Attacking the Stigma of Hunger

Volunteers at the Food Pantry at DSST Cole

The school year is in full swing, and we are so blessed to have the students back live and in person. Education is just one of the many services we can provide for our youth in the walls of these school buildings. Helping crush the stigma of hunger by providing access to healthy food is a blessing that the connection of school makes possible.

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Nourishing Students

Thanks to the support of stigma fighters like you, we are ready to go supporting five Denver Public Schools food pantries for the 2021/2022 school year.

When I visit food pantries across Denver, one thing leaves me full of concern: the lack of nutritional quality of the food. Many decades of harmful farm-subsidy policy has left us with a national crisis of cheap processed foods made from corn, soybeans and wheat. It is hard to blame the under-funded food pantries for stretching their dollars and buying lots of highly processed, shelf-stable food. But the result is we are feeding our kiddos – the ones who most need the nutrition to fight their way out of marginalized situations – a whole lot of crap.

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Filing Cabinets Needed

Fooding Cabinet Ready for Installation

Our fooding cabinet project to deliver our Neighborlies (emergency relief food bags) to our community is really taking off. We have five Fooding Cabinets deployed with plans to install several more this summer.

To make this project work, we need a volunteer to keep an eye on each cabinet – keeping it clean and stocked with Neighborlies (supplied by Stigma). But before we can get to the work of the volunteer, we need the raw materials – gently used two-drawer filing cabinets for our artist to paint.

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You Don’t Need a “Problem” to Experience the soberevolution

We are all about crushing the stigmas that keep people locked into living life below their potentials because of societal norms, and cultural ignorance and pressure. We don’t have to have an addiction to have alcohol put unnecessary limitations on our lives. If you want more from your time on this planet, this opening weekend might just be for you.

Have you heard of the “soberevolution?” More and more people are waking up to the negative impact of drinking a poison for celebration, mourning and stress relief. And the movement is taking a giant leap forward this week here in Denver. Awake is opening for delicious, alcohol-free evenings.

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Voluneer Opportunity: Assemble Neighborlies

So many of you have asked how you can help. Lots of our stigma-fighting friends have offered to help us put together Neighborlies (emergency relief food bags) when it is time to assemble the next batch.

That time is now. This week. Friday, April 23rd at 9am at SAME Cafe.

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Stigmattack: Our Food Partnership with Denver Public Schools

with Audrey at DSST Cole Unloading Produce Boxes

Stigmattack! That’s what we call our full-frontal food offensive against hunger with the Denver Public Schools with which we work. A few weeks ago, we shared the story of our partnership with the LoVVe project to bring healthy and delicious food to students and families at Ellis Elementary. At Stigma, we are proud to be partnering with two DPS high schools as well.

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Find Your Story

Do you have a story that’s clawing, scraping and crying to get out? How about this question: Are you ready for the freedom and enlightenment that only authenticity and connection can provide?

Those are thought provoking inquiries. They are the kind of questions that we disregard at our own peril. Why not explore the true answers, and understand what your story means?

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Leaning into Vulnerability with CAiR

Darin Valdez Preparing for The Story Writing Workshop at Colorado Village Collaborative

Anyone who doesn’t believe the power of the stigma to hold people locked in addiction hasn’t met Darin Valdez or heard his story.

Darin is the founder and executive director of Colorado Artists in Recovery – a Denver-based nonprofit with the mission to help people find their artistic creativity as a pathway to healing from addiction and other mental health challenges. Like a lot of us, Darin’s dedication to helping people is born from his determination to pay it forward. Just a few snowy winters ago, Darin nearly died from exposure as he lived on the streets and battled a debilitating meth addiction.

What kept Darin from getting help? Why did he nearly freeze to death in an outdoor stairwell in December of 2013?

He was too ashamed to ask his family for help.

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