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Making 'Meals from the Heart' gives woman chance to help neighbors who lost homes to wildfire

Denver7 Everyday Hero Jen Gulley.png
Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 09:40:00-04

SUPERIOR, Colo. — With many of the homes around her Superior neighborhood destroyed by the Marshall Fire, Jen Gulley knows her family is one of the lucky ones.

Returning home after being evacuated, Gulley knew she had to do something to help those who weren’t as lucky.

“I was sitting around my house and just was sad for everybody,” she said. “I have a kitchen, and I can kind of sorta cook. I thought, maybe there's some people that are displaced from their homes and could use a good home cooked meal.”

From that idea came Meals from the Heart. Three to five times a week, Gulley makes everything from egg rolls to homemade chili. She posts what she is making early in the day on Facebook. If families need it, they let her know so she knows how much to make.

Most nights, she makes enough to feed about two dozen people, but sometimes she makes a bit more.

“I cooked chicken fried steak and all the fixings because it's a Kansas thing that I grew up with,” Gulley said. “I did 65 of them that night.”

When Denver7 visited her, she was making spaghetti with meat sauce, although you won’t find her recipe in a cookbook.

“Growing up on a farm with your grandma and great grandma, it’s just start dumping,” she said while tossing in some spices.

Gulley loads spaghetti, bread and salad all into to-go containers before putting them in a cooler on her front porch. People can pick up the meals whenever they need them that evening or even the next morning if they need something for lunch.

She estimates she’s made and distributed about 1,000 meals since January. She says it’s the smiles and thank yous that have kept her cooking night after night.

“The love that I feel from it is just absolutely worth every minute of it,” Gulley said.

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