Restoring Dignity and Livelihood with Care

SECORCares is a Powerhouse

Skyrocketing inflation coupled with supply chain issues has affected many of us. It has made suburban poverty more of an issue than ever before right here in Parker and other South Denver suburbs. The food shortage is affecting the very agency that helps those in need – for the first time SECORCares has some empty shelves spanning part of its 24,000 sq. foot facility.

SECORCares supports food insufficiency and is a free food market. Yet the scope of what the organization does is so much broader – in fact the task seems daunting until Dennis Gorton, the Executive Director for the last seven and a half years explains how he and 200 rotating volunteers throughout the year tackle it all. Dennis is calm and optimistic about SECOR’s future. He has taken the agency from its infancy to outgrowing each space it has occupied, including the current one. His servant leadership is evident in the genuine care and commitment he and his team have for every guest.

When people walk through the front door of the spotlessly clean, sun-filled entrance, they are greeted by a Guest Care Consultant and their needs are assessed. Most guests shop every two weeks and will be able to get 80 to 90% of everything they need to feed a family of four.

Many people in Douglas County are living paycheck to paycheck and just one unexpected change, such as a divorce, major medical bills, or job loss can become a catastrophic incident. “The agency is here to take care of them when life kicks them in the head and help them get back on their feet,” Dennis says.

Major food partners are grocery stores, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Kneaders and Crumbl Cookies. Donations include fresh produce, meats, dairy, fresh bread, canned and dry good and even dessert. Meal kits are popular because they are easy. Dennis says his favorite experience is when a mom comes in and says her about to be 7-year-old has never had a birthday cake.

“We have always had a cake that says, ‘Happy Birthday,’ when this has happened. It’s so cool!” Dennis exclaims.

Providing food is just part of the mission. Legal aid, medical assistance, and counseling are all available. SECOR’s Community of Hope specializes in working with families and individuals to establish a balanced budget. The organization also assists with job skills and employment searches. Restoring dignity by establishing self-sufficiency and a livelihood is always the objective.

Food for Thought occupies the back of the warehouse and provides food for children on the weekends that might only be eating a snack occasionally when they aren’t at school.

The mobile market was made possible by partners at Christian Brothers Automotive. They financed this venture that was launched in 2018 so the market could be taken on the road.

How can you help?

“The biggest need is funding,” Dennis explains. “We can purchase food at 20% of what anyone shopping on their own can.”

The goal in the next two years is to expand with a full market in Aurora.

SECORCares By the Numbers:
Residents in 42 zip codes receive assistance
1696 Guests Shopped on June 8th, 2022
8 or 9 different languages might be spoken by guests in a single day
40,099 Children are fed on weekends (this number doesn’t include their families that are also fed)
30,000 more children in Douglas, Arapahoe and Elbert Counties are not being fed on weekends
2,573,070 Meals were provided through the onsite market and mobile outreach in 2021
Second largest distributor of Starbucks in Colorado (right behind Starbucks itself) – 6,000 to 8,000 lbs of sandwiches and baked goods are delivered by 37 Starbucks
Over 22,688 Volunteer hours worked
3,444 hours of groups volunteered

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