Growing Colorado Kids was founded in 2008 by Chris and Denise Lines to address the hunger faced by refugee youth in Metro Denver. At first, the program utilized inner-city garden plots to grow food for refugee families. In 2013, Growing Colorado Kids moved to a 5-acre farm in Commerce City. With the addition of farm animals and a colony of bees, refugee youth are now provided time away from the challenges of city and family life for the enjoyment of fresh air, nutritious fresh food, and the opportunity to gain invaluable life skills, nutrition education, and farming acumen. GCK is a proud project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.
We value teamwork, community building, nutrition, natural growing, and public service. These tenets guide our decision-making, programming, and visioning and have led to fruitful outcomes. In the 2018 farm season we served 20 refugee youth; sent home 2,679 pounds of prepared food; grew and harvested 2,885 pounds of fresh, naturally grown produce; gathered 3, 031 farm-fresh chicken eggs; and collected several pounds of honey. These fabulous outcomes are the result of hard work on the part of the youth and over 7,102 volunteer hours logged. Thank you to our volunteers! The bounty went home with our youth and to our partner nonprofit organizations, SAME Cafe and Brighton Shares The Harvest.
Why Growing Colorado Kids?
Refugees are forced to flee their homes and countries because of persecution, war, and violence. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014, 51% of whom were children under the age of 18. Colorado happens to be a major state for refugee resettlement with upwards of 2,400 refugees resettled every year, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Most of these refugees find homes in Denver where life is very different from what they have ever known. That is why Growing Colorado Kids exists: to provide refugee youth a community of support where they gain a sense of belonging and vital skills needed to navigate life in the United States. All of the youth participants qualify for free and reduced lunch. So, in addition to developing leadership, teamwork, and scholastic abilities, they work collaboratively to grow food for their families.
CONTACT US AT:
Growing Colorado Kids
30141 E 128th Ave
Commerce City, CO 80022
Thank you for your interest to grow together with Growing Colorado Kids! Here are the ways you can get involved with us today!
Participate with Fundraising Goals - 2019 Grant Matching Challenge
Watch Videos of our youth and activities straight from the farm
Take a Tour - Learn more about what we're doing and take a 1 hour farm tour (suggested minimum donation of $20)
Shop from our Amazon Wish List
Growing Colorado Kids is always on the move. Below is a small selection of what we've been up to!
GCK was featured in the September 2018 issue of Better Homes and Gardens! We are honored to be part of their “Giving Back with Style” article.