Quotes from Grantees
“The North H.S. is very excited to be able to explore, research, educate and positively influence the students and community by creating healthy, sustainable food choices to better the future of our vibrant community.” - Kellie Cassity, North High School
“Receiving the HFDK grant means that we will be able to provide a local teen with their first positive and supportive employment experience, distribute healthy snacks in our area by helping families and youth from diverse backgrounds and economic levels address day to day food insecurities and lack of access to healthy alternatives. There are very few employment opportunities for youth in this current economic downturn so offering a paid position to a local teen allows us to help the community with a very real need and also gain local trust, buy-in and street credibility as a library system. We are actively addressing the needs of our community on multiple levels and we couldn't be happier to be part of this partnership with HFDK!” - Larry, Senior Librarian at the Montbello Branch Library
“By receiving the HFDK funds, the Denver Public Schools Career and College Success team has a critical opportunity to build a hydroponic farm that addresses problems of poverty, food insecurity and diet-related diseases with our middle and high school students. Students will learn invaluable first-hand lessons including STEM education, how to overcome food inequities through urban agriculture and developing confidence to advocate for food justice in their own communities.” - Traci Sanchez, CTE Career Pathways
“DSISD is overwhelmed with happiness due the HFDK grant funds that will enable our students to learn and experience how physical education, nutrition, and healthy food choices are all interrelated, while empowering them to lead and teach other students in our school the lessons that they learned. This idea stemmed from a dream of our students who presented their idea to DSISD administration during the 2018-2019 school year. Now we have been given the privilege to bring this dream into reality!” - Evelyn Cruz, Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design
“Due to the COVID pandemic many South High families are struggling financially and find it increasingly difficult to feed their children. Thanks to the HFDK grants we can provide our students and their families with a reliable, weekly source of healthy, nutritious food. We are grateful to the City of Denver for making this possible.” - Greg Thielen, Denver South High School Food Pantry
“The HFDK grant provides DUG with the opportunity to scale our work at a time when it is most needed; this will allow us to align all of our youth education programs to focus on a 'whole-child approach' for better access to resources and opportunities for Denver kids. Food Security, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Gardens, Community, and Essential Skills will all be covered under this work.” - Violeta Garcia, Denver Urban Gardens
“The grants from HFDK were timely and valuable. Food for Thought Denver stepped up to our responsibility during the COVID-19 crisis and timely grants from HFDK gave us the confidence to keep increasing our reach to make sure that no child is left hungry over the weekend. It is also allowing us to think creatively for Fall 2020. Thank you for your timely help.” - Nirav Shah, Food for Thought
“These funds mean a lot to Metro Caring’s community, as they will help support our hardworking staff, community leaders, and community members. This opportunity will also allow us to expand and improve our evaluation and data collection methods to improve our services in the long term. We couldn't do this work without HFDK.” - Sheena Kadi, Metro Caring
“Mile High 360 is thrilled to receive the HFDK funds to make our nutritional education truly robust and enticing for our students. It will be exciting to see families learn to cook and make healthy meals and snacks together, all while staying true to their cultural heritage and authentic cuisine. The native-Mexican trained chef and nutritionist is a welcome addition to our nutritional programming.” - Natalie A. Martinez, Mile High 360
“Our FreshLo Partners are thrilled to have the support of HFDK as we work to improve the health outcomes of children and youth in our community. The fact that the Denver community came together to create a funding mechanism to ensure that all kids can get the healthy food that will nourish their mind, body, and spirit is heartening. COVID-19 has underscored the importance of everyone - from our very youngest residents to the oldest -- knowing how to eat better and to even grow the food that we need to be healthy and strong. Our children are leading the way in this movement.” - Donna Garnett, Montbello Organizing Committee
"Whether it is sharing a meal with loved ones or learning to cook a recipe that has been in your family for generations, food is one of the greatest connectors. However, food insecurity is one of the largest issues our community faces. We are thrilled to be part of Healthy Food for Denver Kids and to be able to use food as a lens for children in SW Denver to learn about health equity, food justice, and the local food system." - JoAnna Cintron, Re:Vision
“Support from HFDK will have an immense impact on The GrowHaus’ programming and the youth and families we serve at a critical time for our community. With food insecurity soaring and youth and families struggling in the face of COVID-19, broad-based support from HFDK means our programs and staff have the resources behind them to work alongside our community with grit, perseverance, and passion to improve food access and well-being.” - Nathan Mackenzie, The GrowHaus
“We are fortunate for the support from the HFDK Emergency Hunger Relief Grant. The Far Northeast (Montbello) is home to thousands of children, many of which fall below the federal poverty guidelines. Many of our enrolled families were already struggling financially and the pandemic has exacerbated their financial woes. Our team of volunteers have been thoughtful and dependable by ensuring that every child has a plate of food and a box of perishable and non-perishable items for each family. As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise in communities of economic hardship, specifically communities of color, this grant has gone a long way to support more than 320 families with food.” Nathaniel Cradle, Venture for Success Prep
Quotes from City Council
“Voter approval of the Healthy Food for Denver Kids could not have been more timely to have in place during COVID to meet the need of so many kids/families across our city who experience food insecurity. This became even more critical as people were laid off from work and couldn’t meet their household needs and were also not able to put food on the table for their children! Thank you Denver voters!” - Councilwoman Debbie Ortega, At-Large
“Food insecurity has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities of color have been hit the hardest and the need for access to healthy food is more critical than ever. I was proud that this team was able to coalesce quickly to get funds out to the community during the stay-at-home order. This most recent distribution of funding is indicative of the seriousness that we took in ensuring organizations who are dedicated to food delivery to families had the funds they needed to respond to the crisis and to think creatively about what could be built to provide food well into the future. - Councilwoman Jamie Torres, District 3
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
2020 Project: HFDK's support will allow Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver to expand our food services to youth who face food insecurity. By providing kids with additional daily meals and snacks throughout the summer and every weekend year-round, this partnership - assisted by Food Bank of the Rockies - will provide well over 100,000 healthy meals to Denver kids.
2021 Project: Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver will improve and increase food-related services for our Denver Club members. Like all kids, Club members are full of joy and dreams, and want to do their best. Due to systemic and other inequities, though, many Clubs members face food insecurity and a lack of knowledge around nutrition due to systemic inequities. Of our kids, 87% qualify for free or reduced lunch and half comes from homes earning less than $22,000/year. BGCMD will help overcome these inequities by offering targeted and robust healthy food supports including daily meals and snacks, take-home healthy food boxes, nutrition education, and support enrolling families in public food benefits like SNAP and WIC. This will be achieved through funds that will allow us to hire a Health Coordinator, support staff salaries, purchase food and equipment, train staff, pay for partner provided programming, and more.
Colorado Circles for Change
2020-2021 Project: The HFDK funds will be used to provide nutritious meals on site and for delivery of food packages to youth impacted by violence and the criminal justice system in under resourced communities. Colorado Circles for Change is committed to feeding Denver's most vulnerable youth including youth of color, immigrants, and refugees.
2021 Project: Commún seeks funding for three food programs: community food share, farm, and trainings and power building. We are transitioning multiple community food banks to combine into a community led food hub designed and directed by residents who experience food insecurity. We are 18 months into the community organizing process and food share experience and seek funding for a three years plan for this transition toward community food sovereignty. This funding would increase access to healthy food for Denver's kids by providing food, local farming, and training in conjunction with a collective process to address the whole person and the root causes of hunger. HFDK funding will allow small food shares in Southwest Denver to work with people experiencing food insecurity to co-design a long term food system for our community.
Denver Food Rescue
2020-2021 Project: In addition to Denver Food Rescue’s commitment to the mission of Producing Health Equity with Denver communities, we also assure all programs are culturally inclusive, volunteer driven and community specific. Denver Food Rescue is excited to pilot a new program called Self-sufficiency and Nutrition (SAN). The SAN program is designed to teach youth how to independently select and prepare meals utilizing healthy food.
2021 Project: Denver Food Rescue is requesting funding for a new program to deliver monthly meal kits containing ingredients and recipes for 10 meals to families with youth. Our Year 1 funding request is for a year of deliveries to 300 families each month. Years 2 and 3 would see the program scale up to serve more families. Healthy Food for Denver's Kids has helped Denver Food Rescue expand its youth programming dramatically, especially as it arrived as we adapted to the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic. Receiving funds means we are able to not only feed more youth more fresh produce, but also allows us to go deeper with education and resources as we know that access to fresh foods is not the sole indicator in equitable health outcomes.
Denver Health in partnership with Colorado WIC
2021 Project: Evidence strongly suggests that participation in federal nutrition programs like WIC and SNAP improves health outcomes for pregnant women, children, and families. The program that HFDK funds, specialized co-enrollment, will improve Denver’s suboptimal enrollment rates of these nutrition programs and reduce overall food insecurity in households with children by ensuring that eligible families become and stay enrolled in food assistance programs that increase food and economic security. This project will be an extension and expansion of the Specialized co- enrollment project with SNAP and WIC. This 3 year proposal will include Montbello, Westside, Webb Pediatrics, and Pena locations and will enable patients to be enrolled in SNAP and WIC during their pediatric and OB/GYN appointments.
Denver Housing Authority in partnership with Youth Employment Academy
2021 Project: With the support of the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids, Denver Housing Authority (DHA) in partnership with the Youth Employment Academy (YEA) will address food insecurity in Southwest Denver through education, food distribution, and youth leadership in horticulture. YEA will be providing nutrition and healthy cooking classes, distributing healthy meals and snacks to youth twice a week, and running a youth led "Edible Artscapes" Project. The nutrition and healthy food classes aim to change the eating habits of low-income families in collaboration with the Osage Cafe. The healthy snacks and meals will be distributed through Decatur Fresh, an affordable, fresh, and international marketplace in the Sun Valley neighborhood. In the "Edible Artscapes" project, youth will work with a local artist to implement the principles of permaculture design to create a regenerative urban farming installation with integrated artistic elements.
Denver Inner City Parish
2021 Project: Denver Inner City Parish is requesting funding for the Greens-N-Grains (GNG) Community Nutrition Program. This program will distribute nutritious meals to youth in food deserts across Denver, partnering with schools, afterschool programs, sporting events, and other community gatherings via the GNG Food Truck. the GNG Food Truck will also serve as a mobile education lab, providing modified versions of DICP's Veggie RX nutrition and obesity-related disease management education curriculum to meal recipients. This program will also provide versions of hands-on Veggie RX classes for youth and families at schools and DICP's main office, strengthening participants' capacity to cook healthy meals, plan and budget for purchasing nutritious foods, understand nutrition labeling, and make empowered, healthy decisions about their diets and eating habits at a young age. Each year, this program will serve meals and provide mobile education to 2,500 unique youth and provide hands-on nutrition and cooking classes to 330 unique youth and their families.
Denver Juvenile Services Center, Denver Public Safety Youth Programs
2021 Project: Denver Public Safety Youth Programs provides educational and vocational support services to Denver's justice-involved youth between the ages of 14-18. The goal of this specific project is to provide meaningful work experience and education in partnership with The Urban Farm in topics including healthy eating, cooking, farm business planning, horticultural skills, greenhouse management, and livestock care. The participating youth would be enrolled in 4 days of education and hands-on skill building per week for a minimum of 10 weeks from 9-4 pm each day; there would be 4-5 youth cohorts served per year. The youth would be directly involved in the development and management of small-scale livestock (poultry, goats, and sheep) and horticultural production in the City of Denver. The produce and animal products would be distributed to the local community on a sliding scale basis, further participants of the program would also receive a share of the food produced on a weekly basis. This program aims to provide critical and meaningful life skills through farm education, access to healthy food, and opportunities for restorative justice for some of Denver's most at-risk youth, while positively impacting the larger community through healthy food distribution.
Denver Public Library
2020-2021 Project: The HFDK grant will allow us to provide healthy snacks to our youth at several library locations. In addition, we will be hiring teen assistants from each of the communities where we will be distributing snacks.
2021 Project: DPL proposes distribution of healthy food boxes to youth and their families to provide pre-packaged grocery boxes. To reduce food insecurity in households with children in Denver, DPL will distribute 15,080 food boxes by the end of July 2022 via twelve participating branch locations and mobile service vehicles. In addition to healthy food box distribution, DPL will also coordinate food programming to educate youth and their families on: the local food ecosystem; how food is grown; and how to cook a variety of foods and eat healthier.
Denver Public Schools Career and College Success
2020-2021 Project: The Denver Public Schools Career and College Success (CCS) team will use the HDFK funds to fill a gap in programs that focus on the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources industries. They will partner with Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ), a New York City-based nonprofit, to create a student-built and operated classroom hydroponic farm at Bruce Randolph School. The hydroponic farm will ensure students recognize food justice and insecurity, understand health and nutrition, actively engage in STEM education and build a pathway to future income -- all while providing fresh and affordable produce to both students and their community through urban farming, food preparation and food preservation.
Denver Public Schools: Food and Nutrition Services
2020-2021 Project: DPS will build a 1-acre greenhouse to grow salad bowl items for Denver students who participate in the school lunch program. When the greenhouse is financially and operationally sustainable, we will launch an urban agriculture Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway for students and provide workforce development opportunities for students and adults.
2021 Project: In order to increase the number of daily lunches served to DPS students we need to improve the quality of our meals made at school. In order to improve the meal quality, we must train all (850) kitchen employees and managers are basic culinary skills so that we serve consistent, high-quality, tasty and nutritious school meals. This proposal will help to fund the professional training program created and executed by a national organization, Brigaid, for all Food and Nutrition Services kitchen workers and managers.
Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design
2020-2021 Project: The funding will be used to implement a nutrition education program embedded into the physical education curriculum and a Youth Food Leadership program in the school's elective. The program will incorporate a field trip to Sprout City Farms and a variety of community presenters with the goal of providing students with the opportunity to learn the interdependence of physical health, nutrition, and healthy choices, in addition to empowering students with leadership opportunities to teach about access to healthy food.
Denver Urban Gardens
2020-2021 Project: Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) will be using the funds to expand our Healthy Seedlings program (currently serving Sun Valley, Montbello, and Elyria-Swansea) by activating educators to teach in an additional six Title 1 schools within DPS, while also continuing to provide services in three schools in the GES area. We’ll also be working to expand our Food Access programs by building local capacity for schools to run programs such as Youth Farm Stands and the Garden-to-Cafeteria program.
Working alongside youth and educators, Community Activators will be given tools to work with youth to engage in policy, food system, and community activism by connecting with local food justice experts and offering internship opportunities through Groundwork Denver, FrontLine Farming and Slow Food Denver. By building capacity in local communities, we will be shifting ownership and embedding programs into the fabric of the school so they can continue to deliver beyond the grant period.
Early Excellence Program of Denver
2021 Project: Early Excellence would like to implement a new food-based educational program for its 80 at-risk and needy students, ages 2.5 - 5 years old and their families. The Early Excellence Program of Denver is looking forward to this new grant opportunity with HFDK that will allow for a fresh new start to implementing a family-friendly health and nutrition educational program that incorporates healthy activities, healthy foods and teaching our young children and their families the life-long benefits of eating healthy and personal fitness for not only today, but for years to come.
2021 Project: Growing and distributing farm fresh produce, and experiential education, to Denver's youth and families. Receiving HFDK funds means Ekar can ensure that tens of thousands of pounds of fresh, local, nutrient-dense food can be grown and distributed to our most vulnerable youth. These funds put farm-food systems-school partnerships to work building capacity for local schools and other service providers to reach more families than ever with produce, nutrition information, and hands-on food and food system education.
Food for Thought Denver
2020-2021 Project: Food for Thought (FFT) will provide PowerSacks to children in Title 1 schools in Denver to eliminate weekend childhood hunger. FFT will order food from Food Bank of the Rockies in order to provide enough food to feed two meals to a family of four. Each PowerSack includes between 9–13 nonperishable items, including foods that children can prepare themselves if no adult is able to cook.
2021 Project: Jovial’s primary purpose with this funding is to educate Denver’s kids on how to avert hunger, reduce waste and eat healthy through 1) garden programs, 2) cooking and nutrition classes, 3) sustainable food education classes, 4) outreach and sign up for federal food assistance programs and 5) school youth garden clubs. In addition, Jovial distributes food directly to Denver’s kids through summer meals, and organic garden produce. We will increase food distribution for families with continuing needs through an innovative partnership with the Co-Op at 1st that will provide a meal subscription Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food model that features healthy eating from organic produce and recipes from minority chefs who will disseminate educational recipes from around the world. We will also distribute formula and food to families with children ages 0-5 in our Baby Day program.
Kaizen Food Rescue
2021 Project: Our proposed activities all revolve around a central idea: how can we get more healthy food, and more healthy food experiences, to our youth? Your grant will fund a project that will procure and grow healthy food for our community. Though there are many activities within this proposal that will lead to this goal, the program is itself simple. Through urban gardening and agriculture, local food procurement, summer kids meals, youth teams, and community leaders, your grant will allow us to augment our hugely successful mobile food share with locally grown food. HFDK funds is providing Kaizen Food Rescue the opportunity to move towards our goal of food sovereignty and simultaneously empower impacted Denver youths in the process.
2020-2021 Project: Funds from HFDK will support Metro Caring’s Kidz in the Kitchen family nutrition education program, as well as direct food distribution to thousands of families throughout the next year. During this health and economic pandemic, when three times the normal number of families are in need of immediate food assistance, these funds will help families in our Denver community to access healthy, nutritious food relevant to their cultures and diets.
2020-2021 Project: On a weekly basis, Metro Ministries, in partnership with Denver Housing Authority (DHA) and Colorado Feeding Kids (CFK), will visit each of the DHA properties that DHA has identified containing children in need of healthy and nutritional food. Metro Ministries will provide 2 CFK family meal packs for each identified child. In cooperation with DHA, the meals will be distributed onsite to the children.
Mile High 360
2020-2021 Project: Mile High 360 will use HFDK funds to truly formalize our nutritional educational programming and family engagement through cuisine with credentialed partners. We will also have a family liaison to work extensively with families on food security through the utilization of community and public resources.
2021 Project: First Steps at Monarch Montessori's proposal will directly benefit 300 children in Northeast Denver. Our program educates youth, provides nutritious meals to students and boosts revenue to local food suppliers. HFDK grant money will support the student gardening program, daily school lunch, monthly food distribution and classes in gardening and cooking. These services will alleviate school-day hunger, provide healthy food year-round at home for students, and introduce skills essential to long-term healthy living.
Montbello Organizing Committee
2020-2021 Project: The FreshLo Farm-School Network – Healthy Food for Montbello Kids project is a three-year collaborative impact project among several local schools and nonprofit organizations that have come together to address the shared mission to work with children and youth to grow food for their community, teach them where their food comes from, and work with families to change nutritional habits and consumption patterns. The FreshLo Farm-School Network – Healthy Food for Montbello Kids is premised on an assumption that multiple efforts must work in concert to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of community-level efforts to reduce food insecurity and ensure that children and their families have access to affordable, healthy food.
2020-2021 Project: The HFDK funds will be used to help increase student awareness around school and community polices on unhealthy/healthy eating, food availability, food culture and media, and personal health choices such as economics, neighborhood and education.
2020-2021 Project: Re:Vision was founded in 2007, working in the Westwood neighborhood - one of Denver's most food insecure - to cultivate a community food system, primarily through teaching families how to grow their own food in their home gardens. With Healthy Food for Denver Kids, Re:Vision will work closely with community partners to create curriculum around food justice, health equity and the local food system, while using food as a lens to explore culture and promote discovery and emotional well-being for children in Southwest Denver.
2021 Project: Denver Health's Westside Clinic and Re:Vision will partner and build on the Community Shared Agriculture Program started by Sprout City Farms last year. Families will be screened for food insecurity, and those who qualify will receive Community Shared Agriculture boxes from Re:Vision's Urban Farm delivered directly to their door via Bondadosa. This program seeks to build a holistic, local, and culturally relevant system of health, where no matter your income level, you can have access locally grown food and become actively involved in your own health.
Sewall Child Development Center, Inc.
2021 Project: Sewall’s proposal is focused on improving access to nutritious, culturally responsive foods and nutrition education for young children and their families. Nutrition security is essential in improving the child’s educational outcomes and school readiness. Healthy food access and family food-based education programs are essential for high-quality early childhood education programs that ensure Denver's youth have a solid foundation for their social emotional and academic success. Sewall is proud to partner with HFDK to help to ensure that no Denver child goes hungry.
Sisters of Colorado United for Education
2021 Project: We are expanding to the Denver Northeast Park Hill neighborhood and have a collaboration with Consumption Literacy Project who is currently working in the Montbello area to develop native gardens and increase BIPOC food access. We also are a long-time partner with Woodbine (WILD-I) ecology center that supports indigenous ecology practices and stewardship of the land. We will be training Promotores de Salud in Park Hill, and with our partnerships, will increase youth engagement with understanding and becoming a part of the food systems in Denver to increase healthy food choices and access. SOCUE and Promotores have been developing community voices and urban farming projects for improving health for its members. We know that historical trauma is a key element of the process for healing community. We believe that healing can begin in the roots for the soil and when people cultivate their own food, the medicine has a way of working its magic and children become the best example for how to coexist.
Slow Food Denver
2021 Project: We are requesting funds to support our Lil' Sprouts cooking and gardening program at local Denver Schools. These classes inspire students to develop healthy, lifelong eating habits by making the connection between where food comes from and how it is grown. Our goal is to provide an interactive learning environment transforming children from passive food consumer to creators, and in doing so increase their health awareness. If awarded, these funds will dramatically increase the number of youth we may serve and fresh food access in some of Denver's most underserved neighborhoods. Thanks to receiving the HFDK Grant we have the opportunity to expand our youth education programs. This will allow us to reach more under-resourced schools and attain our goal of increasing food access, nutrition education, and food system literacy among Denver school children. Ultimately achieving our mission of good, clean, and fair food for all!
South High School Food Pantry
2020 Project: Denver South High School’s Food Pantry provides a consistent source of fresh, healthy food to meet the basic nutritional needs of its students and families so that no student goes to bed hungry due to lack of access to food. A top priority is providing fresh produce, dairy, meat and other protein, and culturally relevant food on a weekly basis.
Sprout City Farms
2020-2021 Project: Sprout City Farms is partnering with Denver Health to leverage the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and pediatric care network to couple food access solutions and healthy food education with medical care. We have established a program to offer fresh, organically grown food from local farms to refugee families enrolled in WIC, as well as pediatric patients screened for food insecurity, throughout the Colorado harvest season (June through October). Lowry Clinic is the most diverse clinic in Denver, and families will receive interpretation and translation of nutrition education materials in their preferred languages in addition to fresh produce each week.
Stedman Elementary School
2020-2021 Project: HFDK funds will be used to provide a healthy snack to every student every day at school and to conduct activities in the garden related to health and nutrition education.
2021 Project: We procure meat, dairy, produce and other healthy food from Colorado farmers, ranchers, and distributors. We provide the healthy food to four food pantries supporting Denver Public Schools. The schools we support are DSST Cole, RiseUp Community School, Ellis Elementary School Denver South High School, and Kennedy High School. Our schools serve students from the Cole neighborhood, Five Points, Virginia Village, and (as a ESL welcome center) Denver South serves students from across Denver. We are connecting Colorado's farmers and ranchers directly to the students in Denver Public Schools who need help with food security and nutrition the most. The Healthy Food for Denver's Kids grant supports our work and allows us to create community and provide food with dignity. If we hope to break the cycle of hunger, we must first crush the stigma.
STRIVE Prep - SMART
2020-2021 Project: Strive Prep - SMART will work with Big Green to install a Learning Garden at our school to implement food literacy programs. SMART wants to increase students’ knowledge around healthy food choices and develop skills to grow, harvest, and cook those healthy foods. Students will have opportunities to learn health and nutrition information, practice skills, and share their learning through the Learning Garden curriculum.
Sun Valley Kitchen + Community Center
2020-2021 Project: The HFDK funds will provide support for our Youth Employment + Professional Development, Youth Enrichment, and No-Cost Grocery Programs. The funding will allow us to expand and deepen the impact and reach of each of those programs. The HFDK funds will also support the weeknight dinners we prepare and serve for youth in our Sun Valley neighborhood, in partnership with Sun Valley Youth Center.
2020-2021 Project: Funding from HFDK will connect youth and their families in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods to The GrowHaus’ food education, distribution, and community outreach programming. Programming includes food access initiatives that ensure kids have healthy food within reach, a summer leadership program for teens, out-of-school educational sessions for elementary-aged students, and multi-generational classes on nutrition, growing food, and wellness. Ultimately, HFDK funds support a holistic approach to healthy food access and well-being for kids and youth.
The Urban Farm
2020-2021 Project: The Urban Grown Incubator Farm takes a three-pronged approach to promoting a resilient local food system in Denver by addressing workforce development, youth education, and fresh food access through urban agriculture. Urban Grown will utilize soil-based and hydroponic growing methods, allowing for healthy food production and education year-round.
2021 Project: Vista Academy is proposing a comprehensive program that will provide the Far Northeast community with equitable access of healthful snacks and provide food education to our students and community. The overall proposal has four key aspects- a 1,000 square foot community garden, an aquaponics system, healthful snack student initiative, and an educational program through our Culinary Department that provides monthly cooking lessons for students’ families. This will be a multi-year keystone project that our school and community can rally behind. The HFDK grant will provide Vista Academy and its community with opportunities to option healthful food options and teach how to cultivate healthful foods sustainably. Our partnerships with other Community Non-Profit organizations will expand our abilities to serve the far northeast Denver community through educational opportunities and access to healthful food.
2020-2021 Project: We will be providing healthy food and snacks to our participating kids, as well as hands-on growing our own food, nutrition education, and healthy cooking for the family. All activities will be done in Spanish and English.
We Don't Waste
2020-2021 Project: In partnership with Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids, We Don’t Waste is excited to offer healthy food and education to children through a variety of programs. This includes providing nutritious food through distribution to partner agencies that work with Denver’s youth and their families (including food distribution and recovery with schools) and sustaining/expanding We Don’t Waste’s monthly Mobile Food Markets (free farmers market-style distributions in food desert neighborhoods). We Don’t Waste will also offer nutrition and cooking education to families at these Mobile Food Markets and will partner with schools to provide nutrition and cooking education through classroom and experiential learning.
West Campus Food Bank
2020-2021 Project: Denver West Campus Food Bank (WCFB)'s mission is to provide healthy food for the students and families of students attending West Early College (WEC) and West Leadership Academy (WLA), the two schools located on the West High Campus. West Campus Food Bank, developed to address food insecurity among West campus students, has been in operation since April 6, 2018 and has serviced over 200 students a week. WCFB is 100 % volunteer-operated.
Micro-grant Recipients and Their Projects
Denver Dream Center
2021 micro-grant project: In 2020, Denver Dream Center was awarded a food award and partnered with the Pepsi Center to distribute 2,500,000 pounds of food to 300,000 people in Denver, focused on six of Denver’s most at-risk public housing projects and low-income neighborhoods. As a result, demand for the organization’s services have drastically increased. This grant will support the increased budget requirement for food procurement, storage, transportation, and distribution, as well as supplement the staffing requirements to reach this goal.
Denver Health and Hospital Authority
2021 micro-grant project: Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA) will use $10,000 over the course of a year to pay for personnel to facilitate cooking demonstrations (Healthy World Chef for bilingual English/Spanish classes), groceries for patients, and cooking carts supplied with cooking essentials. They will help ensure that patients with the highest needs for this type of program can access it within a safety-net organization such as Denver Health.
DSST: Cole High School
2021 micro-grant project: As a new initiative of DSST: Cole High School, the Cole Food Pantry was launched to provide, on average 100 families per week, with healthy food boxes, including fresh, local produce, dry goods, and a selection of dairy and meat products. Healthy Food for Denver's Kids funds will supplement the items donated to provide families with a well-rounded food package, including milk, eggs, cheese, and lunch meat.
2021 micro-grant project: Between independence with food education, gardening while growing food, and a healthy meal program, Echinacea Montessori will use this funding to bring these services to the next level and continue them without financial strain.
Guided by Humanity
2021 micro-grant project: Healthy Food for Denver's Kids funds will support Guided by Humanity and Apprentice of Peace Youth Organization’s “Peace and Humanity Smoothie Bus,” which creates access and wellness opportunities throughout the Denver Metro Area and supportive employment for marginalized youth and youth with Intellectual and/or Developmental disabilities. The Peace and Humanity Smoothie Bus will deliver pop up educational workshops and on-site wellness services using fresh resources from local Colorado organizations to teach youth about nutritious and sustainable eating.
Heart & Hand Center
2021 micro-grant project: Heart & Hand will provide healthy food, meals, and snacks to Denver’s youth during its after school programs. Additionally, funds will be used for the hands-on, experiential food-based education component of Hand & Heart’s programming. At the elementary and middle school levels, Hand & Heart youth have regular opportunities to participate in cooking and nutrition workshops utilizing fresh produce.
Laverne Gillespie Ministries
2021 micro-grant project: This funding will be used to provide healthy food items to youth ages 18 and under. They will make weekly scheduled warm meal delivery and food distribution items to service a wide area of youth and facilities that service youth under 18 years of age.
2021 micro-grant project: Through their Mobile Baby Essentials program, WeeCycle delivers much needed baby food and baby formula (along with diapers and wipes) to underserved populations in targeted low-income areas across the Denver metro area. Funding from Healthy Food for Denver's Kids will help them continue their emergency response to meet higher demand.