The Glendale Sports Center, in conjunction with the City of Glendale and YMCA of Metro Denver, has shifted a bit of its focus to distributing food to those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Food items such as bread, milk, yogurt and fresh fruits and vegetables are available for free to anyone who comes to the Glendale Sports Center at 4500 East Kentucky Ave. on Mondays between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Masked volunteers bring pre-packed boxes and bags to the cars, where masked drivers accept the donation for loading.
Kelly Cloughly from the Glendale Sports Center organizes the distribution while the USDA delivers prepackaged fresh produce. Pepsico delivers food from the Food Bank of the Rockies, and the City of Glendale provides bread and healthy snack items. The City of Glendale facilities team sets up the tents and tables. So far, this partnership has helped nearly 5,000 in the community.
It is a good thing that the Glendale Sports Center has stepped forward. Some smaller pantries
in the Denver area had to stop operating during the pandemic because volunteers, on whom they relied, were over 60, an age that put them at high risk for the worst effects of the coronavirus.
Robyn Hills, director of volunteer engagement for the YMCA of Metro Denver, said that while operating a food pantry is new for her organization, being responsive is not. “The Y’s role really changes based on the needs of the community,” Hills said.
The city of Denver estimates that since COVID-19 led to an economic slowdown, the portion of Denver residents who cannot be sure of getting enough to eat has increased from 11 percent to about a quarter of the population.