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2017 Denver Healthy Communities Awards Winners Announced

Bob McDonald, Executive Director of Denver Environmental Health, joined more than 100 city officials, finalists and community partners to announce the winners of the third annual Denver Healthy Communities Awards. 

Launched by Denver Environmental Health in 2015, the Healthy Communities Awards recognize individuals, as well as public, private, and community organizations working to promote public health and environmental sustainability.

Nominations were solicited for Innovation, Compliance and Good Neighbor categories. Approximately 34 nominations were reviewed and scored by a panel of experts in public health, sustainability and related areas.


The 2017 Healthy Communities Awards recipients include: 

Innovation Award
Designed to recognize individuals and organizations that employ innovative strategies, processes, or technologies to improve public health and/or the environment in Denver.

  • Denver Food Rescue - Denver Food Rescue (DFR) is focused on improving health equity outcomes for low-income families and individuals by increasing access to healthy food in a resident-driven and culturally appropriate way. DFR partners with community-based organizations and residents of low-income neighborhoods to enhance their ability to distribute healthy food. Using this approach, programs can be tailored by the community to meet the specific needs of an area.

Compliance Award
Designed to encourage, recognize and reward local individuals, companies, and nonprofit organizations that have consistently met or exceeded applicable standards established through recognized best practices, regulation or certification.

  • Work Options for Women - Work Options for Women (WOW) assists people who have barriers to employment by providing individualized culinary training, building confidence and removing obstacles to sustained employment. WOW’s primary training kitchen is the cafeteria in the Denver Human Service building. All the WOW Chefs are certified ServSafe Managers with upper management, and also certified ServSafe Manager Instructors and proctors. Each day WOW’s professional chefs teach student how to safely prepare, serve and store all the food for the café. Students complete the ServSafe Food Handlers course within the first week and apply their knowledge in the kitchen for the next eight weeks. Last year, WOW was proud to become a Partner in Food Safety.

Good Neighbor Award
Designed to recognize individuals and organizations that have a longstanding commitment to protecting and/or improving the environment in Denver (clean air, land, and water), or promoting healthy people through improved access to healthy food, healthy built environments, or promoting healthy pets through activities at the animal shelter or in the community at-large.

  • Metro Caring - As one of Denver’s most trusted frontline hunger-prevention organizations, Metro Caring meets people’s immediate need for nutritious food while also sustainably addressing the root cause of hunger – poverty. Through its Fresh-Foods Market, nearly two million pounds of free, healthful food is distributed to low-income residents annually. Metro Caring also provides complementary cooking and nutrition classes, including Kidz in the Kitchen, Diabetes Self-Management, Diabetes Prevention programming, and mini-nutrition classes with educators and healthy samples. Last year Metro Caring educated 7,464 participants, and will double its impact this year.