020, 103,834 total individuals received fresh food through our 24 No cost Grocery Programs!
12,080 were unduplicated families, 39,363 were unduplicated individuals, 15,441 were unduplicated youth.
2020 also showed great success for our Fresh Food Connect program. 229 gardeners in 7 zip codes donated 5,000 pounds of produce to 600 food insecure residents!
DFR's amazing impacts are made possible by the commitment and dedication of volunteers, partnerships with food donors and community collaborations. It is through dedication, partnerships and collaborations that DFR can provide access to healthy food inside of schools, community and recreation centers, detention and health facilities centers afterschool programs and boys & girls clubs.
The emphasis on partnerships, community-led, volunteer- driven programming and the community board of directors provides DFR the ability and foundation to tailor programs to fit the unique needs of each community.
2021 participant survey feedback:
- It's wonderful
- I appreciate what we get thank you
- The consistency is appreciated
- I think it works perfect
- You guys do a lot
- You are so helpful
People look out for each other here. You don't get this kind of treatment at traditional food pantries, the same sense of community, or the healthy food. - Sun Valley NCGP participant
Ricardo Flores Magon Academy:
"It is hard to sum up my experience with the No Cost Grocery Program. It seems like words fall short when describing something so powerful. It is simply amazing to be a part of a program that provides families with the basic need of food. While watching parents faces, you can almost see the burden of worry being lifted off their faces. Not only does this program provide food, it also provides community. Families gathered around the tables of food, talking and sharing part of their lives with one another. I am very grateful to be apart of the very powerful No Cost Grocery Program that DFR offers."
First Grade Teacher
Sister Gardens at Aria:
"This program is changing lives. I have watched as our community comes together around food. I am a farmer, and I am passionate about people having access to food. This partnership with Denver Food Rescue has created a beautiful bridge between our farm neighbors and even the food that is being grown here at Sister Gardens. We host a pay what you can farm stand and the attendance from the Grocery Program has increased attendance to our farm stand. Folks have come out during the holidays, the camaraderie is amazing, volunteers came out with hot cocoa for recipients at the Christmas distribution and one participant even brought knitted hats as gifts that she has made herself."
"Mostly from what I have heard is many community members are saving money by coming to this program and this helps them with their budget, especially when the struggle is real with very little jobs during the winter and having children at home - this program helps them a lot. Also the cooking part is interesting to see what you could make with different fruits and veggies and combine everything - it's simple! The community is very grateful and would happily utilize even more food donated weekly."
Clayton Early Learning:
"The No Cost Grocery program has greatly impacted families served by Clayton Early Learning. Most of our families struggle with food insecurity and have a lack of access to fresh and healthy food options. The No Cost Grocery Program has provided these families with a reliable source to access healthy foods. This program has also exposed families and their children to foods they would not have had an opportunity to try. While working the distribution table, I have seen families connect by sharing different recipes or methods to prepare different fruits and vegetables. The No Cost Grocery Program is an excellent community partnership for Clayton Early Learning."
"Partnering with Denver Food Rescue has helped us to ensure that refugees in the Denver area have access to fresh, healthful foods. The consistent work of DFR and its volunteers has helped make the transition out of food insecurity possible for hundreds of families working to rebuild their lives in America."
Director of Operations