Feeding Denver's Hungry has been in the News ...
July 06, 2020 - YourHub.DenverPost.com
pplewood Plumbing Heating & Electric recently announced Feeding Denver’s Hungry as the winner of their newly formatted Caring Community Giveaway program.
Feeding Denver’s Hungry received 655 votes between the Applewood website and Facebook page. The other organizations nominated by Applewood employees for the $5,000 donation included We Don’t Waste and Metro Caring, who are both helping feed the community during the COVID-19 crisis. A voting period was held from May 26 through June 9. The support for all three organizations was outstanding, resulting in Applewood donating an additional $500 to both We Don’t Waste and Metro Caring.
Applewood’s Caring Community Giveaway supports small, local nonprofits with a contribution to the organization receiving the highest votes on Applewood’s Facebook page or website: www.ApplewoodFixIt.com. The Giveaway was recently updated from a monthly $1,000 to a quarterly $5,000 award where the community has the power to vote and choose where the money will go.
Applewood employees were asked to nominate their favorite organizations based on a specific theme, which this quarter was feeding the community during the COVID-19 crisis. A random drawing of three organizations took place and then the public was asked to vote through social media and Applewood’s website.
“It’s amazing that Applewood included employees in deciding where they give their donations. I’m so glad I nominated Feeding Denver’s Hungry because now they will be able to help feed even more people” said Mary Brady, Applewood dispatcher who nominated Feeding Denver’s Hungry.
Applewood’s Caring Community Giveaway program has existed for more than 15 years and has donated nearly $200,000 to help make a difference in the community. Even during difficult times, such as the pandemic, Applewood has found a way to sustain their support through their community giving programs.
The next Giveaway will take place in September.
March 24, 2020 - KDVR.com - Fox 31 Denver
DENVER (KDVR) — Tuesday afternoon, nonprofit Feeding Denver’s Hungry handed out bags of groceries to Denver families experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19.
“We’re able to give everyone who comes here three or four bags of groceries,” volunteer and owner of Mile High Comics Charles Rozanski told FOX31.
Items include pasta, canned goods, meal kits, fresh fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and water. They even have food available for dogs and cats.
“We treat you like we treat ourselves. We give you what we eat ourselves and that’s it,” volunteer Deja Gill said.
Feeding Denver’s Hungry typically serves homeless populations.
“Our volunteers are not wealthy,” Rozanski said. “We’re all people that have slept under a bridge and know what it’s like to be cold and to be hungry.”
On the last Thursday of every month, they give out 1,000 bags of groceries. They will still do that this month. Tuesday’s grocery hand-out is an extra effort.
“A lot of people are living paycheck-to-paycheck these days and we are incredibly sympathetic to those folks and understand that they have nothing going into this quarantine period,” Rozanski said.
According to Rozanski, Feeding Denver’s Hungry founder Jim Scharper spent $15,000 of his own money to purchase three 26-foot truck loads of food for the giveaways.
“A $5 donation to us pretty much turns into $100 worth of food we can give away to people who are hungry,” Rozanski said.
About 250 families lined up, while keeping with social distancing, for assistance.
“I never once thought I would be here,” Christian Peralta told FOX31.
He worked at an Italian restaurant but no longer has a job due to the outbreak.
“Once this whole thing started, I was terrified making ends meet,” he said. “It takes so much of the load off of us and everyone in the family. Just knowing that we have food in the fridge is going to be amazing.”
November 18, 2019 - ParkBench.com
Feeding Denver’s Hungry mission is to compassionately reach out to nourish and meet the physical needs of the underserved and overburdened. The organization is a group of individuals who get together in lower downtown Denver & serve 800-1000 marginalized youth, elderly, disabled and families in need whose resources have run out. No one is obligated to do anything to receive our services. All items are bought and paid for by our volunteers, this is not a government program. Feeding Denver’s Hungry needs your tax deductible donations, please help us when you can. We are 501(c)3. We distribute food the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month. Please consider joining us and helping this holiday season
What do you love most about the neighborhood?
Feeding Denver’s Hungry is a group of individuals who get together in lower downtown Denver and serve 800-1000 marginalized youth, elderly, disabled and families in need, whose resources have run out. No one is obligated to do anything to receive our services. All items are bought and paid for by our volunteers, this is not a government program. Feeding Denver’s Hungry needs your tax deductible donations, please help us when you can. We are 501(c)3. We distribute food the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month. Please consider joining us and helping.
February 24, 2019 - CBSdenver.com - CBS 4
DENVER (CBS4) – A volunteer who feeds the homeless is recovering from injuries after a homeless man hit him in the face. Jim Scharper, founder of Feeding Denver’s Hungry, was giving away groceries near Broadway and Champa Thursday when a man receiving the food hit him in the face with what felt like a pipe.
“I didn’t see what hit me but it felt like it was maybe a piece of metal,” Scharper said. “I’ve got a couple of teeth that are knocked loose and lost a couple of fillings.”
Dozens of volunteers were present, distributing 21,000 pounds of groceries to a record 2,200 people at the nonprofit’s monthly hand-up event.
The attack came after the suspect tried to cut in front of other people in the food line and became upset when confronted, Denver police said in a report.
Scharper’s friends spent the next several hours tracking down the suspect and called police. Officers arrested Quinton Boyd, 24, on a charge of assault.
Friends recorded video of the arrest, as police found the groceries still in his bag.
Despite lingering pain, Scharper said he forgives Boyd.
Scharper started the nonprofit seven years ago after overcoming his own struggle with homelessness.
“I’m an alcoholic. So 10 years ago, I was out on the street because of that,” Scharper told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
He hopes Boyd’s brush with the law will allow him to get the help that he needs.
“You slip through the cracks when you’re out there on the street. And unless something like this happens, it’s hard to get help,” Scharper said.
Friends started a fundraiser to help Scharper with his dental and medical bills. Scharper was asking the public for donations to help feed more of Denver’s struggling population.
February 23, 2019 - CBSdenver.com - CBS 4
DENVER (CBS4) – Jim Scharper spent part of his life on the streets, but had some help to get him on his feet. That’s why he came up with the idea of “Feeding Denver’s Hungry.”
It was a recent event when his story would change again, after being attacked by one of the people he was trying to help.
Now, friends and family of Scharper are trying to help him the help he needs after the attack.
February 22, 2019 - TheDenverChannel.com
DENVER — Jim Scharper knows what it is like to be homeless. Ten years ago, he was drunk and on the streets himself.
“I got some help through Denver Health and have been sober since,” he said.
Because people helped him, Scharper decided to give back to the community, so he founded a food pantry called “Feeding Denver’s Hungry.”
“I started out making 25 sandwiches in my kitchen,” he said. “Friends heard what I was doing and wanted to help.”
He says 150 volunteers serve nearly 2,000 sandwiches every month.
They were doing just that on Thursday, when one of the people they were helping, and who was helping them, attacked Scharper.
“He was breaking down boxes,” Scharper said. “There was a disagreement.”
According to the police report, the suspect, identified as Quinton Boyd, tried to cut in line and became angry when he was called on it.
Scharper said he tried to get him away from the volunteers and other people in line.
“We went inside the Coalition for the Homeless. I was in the process of getting help to call police and he came from out of nowhere with something in his hand. I don’t think it was just his fist. I think it was a pipe,” Scharper said.
Scharper was hit with such force that it loosened two teeth and knocked out a couple of fillings.
“My jaw is sore,” he said, “but I’ll be all right.”
Scharper said he forgives Boyd.
“I made a post on Facebook that I have no ill will towards him,” he said. “I hope he gets some help.”
Bystanders who witnessed the attack spotted Boyd at a bus stop on Colfax Thursday night.
They called police and officers took the suspect into custody.
“I think he may have used me as a way to get himself put in jail,” Scharper said. “When he was arrested last night, he was like, ‘Thank God I’m going to jail. I’ll have a warm bed.'”
He said the assault speaks to a wider ranging problem about mental illness and escalating housing costs.
Work to be done
The founder told Contac7 that he won’t let the assault, which put him in the hospital briefly, stop him from his mission of feeding Denver’s hungry.
“There are a lot of people struggling,” he said. “More so today, than 10 years ago when I was on the streets. Some people can barely afford housing and have no money for food.”
The nonprofit has established a GoFundMe account to raise funds for more groceries.
“All donations, 100 percent, go back out in food that we buy from Food Bank of the Rockies,” Scharper said.
He added that he feels so strongly about his work, that “we’ll be out there again next month.”
October 08, 2018 - DenverRite.com
He’s come a long way from sleeping in his truck, but his memories of that time have shaped how his nonprofit works.
Jim Scharper has come a long way from making sandwiches in his Mayfair basement apartment to distribute to people experiencing homelessness.He’s come even further from sleeping in his truck.“I never envisioned this,” Scharper said as he stood in a warehouse in an industrial neighborhood off I-70 watching volunteers for Feeding Denver’s Hungry, the nonprofit he founded, fill plastic bags with snacks piled into the kinds of bins you might use to sort mail.
“Connections that just continue to keep happening allow us to do more.”Scharper, who has the look and gruffly reassuring manner of a young version of the actor Wilford Brimley, once worked in construction and remodeling. Now an apartment manager — his conversation in the warehouse was interrupted by a call about an ailing dishwasher — he blames drinking for the loss of that first career and of his home.
He spent the winter of 2008 homeless.
The next summer, determined to get sober, he checked himself into a hospital and then got treatment in a Denver Health detox program. He was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous, sometimes going to meetings twice a day.A few years later, a sober Scharper turned his attention to those left behind on the streets. Soon friends joined him making and handing out sandwiches. When they outgrew his home, a friend made the warehouse available, one wall of which is lined with donated refrigerators. Scharper acquired a board of directors whose members helped him get nonprofit status two years ago.“My core group of people are just caring people who don’t want to see people go without,” he said.In addition to the occasional snack bag distributions, once a month Scharper and his volunteers fill a semi with food they give away downtown every month. He gets most of the food he distributes from the Food Bank of the Rockies. A few urban farms supply produce — “any time you can get fresh food to people, that’s the best,” Scharper said. In winter he scours stores and online sites for the best deals on the hats and gloves he adds to the grocery bags.Scharper’s own experiences inform his charity. He remembers being given peanut butter sandwiches when he was living in his truck. The sandwiches he distributed were meat and cheese, “something substantial.”Scharper’s monthly distribution point is across the street from the downtown Denver drop-in center of Urban Peak, which provides a range of services for teens and young people who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming so.“That they (young people) get fed, that’s my No. 1 priority,” Scharper said. “The kids on the street, it’s hard for me to imagine what they’re going though. As an adult, it was hard.”A number of other organizations supporting homeless people of all ages can be found in the same neighborhood. Urban Peak CEO said she had seen Scharper’s group setting up tables and distributing food but hadn’t realized Scharper was moved in particular to help young people.“That’s wonderful to know,” she said when that was pointed out. “The services that are necessary for homeless all over our community are so important. Everybody playing their part is so important.”Scharper also previously distributed food near the St. Francis Center, a downtown homeless center where he once showered. But he had to cut back to Urban Peak because of work commitments.
Still, his team keeps growing.
Friends of friends have joined his volunteer team, as have strangers who come across his Facebook and GoFundMe appeals.Volunteers who work for Lyft have been among Scharper’s helpers for the last two years. Gabe Cohen, Lyft’s general manager for the Rockies, said the connection started with one Lyft staff member who knew about Feeding Denver’s Hungry recommending it when Cohen was looking for a community project for his team. Fifteen Lyft workers stuffed snack bags last year and 35 this year.Feeding Denver’s Hungry is small compared to nonprofits like the American Cancer Society or Special Olympics that Lyft has supported and the work differs from free ride programs the company is known for when it comes to philanthropy. Cohen said he was drawn in part by the opportunity to have a big impact, and in part by Scharper and his mission.“Jim’s story is so compelling,” Cohen said.“We’ve certainly seen a growth in homelessness in Denver,” he added. Feeding Denver’s Hungry is “certainly something that our team was enthused about supporting.”Scharper needs about $2,000 a month to rent the semi and buy supplies.“I started making 25 sandwiches out of my home six years ago,” he said. “Now, it’s become this machine. I organize and point and direct and things just happen.”But, he added: “It would be good if we didn’t have to do this at all.”Scharper can be reached at 720-276-2118. He most needs volunteers at Urban Peak, 2100 Stout Street, for distribution at 9 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month and on the Wednesday before at noon at the warehouse at 4600 Jason Street for filling the semi.
June 29, 2017 - CBSdenver.com - CBS 4
DENVER (CBS4) – The Incredible Hulk took to Denver’s streets to put a beating on hunger.
Lou Ferrigno “teamed up with local nonprofit Feeding Denver’s Hungry to provide 12,000 lbs of food and 20,000 meals to more than 1,200 people,” the Denver Comic Con posted on their Facebook page.
Ferrigno is in town for an appearance at this weekend’s con.
As an actor, Ferrigno is best known for playing the Incredible Hulk on television from 1977 to 1982. He’s stared in many other television shows and movies, including uncredited Hulk appearances in the recent Marvel Avengers movies.
The Denver Comic Con opens at 10 a.m. Friday and runs through Sunday.