In the fight against food insecurity, Chuck Lontine has stepped into the role Nick Fury plays in The Avengers, assembling Golden's mightiest heroes to ensure local families can celebrate Thanksgiving …
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In the fight against food insecurity, Chuck Lontine has stepped into the role Nick Fury plays in The Avengers, assembling Golden's mightiest heroes to ensure local families can celebrate Thanksgiving properly.
Several local businesses and nonprofits are partnering to host Dignity Tuesday on Nov. 23. Volunteers and organizers will be distributing 200 turkeys, loaves of bread, traditional side dishes and fixings, and Safeway gift cards at the Christian Action Guild at 1401 Ford St.
As of Nov. 12, about 50 Thanksgiving meals hadn't been spoken for. Anyone in need is welcome to call the CAG at 303-279-5674 to schedule a pickup time on Nov. 23.
According to Lontine:
Golden Poultry & Meats will be providing the turkeys;
The Grateful Bread is providing loaves of ciabatta;
The Christian Action Guild is assembling bags of side dishes and fixings;
The Rotary Club of Golden provided needed funding; and
BGOLDN is helping to get the word out.
Lontine, who owns 96.9 The Cloud, and his partners hope this will be the first of many Dignity Tuesdays.
"There's a dignity to be able to take that (meal) home to your family," Lontine said. "That's what motivated all of us involved in this. ... I'm thrilled to be part of that group of giving."
Kelly Ivan, the CAG's executive director, explained that her organization's previous Thanksgiving projects weren't as developed. It was usually any food that was already available and gift cards.
Last year, Ivan felt like the CAG needed to do more because of the pandemic. So, the organization ordered turkeys, hams, pies, and other fixings for clients, along with a $25 gift card. However, it would've been difficult to do it again because of storage and logistics.
Jessica Bobitsky, owner of Golden Poultry & Meats, recalled talking to Lontine about receiving a grant to support local producers and fight against food insecurity. Lontine used that as a springboard for Dignity Tuesday, and started assembling the rest of the team.
He reached out to the Rotary Club, BGOLDN, the Grateful Bread and the CAG and brought everyone together, Bobitsky and other partners described.
"Chuck came by and asked us to participate," Kathy Mullen, owner of the Grateful Bread, said. " ... We were happy to help."
Mullen said her business, located at 425 Violet St., donates leftover bread to the Denver Housing Authority, and used to help with a lot of charity events. However, the pandemic has canceled many of those events, so Dignity Tuesday provided a new opportunity to give back, she described.
Mullen said her bakers are making the 200 loaves fresh on the morning of Nov. 23, adding, "We put a lot of love into (the bread)."
Lontine said his assignment on Nov. 23 will be picking up the loaves and bringing it to the CAG.
Bobitsky said Golden Poultry & Meats, 1224 Washington Ave., bought a refrigerated van with its grant. So, it will be able to keep the locally grown turkeys cool during delivery on Nov. 23.
Golden Poultry & Meats has been a regular partner with the CAG for about a year, delivering meat orders at least twice a month, she explained. However, on Nov. 23, it'll be pulling out all the stops.
Bobitsky said she's recruited some middle school students to help distribute the turkeys. They're so excited that they've started inviting friends to help also, she said.
For the clients, Ivan explained that they've made appointments to pick up meals between either 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m. If clients have dietary restrictions, she said tilapia and other dishes are available.
Ivan thanked the Rotary Club, which donated $1,250 to buy more mashed potatoes, green beans, soups, and other side dishes the CAG didn't already have.
Ivan, Mullen and Bobitsky described how they're all so busy with their respective work that Lontine spearheading Dignity Tuesday was extremely helpful.
"He ran with (the idea) and did all the connecting," Ivan said. " ... It's what we needed and what we wanted."
All of them, along with Lontine, were proud to see Golden community members come together to help their neighbors celebrate Thanksgiving with dignity.
"It's a Golden feeling," Lontine said. "We always come through for each other."
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