Community Spotlight: DENVER, COLORADO

updated on 19 March 2024
Heather and Terrance, Gardening for their community in Denver 
Heather and Terrance, Gardening for their community in Denver 

Gardening for Good - Hunger Relief in Denver 

In 2023, over 7,000 individuals in the Denver Metro area had increased access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, as over 1,500 gardeners across Denver came together to share 7,000 pounds of homegrown produce for hunger relief through the Fresh Food Connect app. (Available for download here!)

With garden donations ranging in size from 1 to 150 pounds each going to 11 nonprofit food access organizations in the Denver Metro area, the Fresh Food Connect app made coordination of pick-up and drop-offs easy for both the gardeners and Fresh Food Connect’s partner organizations.

Where did it go from there? Fresh Food Connect’s partners are trusted nonprofits deeply entrenched in their communities, who distribute the fresh produce in ways that work best for their specific neighborhoods. For example, Denver Food Rescue distributes garden donations directly to seniors at a senior living community through a no-cost grocery format, Project Worthmore shares their garden donations as part of their delivery food boxes to their refugee community, and Kaizen Food Rescue has weekly pop-up food distribution events with community partners. Through these programs, homegrown produce is distributed in Denver neighborhoods such as City Park, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points, Globeville, Hampden, Harvey Park, Montbello, and Sun Valley and surrounding communities including Aurora, Wheat Ridge, Louisville, Englewood, Erie, Lakewood, and Edgewater.

In the Denver Metro area, Fresh Food Connect partners with:  Archway Community, Benefits in Action, Brigit's Bounty Community Resources, Community Food Share, Denver Food Rescue, Focus Points Family Resource Center, IFCS, Kaizen Food Share, Project Worthmore, Share Our Blessings Food Pantry and Resource Cafe, and Sustainable Wheat Ridge.

Here’s a snapshot of how Fresh Food Connect is increasing healthy food access in Denver:

Gardener spotlight


"We enjoy being a part of the community and using our extra produce to support our neighbors."

Denver gardeners Heather and Terrance started growing produce at home during the pandemic, and quickly found they had grown more than they or their families could use themselves.

Using Fresh Food Connect, they began donating their excess produce to Denver Food Rescue. 👇Today, they are planting intentionally to have extra to share, and have joined the boards of Denver Food Rescue and Fresh Food Connect!

Food Access Partner spotlight


"The quality of the produce we receive through Fresh Food Connect is far beyond what we could provide to our community otherwise."

A founding partner of Fresh Food Connect, Denver Food Rescue picks up homegrown produce from over 400 registered gardeners in the Denver Metro Area, as well as several Community Gardens. They distribute produce from Fresh Food Connect to the community through their no-cost grocery and food box delivery programs, including Thomas Bean Towers, below.👇

Community Distribution Spotlight


“I think it’s amazing that it’s about 10 minutes from pulling vegetables out of the ground, to being provided to seniors.”

Thomas Bean Towers is a Denver Housing Authority building, home to around 189 residents, largely seniors and disabled people. With the help of community volunteers, Denver Food Rescue delivers a variety of food to the people living in the building, including fresh produce through Fresh Food Connect.

Get Involved!

Garden for Good

As a home or community gardener, you can support your community by growing and donating homegrown produce. Whether you’re able to donate a basket of citrus fruit, or a handful of herbs, when everyone joins in, it all adds up to support our neighbors. Download the Fresh Food Connect app to register with your local hunger relief organization, and start making a difference for your community today. 

If you're growing in Colorado, CSU Extension's Grow & Give program offers a wealth of gardening tips, videos, and more.  

Community Gardens Welcome!

Community Gardens are an important shared resource in their communities. Community gardeners donate their produce for a variety of reasons: to prevent food waste, to intentionally support local food access work, and/or to build their garden’s sense of community and impact. Find out more about engaging your community garden in community hunger relief here.

Does your food access nonprofit want to reach gardeners in your community?

Fresh Food Connect Operator Partners build connections to their local gardening community, while increasing access to the freshest, most nutritious food available, grown with care in their own communities. We're mobilizing gardeners nationally to support hunger relief. Find out more about being an Operator Partner here. 

Support our growth

Your financial contribution helps us improve our app and reach more communities. Learn more about our activities here.

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