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'The taste of home': Maria Empanada donates $25,000 worth of empanadas to immigrants in Denver

'The taste of home': Maria Empanada donates $25,000 worth of empanadas to newcomers in Denver
Posted at 10:37 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 00:37:59-04

DENVER — The City and County of Denver kicked off their collaboration with Maria Empanada on Tuesday, giving newcomers the chance to have what feels like a taste of home.

Lorena Cantarovici, the founder of Maria Empanada, came to Colorado from Argentina around 20 years ago.

“I came for a better life," Cantarovici said. “We all are immigrants and we have feelings and we cry. We remember those tough times, right? When you don't have a penny for something? When you need to think, "What I'm going to eat this night?"”

Cantarovici and her company are donating $25,000 worth of empanadas to newly arrived immigrants at one of Denver's shelters. Officials with the City of Denver say they're grateful.

“Food is one of the biggest costs that we've expanded over the last year. So we've spent about $8 million of the $70 million that we've spent today has all gone toward food," said Jon Ewing, spokesperson for Denver Human Services.

City of Denver shares update on efforts to help newly arrived immigrants

Ewing said the number of newcomers entering Denver is starting to slow, allowing the city to focus on other aspects of adjusting to life in Colorado.

Empanadas will be handed out every Tuesday until they run out. The donation is expected to last through the end of June, and it's estimated that more than 10,000 empanadas will be served.

Over the past 16 months, Denver has served more than 41,000 newly arrived immigrants.

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