Denver tries new tactic to bring healthy food to Globeville and Elyria-Swansea

Denver is kicking in $100,000 as part of its latest effort to address food insecurity in Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Montbello, Westwood and other areas where access to groceries is limited.

Nathan Hanna waters plants inside the GrowHaus in Elyria Swansea. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Nathan Hanna waters plants inside the GrowHaus in Elyria Swansea. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) growhaus; elyria-swansea; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; food desert; agriculture;
Nathan Hanna waters plants inside the GrowHaus in Elyria-Swansea. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver is kicking in $100,000 as part of its latest effort to address food insecurity in Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Montbello, Westwood and other areas where access to groceries is limited.

The city announced Wednesday it’s partnering with The Unreasonable Institute for the Food Access Project. The project will provide training and mentorship for 10 ventures focused on improving access to healthy food across low-income communities in Denver.

Early-stage ventures can apply for the Food Access Project here through June 25.

“By targeting entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits, we recognize that Denver has a broad talent pool of individuals that, with a little support and key introductions, can make a lasting difference in addressing food insecurity,” said Amy Edinger, Office of Economic Development interim executive director, in a statement.

The Unreasonable Institute is focused on helping “high-impact entrepreneurs” succeed through training and mentorship. The Boulder-based nonprofit is administering The Food Access Project and will provide participating ventures with a five-day in-person boot camp featuring classes, six months of support from a team of mentors, financial modeling training and access to a network of more than 530 Unreasonable Institute ventures worldwide.

“It’s exciting to be able to bring the city’s resources together with the ingenuity of entrepreneurs,” said Teju Ravilochan, CEO of Unreasonable Institute, in a statement.

Denver’s Office of Economic Development is trying to attack food insecurity in Denver at multiple angles.

The city has dedicated $3 million in gap financing funds to help lure full-service grocers into the Globeville/Elyria-Swansea, Montbello and Westwood neighborhoods. The city has already given Focus Points Family Resource Center near Globeville and Elyria-Swansea a $76,720 grant to support a new business support center for food businesses and entrepreneurs. The GrowHaus, another nonprofit in that area, got a $66,213 grant to support a door-to-door community health worker program, meant to educate residents on healthy eating habits, cooking methods and nutrition.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or @adriandgarcia on Twitter.

 

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.