By Eric Heinz
To help grow the support of the Bienvenidos food bank in north Denver, Regis University is partnering with neighborhood associations to host a movie night that will highlight the organization.
“The goal is to support Bienvenidos, ultimately, that’s the number one goal through donations, but I think more so it’s become about just getting the word out about Bienvenidos to more people in the neighborhood so they can get continued support, not just from one big event,” said Amber Kraska, president of the Harkness Heights Neighborhood Association.
The event will coincide with RegiRama, Regis University’s summer film series, on July 14, and the movie will be “Sing” (2016). Dinner and live music will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the movie starting at dusk or after 8:45 p.m.
There is no entrance fee, but food vendors will be available, and organizers have put out a $10 suggested donation to go to the food bank. Sunnyside Neighbors Inc. is also securing free bus passes for people who want them during the event, and they are encouraging people to use multimodal transportation instead of individual cars to get to the event.
Kraska said raising a couple thousand dollars for the food bank would be “amazing,” as 200 to 300 people are expected to attend based on last year’s numbers. She added the book bank has struggled to keep up with the need of people who visit Bienvenidos for essential food after the SNAP benefits remaining from the COVID-19 pandemic were discontinued.
“Most families lost 400 bucks a month for food,” she said.
The Colorado Governor’s Office, Department of Human Services and Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger announced recently that they partnered to distribute $4.05 million in emergency funding to 245 food pantries statewide, and Bienvendios was listed as one of the recipients of some of the funding.
Jenna Farley, the executive director of community relations for Regis University, said before the pandemic, the university did a lot of work with the community, but many of the collaborative programs that were accessible during that time had somewhat gone away.
“Rebuilding those efforts looks different now than it did before,” Farley said. “What I love most about this is … it’s also about coming together as a community to celebrate each other.”
“Let’s all be in the same place together,” Farley added. “We live in this neighborhood together. Let’s spend more time in the community, and I think that that doesn’t happen enough.”
More information about the event and RegiRama can be found at regis.edu/signature-events/regirama.