DENVER - Almost 2,000 volunteers worked in shifts on Sunday -- converging on the University of Denver campus and Magness Arena -- to man a series of assembly lines for a cause close to their hearts.
They were all issued hairnets then worked in teams to combine the ingredients to collectively make a whopping 501,696 meals for food challenged seniors in the Denver area.
Volunteers combined beans, rice and spices for a healthy red lentil jambalaya.
The meals were boxed up and will be distributed by Food Bank of the Rockies. Event organizers say the problem of food insecurity for older adults is growing in Colorado; there are 190,000 at-risk seniors in Colorado alone.
"Things get more expensive and your income stays flat," said Liz McPherson with United Health Care of Colorado. "You've got expenses with your health care and other things that you might not have anticipated and all of a sudden you're at the grocery store and you can't afford what you need to buy."
The project is the combined effort of AARP Foundation, Chase, the Hartford and United Healthcare. The AARP Credit Card from Chase raised almost $8 million for the effort.
Every meal packed on Sunday will stay in Colorado and be delivered to seniors here. The project has been dubbed The 2017 Summer of Service to Seniors and there are plans to make it an annual event.
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