AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — It can only be described as a heartbreaking sight. Hundreds waited for hours in the August heat hoping for a single bag of food.
“It is very hard not to cry,” said Amanda Blaurock, executive director of the Village Exchange Center.
The center, which provides food and vaccines for refugees, usually sees about 150 people on distribution days. But that number has grown to more than 500 over the past few weeks.
FOX31 spoke with one recipient, who said through an English translator: “Sometimes our husbands stay without work. God bless this organization for all the help they do.”
Because of overcrowding at the nonprofit organization and multi-faith worship space, security guards with roots in Colombia and Afghanistan are now on hand to maintain the peace and help everyone get what they need before supplies run out.
“They are trying to get in, they’re hot, they’re hungry. It has caused a lot of aggression,” Blaurock said.
The Problem Solvers spoke with one volunteer, Oranea, who works tirelessly to help those in need, especially the children.
“I like it. I like to help people in need,” Oranea said through an English translator.
Food bank demand rises with migrant arrivals
Blaurock told FOX31 the increase in demand is because of an influx of new migrant arrivals from Afghanistan and South America. The center relies on limited county funding and help from church groups, but it’s not enough to meet the growing needs of those who are without food, clothing and baby necessities.
Organizers have submitted a proposal for more space, a hub to distribute resources and a community relief fund. The center also accepts community donations through its website.
“These are human beings that deserve the same dignity, kindness and respect that everyone deserves,” Blaurock said.