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Servicios de la Raza giving away Thanksgiving turkeys, food boxes

The Denver-based organization hopes to serve more than 300 families during the Nov. 23 event.

DENVER — Just before the Thanksgiving celebration, various organizations donate turkeys to Colorado families in need.

Servicios de la Raza is one of those organizations. They will be giving away turkeys and food at an event Nov. 23 starting at 9 a.m. at 3131 W. 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.  

"It'll be a great event. Praying for some sunshine," said Juanita Montoya, event coordinator for the organization. "We're gonna have warm clothing, coats, gloves, scarves. We'll have music, snacks. We'll be handing out hot chocolate to those individuals that are standing in line and of course we always have special seating for our disabled and our older adults in the parking area." 

Montoya has been part of the organization for 15 years. She said they hope to serve more than 300 families in need during the Nov. 23 event. 

"Everyone can come in. You don't need to call. We start at nine until we have no more food. I want to invite everyone who can, and if they can't come in, please call me. There's a chance that we can send the food to your house."

This event takes place every year, just like their backpack and Christmas event. 

"This year we served 631 students with backpacks and school supplies," Montoya said. 

Credit: Servicios de la Raza

For Thanksgiving, they donate turkeys, and for Christmas, they donate hams, toys and warm coats.

Montoya said the organization is currently in need of warm coats, gloves, scarves and socks, and they will take any food products as well. They will be taking donations up until Dec. 23, when they will hold their Christmas distribution.

As part of their homeless initiative, this year they will also make bags that will not contain a turkey but will contain sides, so people can prepare the food with or without a stove.

Montoya said the organization is very fortunate to work with agencies that help make events like Thanksgiving possible and that contribute to alleviating hunger for families in need in the state, "because we always have food and we never turn away anyone, ever, " Montoya said. 

According to Montoya, Servicios de la Raza's clientele is diverse and their needs vary. 

"Latino customers love beans. During the summer they come for vegetables, calabazitas, corn, that kind of thing," she said.

The Asian clientele "just want chicken and rice," and many people from Afghanistan don't eat pork, "so we try to save the chicken and that sort of thing for them," Montoya said. 

Montoya said they are also visited by vegan families, so they always try to add foods that fit different needs and cultures.

Servicios de la Raza is a partner of Food Bank of the Rockies, an organization that helps provide meals to families facing hunger in Colorado and Wyoming.

Food Bank of the Rockies said all of the food bank partners have access to culturally sensitive food lists and that the food is available for all agencies to order online. 

"The organization tries to offer a variety of products, from fresh produce to non-perishable grains, legumes and condiments," the organization said.

The 39th annual 9Cares Colorado Shares food drive continues the fall tradition of helping our neighbors in need.

Food Bank of the Rockies said it has seen a tremendous increase in need for food assistance in Colorado and Wyoming due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One in eight Coloradans face food insecurity, and one in seven Colorado kids don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

The cost of groceries has risen 4.6% since September 2020, according to data released in October 2021 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Donate now to 9Cares Colorado Shares

Funds donated to Food Bank of the Rockies help provide meals for families facing hunger in 30 Colorado counties, including metro Denver, the Eastern Plains, and the Western Slope.

Food Bank of the Rockies is currently distributing enough food to provide more than 180,000 meals per day. So far in 2021, the organization has distributed over 73 million pounds of food, the equivalent of over 60 million meals.

A $1 donation to Food Bank of the Rockies will provide four meals.

Ways to donate

  • Donate at FoodBankRockies.org/9Cares
  • Text 9Cares to 303-871-1491
  • Donations can be made at the register at participating King Soopers stores
  • Checks made out to Food Bank of the Rockies can be mailed to:
    Food Bank of the Rockies
    Attn: Development/9Cares Colorado Shares
    10700 E. 45th Avenue
    Denver, CO 80239

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