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Joy's Kitchen meets increased demand during COVID-19 pandemic, receives surprise donation

Denver7 Gives dropped off a check for $500
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Posted at 2:24 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 19:33:49-04

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the number of people being served by Joy's Kitchen increased almost overnight.

What started as a way to rescue food from area grocery stores nine years ago has turned into an effort that's feeding more than 2,000 families per month. Before the pandemic, Joy Kitchen was serving anywhere from 900 to 1,200 families.

"We haven’t skipped one day, we haven’t skipped a beat. We immediately shifted all of our operations to be able to fit the emergency response.” And come up with really safe practices to be able to feed people," said Kathy Stanley, Director of Operations for Joy's Kitchen.

People used to browse through rescued food and pick out the items they wanted but with COVID-19 it was no longer safe. Instead, volunteers are packing boxes with all the essentials to feed a family for one week. The boxes are then handed out contact-free when people pull up in their cars.

"We are concerned with the amount of need that we’re seeing in the community, we’re going to do the best we can to still serve everybody," Stanley said.

Denver7 viewers were introduced to Joy's Kitchen last year after someone stole two trailers from the organization in a matter of three months. Viewers immediately stepped up to help and donated a trailer that is currently being used to pick up food from area grocery stores.

Donations continued to come into Denver7 Gives after that story aired. Denver7 was able to present Stanley with a $500 check and she said with the increase in demand it came at just the right time.

"Thank you guys so much for helping, there’s so many families that need it and getting this food to them is just a beautiful expression of love and it means a lot," Stanley said.

For more information about Joy's Kitchen, including a list of food pantry distribution times, click here.