Break Bread food program soldiers on amid pandemic

Church offers pickup service, limited delivery to help people who are struggling


When Littleton United Methodist Church started its generous Break Bread program, it was aimed at young families with children, who lived in the surrounding neighborhood and needed a bit of food help, but the website says it “serves anyone who wants to enjoy it...” A one-night-a-week sit-down dinner in the church building was the plan.

Then a pandemic came to its community as well as the rest of the world, and the popular program, which had grown to distribution two times a week, had to work within county health guidelines of social/physical distancing. Food is at present available for pickup only at the Shepperd Avenue entrance to the church, just east of South Datura Street (Saturdays 4 to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays: 4 to 5 p.m.). People unable to visit the church may be able to arrange for delivery within a three-mile radius on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. by calling 303-794-6379 (leave message for Jen Engquist.)

Numerous volunteers are involved in making this successful program work in the church’s recently remodeled professional kitchen, overseen by chef Joe Ruder and program director Engquist.

There is also a crew of volunteer vegetable gardeners, who supply fresh vegetables each week ...

Church members Sue and Randy Poet share a garden site on their large property south of Littleton, where those volunteers raise fresh food crops: tomatoes, corn, several varieties of squash, leeks, asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, kohlrabi, raspberries, salad greens and more. We were fortunate to visit there recently, to better realize the generosity in this church community.

Fencing surrounds the garden — to preserve the produce for human consumption.

Hungry bunnies abound in the area, Sue says. And then, there were the elk — who had a fondness for raspberries and decimated a first crop! A tall electric fence now protects the berries and other tender produce.

Ruder told Sue Poet he could use anything available from the garden. “Corn came in all of a sudden in a three-week period,” she said. “We gave away 1,800 ears of corn.” Overflow is stored in a commercial freezer in the church kitchen.

White plastic bins stand at ready on the edges of the garden, to convey batches of produce to the church kitchen. Volunteers work when they can during the week and the Poets supplying water and fencing.

“We actually could handle more — we have the capability,” said Sue Poet.

With last week’s snow in the forecast, volunteers came to cover tender plants with plastic protection. Hopefully the coming weeks will have more sun and additional growing days ...

Plants were started from seed during a couple weeks in early March at the Poets’ home and carried to the site when ready to plant, tend carefully and eventually share.

Sue Poet grew up in Littleton and received this land from her late mother, Littleton Realtor Phyllis Dowell, whom longtime readers will probably remember, since she was active in community affairs.

The Littleton couple is building a contemporary-style home with a spectacular view of the mountains.

In 2014, the Poets were able to install power on the property, which meant that the well could have a pump installed to water the garden.


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