IFCS | A Denver Area Food Bank and More to Nourish Lives

Starting “from Scratch” in 1964

Today I went undercover to discover some of the secret ingredients behind the successful food bank of Integrated Family Community Services Market. As some of you know, I live up in the mountains near Monarch Ski Resort so Todd McPherson (Development Director) gave me a virtual tour around The Market via his mobile phone. It was fun to be able to see all that was going on. Please come along with me!

Walking to the entryway it appears just like any other corner grocery including a farmers market stall set up outside. There are people coming on foot from the neighborhood and others came in vehicles. They are culturally diverse, coming from many different backgrounds. There are parents and children, single adults and seniors. Everyone I saw looked happy to be here and there is no judgement or shame for whatever reason they are here. Some come due to loss of a job, or worries about making housing payments, or perhaps a medical emergency is taking more money from their food budget.

Some of the people are first timers to the Market. Some are regular customers that have disabilities and some of the government programs they relied upon have been cut so they heard about the food bank of IFCS through neighbors or had a referral. In Colorado half a million people experience food insecurity. IFCS is providing the needed nourishment so they can live a healthier life. This has been the mission since starting in 1964 as the little food bank that could!

It’s a busy place here at the Market, there are people doing all kinds of different jobs, and it feels like in the background there is a conductor who is orchestrating it all. Going on here is a very well organized food bank with people passionate about the local community and reaching the need for people to be nourished. Being a nurse, I know good nutrition is the key to a healthy lifestyle. I am passionate about the work being done here and it fills my heart to the brim to see it happening.

The Market is set up just like a grocery store with shelves of canned goods and non-perishables. There are many refrigerated cases with all kinds of meat, dairy, and eggs. Fresh produce of all different kinds are on shelves. Spices needed for cooking, personal hygiene items, diapers and lots of other items. There are shelves for the homeless or those who live in their cars who have no place to cook. They can come away with a bag of healthy snacks that don’t need cooking.

Todd shared with me that sometimes there are groups of women (perhaps sisters) who shop together. Sometimes there will be a child with them who can help translate. Evidently, last week was cinnamon day. Everyone wanted cinnamon. I was curious what recipes might have it for a meat marinade. I thought I would share with you one that I found on the Web that sounded delicious! Of course you could use it with any kind of meat, I just prefer lamb!

Lamb Kabob Marinade
1/2 onion grated
3 garlic cloves minced
1 lemon zested and juiced
1 t. Cumin
1/2 t. Paprika
1/2 t. Cinnamon
Salt and pepper

Mix marinade together in bowl and place meat inside
Let sit overnight for best flavor. Grill

Health benefits are in all those ingredients;

✅ Onion and Garlic – Boosts the immune system and beneficial for your heart.
✅ Cumin – Reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
✅ Cinnamon – Has anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower your risk of disease.

Stay tuned for my next visit to the Market at IFCS where I will be finding out how all this is possible!



https://communityfoodshare.org (August 2023)

https://webmd.com (September 2022)

https://healthline.com (October 2022)


Kathryn Adams is a Nurse Freelance Writer who started out her career as a Firefighter EMT-B then RN and has transitioned to professional writing.  She started volunteering with IFCS in 2018 because she has a passion to help others. When she isn’t writing she enjoys hiking, yoga, skiing, and traveling. She lives with her husband, dog and kitty in the Colorado Mountains.


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This statement was updated 8.3.22 in accordance with USDA updates and guidelines.