Kyle Endres took on the job of Development and Communications specialist at Metro CareRing for a few reasons– he’s passionate about providing healthy and nutritious food to people, he cares deeply about nutrition education, and perhaps most importantly, he wants to deal with misconceptions people have about the participants at the hunger relief organization. He explains, “When you talk with people, it’s obvious that they’d rather not be there,”– not because Metro CareRing is unpleasant in any way (it’s not!), but because they want to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Understanding this, the organization seeks to not only fill the immediate need of hunger relief, but also to teach lessons integral to long-term self-sufficiency.
Based out of Denver, Colorado, Metro CareRing has been serving their participants since 1974. The largest direct-service hunger relief service in the city, their mission has expanded from providing food to the hungry to that and much more; a host of services now exist, including teaching classes on health and self-sufficiency, providing cooking demonstrations, and educating people on the practice and benefits of at-home gardening. Not only this, but staff help participants deal with state issues, including the procurement of identification cards, vital documents, and form assistance.
The impact of this ministry is enormous; each year 60,000 people avail themselves of Metro CareRing’s services– in 2013, 110,000 instances of service were recorded. As they begin expanding to a larger facility, scheduled to open in winter 2015, the mission will only expand. At 16,000 square feet, the Hunger Relief Center will be nearly three times the size of their former building, and offer community health services, including flu shots, immunizations, mental health appointments and tobacco cessation programs. One idea driving this expansion is that Metro CareRing has found that participants struggle to travel to numerous settings for these services, and that keeping the services in one place– where they wait for food– will help them find time to use the offerings. Additionally, the expansion will include a teaching kitchen, where participants will learn how to prepare their food in a nutritious way.
As they promote self-sufficiency and address immediate needs, Metro CareRing has become integral to the fabric of their community; their witness and commitment to the least among us has made them a ministry to be proud of.
Metro CareRing has been a Jubilee Ministry since 2007.