Metro Caring Reopens Fresh Foods Choice Market

Denver, Colorado: Metro Caring, Colorado’s leading anti-hunger organization, is reopening the Fresh Foods Choice Market located at 1100 E 18th Ave., Denver, CO 80218.

Metro Caring is excited to announce that we will be reopening our Fresh Foods Choice Market for in-person shopping starting on Thursday, July 8th, by appointment only. We will continue to take every possible step to ensure the safety of our community members during this transition, including a requirement for all onsite staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by the beginning of August. Every building space, as well as carts and other market materials will be regularly cleaned and sanitized. Please plan on wearing a mask over your nose and mouth while inside the building.  

The shopping experience will look a bit different as we are working on providing a socially-distant environment for our shoppers. Please expect to have our check-in process outside, under a tented vestibule. We will be limiting the number of shoppers in the market and doing our best to ensure the time spent outdoors is at a minimum. Our building will be reopening in phases, with this first phase focused on food distribution. ID and birth certificate vouchers will continue to be distributed as they are available. Metro Caring’s cooking classes and nutrition programming are beginning a hybrid virtual and in-person class model. 

All appointments scheduled on or after Thursday, July 8th will be in-person shopping experiences or deliveries. 

Fresh Foods Market 
Anyone is welcome to visit our market for a wide variety of fresh, nutritious food at no cost – with no questions asked. Our market is filled with fresh produce, dairy, meat, and plenty of other items to ensure families can maintain dignity with choice in what foods they use to feed their families. 

  At Metro Caring, we help build equity by utilizing a “take-what-you-need” model where individuals shop based on their own cultural and dietary needs.    

“Food is such an integral part of our existence. It *is* medicine. It nourishes our bodies, our minds, and  our spirits. The ability to choose healthy, nutritious, culturally-relevant food is a right that should be given to all. I have had the privilege of witnessing the positive effects the Fresh Foods Choice Market at  Metro Caring has had on our community prior to COVID-19. It stands out, providing a space of respect and compassion. I am impressed by the resilience demonstrated through the uncertain times of the pandemic where our team at Metro Caring rose to the challenge to maintain direct access. And I am so excited for this reopening to restore the choice that is so foundational to this food access work.” 
Neambe Leadon, Senior Manager of Food Sovereignty, Metro Caring 

The bottom line is if you’re poor, you’re expected to stand and wait in lines, and take the cheap, unhealthy, processed food from the charity that offers it, and be grateful for what you’ve been handed. Colorado is a rich state with a surplus of food, but high levels of economic inequality create vast disparities in food access within our state. There is dignity in choice. Choices about what food and how much food to serve our families; choices that reflect our diets and cultural needs; choices that bring our families and communities together. Food has the ability to bring people together and to challenge the barriers that divide us.” 
Sheena Kadi, Director of Strategy and Communications, Metro Caring 

COVID and Metro Caring 
Thursday, March 12th, 2020 was the last day the Fresh Foods Market was open to our community members. The Metro Caring team pivoted to a drive-through, walk-up, and delivery system the following week, which was sustained until Friday, July 2nd, 2021.   

Metro Caring has gone from serving an average of 2,364 families a month pre-COVID to serving an average of 7,128 families a month during COVID. We’ve added temporary employees and ballooned our food purchasing to deliver triple the amount of food to nearly triple the number of families with half of the number of volunteers available. 

Making Appointments with Metro Caring 
To make a food appointment online: 
Go to our website at www.metrocaring.org
Click the “Make a Food Appointment” button. 
Enter your email and password or click the “Find Your Profile” link and enter your information to create an account. 

To make an appointment by phone: 
Give us a call at 303-860-7200 between 9:30AM – 11:30AM and 12:30PM – 2:30PM Monday through Friday and 6:00PM – 7:30PM Tuesday evenings. 

Transportation has always been one of our community’s biggest barriers to receiving food. COVID-19 widened the gap, making transportation even more limited with less public transportation options as well as the encouragement of older adults and other at-risk populations to simply stay-at-home. Through a partnership with the community-led, social enterprise Bondadosa, we have been able to provide grocery deliveries to community members each week. 

All appointments scheduled on or after Thursday, July 8th will be in-person shopping experiences or deliveries. 

 About Metro Caring 
Metro Caring works with our community to meet people’s immediate need for nutritious food, while building a movement to address the root causes of hunger. Metro Caring offers innovative programming in healthy foods access, nutrition education, cooking clubs, identity document procurement, urban agriculture, and community activation.  To learn more, visit www.metrocaring.org.

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