The Montbello Co-Op Food Bank in the Arie P. Taylor building helps residents of Northeast Denver put food on the table during difficult times. The food bank is run by the United Church of Montbello and serves residents who live in Montbello and Green Valley Ranch.
“We invite any and everybody to come and visit us,” says Margaret Satchell, one of the food bank’s two co-directors. “We have a small budget. We take a lot of donations and we distribute food out to anybody who needs it.”
“Most of our food comes from the state, says Satchell. “We get that twice a month and we supplement it with the food that is donated or that I go to Food Bank of the Rockies and purchase.”
State-provided food is stored in one room and donated items and other purchases are kept in a separate room. The state provisions during a recent visit included the large bags of pasta and dried beans one might expect, but also a wide variety of fresh produce. A third storage room houses a refrigerator for dairy products and bread, and three freezers for meat and frozen food. How much food each visitor receives is based on guidelines from the state and determined by how many people are in the home.
Residents who wish to receive food must bring photo identification and proof that they live in the 80239 or 80249 zip codes, for state reporting purposes.
While the food bank might be housed in a small space, the team of volunteers that runs it is doing big work.
“In January we serviced 304 households, which included 1,593 individuals, and that number varies a little from month to month,” says Satchell. “And we have fun in here! We laugh a lot, we talk loud sometimes. This is really a wonderful bunch of volunteers we have in here. If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t do this. I love my volunteers!”
Satchell says the food bank welcomes donations of any nonperishable items, but they are not able to accept clothing. She says the most-needed items are bread and dairy products, and that they are always grateful for help stocking their shelves.
“We are really lucky to have had some people do food drives for us. If people want to have a food drive but do not have a way to get the food here, they can call me and we will come pick it up.”
The food bank also welcomes volunteers from the community.
The Montbello Co-Op Food Bank is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. For more information, call 303-375-5501 or visit in person at 4685 Peoria St.