“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Matthew 25:35

Meet Our Chefs

Each of our chefs are an important part of the work we do at the Mission. They ensure that every person who walks through our doors can receive three hot meals a day, and most importantly, that they are treated with dignity and grace.

Director of Denver Food Services

Meaning of a Meal:

“When someone comes into our buildings, they know they’re going to get a hot meal. They know that they’re going to get a smile, someone’s going to say, ‘have a good day’ or someone’s going to say ‘hi.’ It may be the only hello they get, the only ‘have a good day’ that they get, the only ‘how are you doing’ that they get, and it may be the only hot meal that they get. During the holidays, I want to bring each one of our guests the smells and plates of food from happy times when they were children. That’s why our meals are traditional. At Thanksgiving they’re going to get a traditional roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry, stuffing, rolls, and pumpkin and pecan pie. We want to bring back those smells of their childhood, of hopefully happy times.”

Making an Impact:

“I was an alcoholic for 15 years—that’s what drives me to make a difference for our guests. But what really drives me every day is making sure our guests feel dignified and seen as someone who’s valued and appreciated. Dignity and grace are everything to me because we don’t know what caused our guests to be homeless. I can’t solve homelessness, alcoholism, addictions, or mental health issues, but what I can do is serve people quality food to the best of my ability and treat them with dignity and grace.”

Kitchen Supervisor at The Crossing

Meaning of a Meal:

“Food is a big part of life—we all have to eat. It’s like family time. That’s the other big thing at The Crossing is watching them sit down together and socialize. To see them bond over time is the greatest thing. It’s very special and touches my heart.”

Making an Impact:

“My wife and I of 30-plus years went through a divorce and I turned to alcohol. I went into a treatment program similar to the New Life Program. Just like the Mission has a work readiness component, we had to work, and I ran the kitchen. At The Crossing we are working with guys in the New Life Program in the kitchen, so I always tell them my story. Working with them helps me with my sobriety because I can see how easily it would be to be back there again. It’s not so much about the cooking, it’s more about coaching, mentoring, being there if they’re having issues, and doing whatever I can do to see them make it through the program. We get to see where they’re at when they first come in and watch the growth. Any time one of them graduates from the program it’s like one of my kids graduating college.”

Denver Food Services Manager

Meaning of a Meal:

“I think it all starts with a meal, and it’s one of the most important parts of what we do. Without nourishment, our bodies and minds are not going to be able to think clearly and do what the Lord wants us to do. And during the holidays, if you don’t have family around, someone to share that meal with, it can be very depressing. Being able to serve these guys a traditional Thanksgiving meal, it gives them that sense of belonging, makes them feel accepted and wanted when they’re sharing a meal with people that care.”

Making an Impact:

“My story is not an uncommon story—a lot of people deal with addiction and depression. I was an addict from 14 to 28 and going through all that and then being able to find success is something I love to share with the guys. I truly never knew what happiness was until I got sober, and I have been sober for 11 years now. God has a plan for all of us and I think mine is to help those who are where I used to be, share my story and let them know there’s hope.”

Last year, we provided 1,015,731 meals.

With your support we continue to meet the needs of the community. We expect to serve 290,000 meals this holiday season and 5% more meals in 2023.

The Making of a Meal

A Thanksgiving with Dignity & Grace 5


We are grateful for each person who helps us provide food for our guests:

  • Faithful Donors – Whose financial gifts help us purchase needed ingredients.]
  • Caring Neighbors – Who donate items to stock our food pantry and warehouse in the Ministry Outreach Center.
  • Supportive Community – Who provides any needed ingredients, like Food Bank of the Rockies, the largest hunger-relief organization in the Rocky Mountain region.
A Thanksgiving with Dignity & Grace 6


Each day our chefs work together to:

  • Prepare the meals for all shelter locations and The Crossing, starting their day at 5 a.m.
  • Look at the ingredients available to them at the Ministry Outreach Center and decide which foods to use first.
  • Come up with the menus no more than five days in advance to provide quality food and prevent food waste.


Every day we need 82 volunteers to help us serve meals across our facilities. Thanks to these dedicated volunteers and talented chefs, each day we:

  • Serve about 2,000 meals to more than 500 guests in our shelters.
  • Ensure every person receives a well-balanced meal.
  • Greet every person with a smile and treat them with dignity and grace.

View Recipes from some of our chefs over the years!

Thank You for Changing Lives

Every day, your support is helping each person who walks through our doors not only receive a hot meal but feel dignified and loved. This Thanksgiving season, you can care for those who need it most.

Download Full Newsletter

  • A Thanksgiving with Dignity & Grace
  • KBCO Radiothon on November 8, 2022
  • Turkey Drive and Lead Sponsors
  • The Mission in My Words: Matt Lazzeri
  • Letter from Our CEO