The Refuge Cafe in Broomfield is sponsoring its annual “Refuge Family Thanksgiving Feast,” at its Quay Street location on Sunday at 5 p.m.
“This year will be the first buffet-style meal that we've done since COVID, Minister of Presence, Justice and Memory Marrton Dormish said.
Founded in 2006, the Refuge serves as a hub for healing the community, social action and creative collaboration, Dormish explained.
The Refuge Cafe, which is a branch of the Refuge, has been in operation since 2013.
“There's no requirements about where you live or how much money you make,” he said. “On Thanksgiving itself the cafe will be closed, but we try our best to make sure that at least all of our regulars that come are taken care of.”
The Refuge Cafe is normally open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 12-6 p.m.
“It functions as a day shelter just to provide a place of hospitality and presence for anyone,” he said. “We serve free lunch and we try to make nutritious, healthy meals.”
In addition to its weekday offerings, the Refuge holds a Sunday gathering that also includes meals for participants.
“We have a table full of other snacks and different sorts of food items that people can take,” he said.
Although the Refuge helps provide supplemental food, larger grocery needs are directed to the adjacent North Denver Cares Food Pantry.
“It has been operating for longer than we have for people over there,” he noted.
The Refuge also works closely with Broomfield FISH to provide referrals for food items.
“We do some kind of small supplemental resources, '' Dormish said. “Sometimes we're able to provide gift cards, gas cards or vouchers, bus passes and clothes.”
The Refuge also provides household supplies, toiletries and diapers.
“Especially in this time of year we have coats, warm clothes, hats, scarves and gloves,” he said. “For people who are sleeping outside we have tents, sleeping bags and tarps.”
Although also not open on Thanksgiving, Broomfield FISH will have expanded hours next week to provide holiday meal supplies.
“We are opening an hour early on the Monday before Thanksgiving so that families have more opportunity to come in and pick out the food and ingredients they need for the holiday,” Communications and Media Manager Maggie Sava said.
FISH will be open on Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday from 12-4:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 2-6 p.m.
“We have had great support from the community to help keep our shelves full with high-need items for the holidays, including many food drives and our recent Turkey and Ham Drive,” she said.
In November of 2021, FISH aided more than 3,500 people by providing roughly 141,000 pounds of food, including distributing more than 600 turkeys, Sava said.
“FISH has a cost-free, self-shop marketplace where our neighbors in need can come in and pick out the ingredients and food they need to make their own holiday meals,” she said. “Providing access to these foods is so important for families to be able to participate in their family meal traditions and helps relieve the stress that the holidays can bring for families struggling to make ends meet.”