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Over two months, Denver Metro Emergency Food Network delivers 150,000 meals to families in need

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Posted at 6:07 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 20:07:51-04

DENVER — For the last two months, the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Denver has been bustling non-stop, but the work going on at the surface is only one piece of a well-oiled machine.

Josh Ford, the executive chef for Denver Metro Emergency Food Network, said it's a multi-step process to get the food to families in need amid the coronavirus pandemic in Colorado.

"The process starts out here with my pit masters Ben and Greg, they spend everyday cooking about one-thousand-pounds of chicken and then whatever food we get, which is a substantial amount, we kind of prep that downstairs and figure out what that’s going to do to go with the food that we’re getting," he said.

One of the founders of Denver Metro Emergency Food Network, Keara Mascarenaz, also owns Lost City Coffee Shop and says she wanted to put other people's needs in front of her own.

"And there was a moment, like many business owners I think, where we thought, 'How are we going to save our business?' and within a day we thought that was the wrong question to ask and we should really be saying, 'How should we use this business we’re so lucky to have to help save others?' It went from idea to delivery within a few days," Mascaarenaz said. "We did about a thousand meals that first week of March 18 and now, today, we’re crossing the 150,000-meal mark."

Because of her decision to help along with several other restaurants, thousands of families have been saved even if the food they deliver only lasts a couple days.

After undergoing an unexpected surgery two months ago, Autumn Baldwin said she was worried about her family’s well-being.

"So like, being a single mom - the first thing that went through my mind is, 'How am I going to provide for my kids?'"

She reached out for help and said the relief she received meant a warm meal for her four children.

"It means a lot. Especially when you see people who are constantly out there and they’re only worried about themselves. It really means a lot to have an organization that can help you when you need them."