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Parker nonprofit getting groceries on the table with help from two devoted volunteers

Posted at 9:30 PM, May 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 09:25:16-04

PARKER, Colo. — The fight against food insecurity starts with a small, free food market in the southeastern part of the Denver metro. SECOR Cares is a nonprofit based in Parker, with a mission of helping neighbor feed their families.

"Suburban poverty hides in plain sight," said Monica Aden, the volunteer coordinator with SECOR Cares. "You think of Douglas County as being an affluent area, but the truth of the matter is, with the cost of living right now — you've got neighbors in crisis."

The market is managed by the community, for the community.

"Volunteers absolutely make this place run," said Aden. "Without our volunteers, this place doesn't open."

And making up the heart and soul of the market are volunteers Cheryl and Larry Hayes.

"We've always wanted to put some effort into it," said Cheryl Hayes. "It's not just simply giving money. But if we can help physically, then we've always done that."

Cheryl Hayes supports families shopping in the market, while Larry Hayes' role stays behind the scenes.

"I like the physical point [of this work]," said Larry Hayes. "I like the warehouse, I like sorting things out and putting it out so people can have access to it."

Their commitment goes beyond SECOR Cares.

"We've been married for 50 years, going on 51," said Chery Hayes. "I can truly say we are each other's best friends. Our faith has kept us focused, and that's also part of the reason why we're here."

And Aden is grateful to have the two by her side.

"I can't think of two people who show more love, show more heart for their community than Cheryl and Larry. Our lives are better because [they] are in it," Aden said.

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Parker nonprofit putting groceries on the table with help from two volunteers