DENVER - The Struggle of Love Foundation, a non-profit based in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood recently learned they would lose a large portion of funding for their food bank.
A few years ago, the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC) secured a city grant on behalf of several Montbello-based nonprofits, including Struggle of Love.
But Struggle of Love recently learned MOC would not be a recipient of the next round of grants.
“We were not selected this year,” Joel “Coach Eye” Hodge, founder of Struggle of Love said. “So that hurts you know, and I understand you have to share the money everywhere but when you come and see what we've been doing since COVID before COVID, we're in desperate need,” Hodge said. “I believe we lost about $100,000 a year.”
Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC) received funding from the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids (HFDK) initiative, a resident-led ballot measure (302) approved by Denver voters in November of 2018.
HDFK provides a 10-year funding stream from taxes to invest in organizations that support Denver's low-income and under-served youth. The program is overseen by a commission which is appointed by the Mayor. The commission determines how the tax funding is allocated.
MOC was a grantee as part of the first funding cohort in 2020, their funding was awarded for 3 years in total (2020-2023). As the original contract period ended, MOC was not selected as one of the final 14 contracts.
Hodge said this decision came around the same time hundreds of migrants began arriving at the food bank each week asking for help.
“The migrant population that popped up, they are here before I get to work, I get to work at 8:30am and they're here waiting. They just wait with their children,” Hodge said.
Hodge said food distribution begins at 12:45pm most days.
“The kids you know, when they come we try to find some snacks for him because they been sitting over there for so long,’ Hodge said.
Hodge said the foundation is in contact with Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s office regarding the funding shortfall.
Hodge said in the meantime, they’re thankful for community partners helping keep their food bank afloat.
“'We Don't Waste' came and said, ‘hey, you can come get some food from us. We can't give you money to pay, but at least you get some food’. Food Bank of the Rockies added us to be able to go pick up stuff...so we use our personal cars and pickup trucks to pick up the food. But that takes time, hours and gas and manpower. So now I got to ask these guys to do this for me for free,” Hodge said.
Hodge said many of the workers they should have enough food to continue the food bank through the end of the year but many of their workers are volunteering their time without pay.
If you would like to donate to help Struggle of Love visit Denver7 Gives and select "Support Struggle of Love's Food Bank" from the drop-down menu.
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.
To donate to this campaign or choose another to support, use the secure form below.
Want more stories of hope and ways to help in your inbox? Sign up to get the weekly Denver7 Gives Email Newsletter 💌