By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo.) Denver Food Rescue will begin weekly food pickups and distribution in mid-June, the health equity and food security non-profit said Friday in its April newsletter.
In the program, which will continue until the first hard frost of the season, volunteers pick up excess food from grocery stores, restaurants, farmers' markets, and produce distributors and deliver it to no-cost grocery programs.
Those grocery organizations include schools, recreation centers, and non-profits established within neighborhoods.
“During pickup season, our team of dedicated volunteers works tirelessly to collect and distribute this food throughout the community,” Denver Food Rescue said in the newsletter. “By rescuing and redistributing perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste, we are not only helping to feed those in need but also reducing our environmental impact.”
In 2021, the latest year for which the non-profit has an annual report on its website, the no-cost grocery program served more than 18,000 people, including more than 8,000 children.
Denver Food Rescue also partners with gardeners who want to donate produce from their home gardens. In 2021, the non-profit picked up more than 5,000 pounds of produce from gardeners.
Overall, in 2021, more than 680,000 pounds of food were donated. Most of it was produce, but donations included baked goods, fresh prepared food, and dairy.
In Colorado, about one in three people lack reliable access to nutritious food, and 20 percent of adults have to reduce or skip meals because they don’t have enough money to buy food, according to Hunger Free Colorado.