It was all hands on deck Tuesday as a big food donation rumbled its way to the downtown Marian House kitchen in downtown Colorado Springs at 14 W. Bijou St.
In all, 236 fresh whole boneless Hormel hams were delivered as part of the Hormel Hams for Hunger program in partnership with Safeway.
Hormel Foods' Kyle Moritz said the company is proud of being a part of the ham delivery, which is in its third year of helping to make Christmas dinner and future Marian House meals special.
"Personally it's great," Moritz said. "You know we live our lives not always thinking about other people and what we can do to help, so anytime we have an opportunity to help others we will do that."
Safeway was also part of the giving spirit of the morning at Marian House. The grocer delivered 1,152 sides of homestyle gravy and 2,376 sides of mashed potatoes. The delivery came after more than 1,800 turkey breasts were delivered to Marian House for Thanksgiving; more turkeys are to be delivered this month for Christmas and future meals.
Safeway Public Affairs Director Kris Staaf also believes in this mission.
"Giving back is really the cornerstone of the community and being that grocery partner really ties in well," Staaf said. "I feel that every day is Colorado Gives Day on behalf of our foundation. We are always looking to partner with great nonprofits like Marian House, whether that's in December or August. It's day in and day out."
Tuesday, December 5, has been designated Colorado Gives Day, which is a statewide push to increase philanthropy in the state.
Andy Barton, the CEO of Catholic Charities, which operates the Marian House, said he is grateful to Hormel Foods, Safeway and their customers who help Marian House support families and individuals throughout a 10-county service area.
"You can't overstate how important it is for folks who are going through tough times in life," Barton said, "whether we have people who are experiencing homelessness or those who are between jobs, or those who have had a crisis that lands them in a tough spot.
"To be able to get a meal at Christmas time is the meal they remember, the meal they see in the magazines is so important," he said. "Not only for what it does for the nutritional value but in the way it brings families together, the way it brings people together."
Since 1985, the Marian House Soup Kitchen has served up hot, free nutritious meals in downtown Colorado Springs.