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Food for Thought: awarded for excellence

Campus partner honored as Small Nonprofit Organization of the Year by Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

By Cory Phare

May 7, 2018

People volunteering with Food For ThoughtEvery Friday morning during the school year, Metropolitan State University of Denver and community volunteers gather at the Colfax viaduct to pack “Power Sacks” of groceries. Those packages are then delivered to participating schools throughout metro Denver to ensure that families have food to eat over the weekend.

It’s part of Food for Thought, a hunger-relief organization partnered with MSU Denver that was recently named Small Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“This was an entire team effort to collaborate and engage multiple businesses,” said Michael Wray, professor of restaurant management, who has shepherded the University’s supportive relationship with Food for Thought.

“Food insecurity is such a huge issue in Denver,” Wray said. “To impact so many lives is a humbling experience, and receiving this award is a real honor.”

The partnership began four years ago when MSU Denver’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events joined forces with Arvada Sunrise Rotary to help fight hunger in the city. Providing food to low-income, elementary-age children in Denver Public Schools, the campus-rooted nonprofit has delivered close to 1.5 million meals and more than 900,000 pounds of food working with more than 6,100 volunteers.

It’s a big impact – one that’s resulted in the well-deserved award for Roadrunners and community members alike.

Wray also pointed out that the service-learning component, partnered with reflection, is a vital way to engage and empower Roadrunners.

“Having this partnership is a natural fit at a place like MSU Denver,” he said. “Our students are here to improve themselves, and a part of that is going back to make a difference in their own communities.

“Learning through service takes place outside of the four walls of the classroom – and when we see a problem, we can do things to fix it.”

Helping out isn’t limited to Power Sacks, either – check out the Food for Thought volunteer calendar for all the opportunities to get involved and how to sign up.

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