Kaizen Food Rescue

Kaizen Food Rescue was created by Thai Nguyen, a former refugee, in 2019. We strive to continually create and improve food security and food justice in the Denver-Metro area. We offer emergency food assistance and deliver rescued food to our community. Donate now to help propel our mission!

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Free Food Shares

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

At-Risk Populations
Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

KFR began as a small fresh food table in 2019 at Great Work Montessori School in Lakewood with one Astro van full of healthy food. We quickly grew and created "free food shares," a mobile food pantry that supplies emergency food boxes. We organize and facilitate fresh food pickups from the Food Bank of the Rockies and deliver them to those in need. We served an average of 52,715 pounds of food per month before the COVID-19 pandemic, but as need grew so did we. In October of last year, our service peaked with over 800,000 pounds of food being delivered.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Free Food Shares has been a great success in the community. Our community members tell us daily how much we have helped them and their families. We have many testimonials of persons who were able to afford medications or rent because they were able to get food from our Free Food Shares during the pandemic. Because of our early investment in our community, as CARES-Act funding rolled out, we distributed over $300,000 of in-kind donations through 2020 and into 2021 in Jefferson County. During the pandemic, KFR became one of the largest food distributors and partnership agencies with the Food Bank of the Rockies and served over 20,000 pounds of food per day.

Vertical Farm

Class

Animal-Related 

Beneficiaries

At-Risk Populations
Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

KFR has just started work on creating a year round vertical farm in a 20' shipping container! The program will have seeds and plants selected by impacted community members. We will empower interested community members with training from Frontline Farming for the BIPOC farming apprenticeship program. These community members will be able to harvest plants year-round.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

This program is still a work in progress. When we finish development, we will combat food insecurity by allowing underserved communities to harvest food year-round! Our model is based on "Freight Farmers" shipping crate farms. These farms can grow high value crops that normally have to be grown thousands of miles away (such as peppers, berries, and microgreens). This growing facility is a part of the wave of neighborhood stabilization that goes under the name 'urban farming.' Local food can be directly given to the communities in ways outside of traditional supermarkets (which has been proven to be an ineffective way to improve food environments (Ghosh-Dastidar M, Hunter G, Collins RL, et. al 2017)).

Sneaky Squirrel Garden

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
At-Risk Populations
Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges

Description

Our urban garden is a children's take-what-you-need garden, named by impacted kids in Athmar Park. "The Sneaky Squirrel Garden" is a place where children and families can grow any food they desire. These community-led solutions are all about creating food security while at the same time providing a space for our community to take charge of what food they eat.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Sneaky Squirrel Garden has helped many people not only grow food, but also to have a space to garden with their families. Although the garden has had some setbacks, like too many grasshoppers, the community members who use the garden have worked hard to keep the garden growing at its best! The garden now holds a variety of plants and is a great space for children to play and learn how to garden!

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.