SECORCares: Feeding the Community


Brayden Nieder

Truck. Warehouse. Market. Home.

This is the transition process of essentials through SECORCares, the Southeast Community Outreach, headed right to the public. Volunteers ready and food stocked on shelves, a big day of caring people caring for people awaits.

“It’s humbling and it’s really a blessing,” said Drew VanMaanen.

VanMaanen has been working at the non-profit organization, “SECORCares” (SECOR for short), for around three years. He is the current Director of Operations, ensuring the process runs smoothly and efficiently. VanMaanen covers all the bases, including one of his previous jobs at SECOR, truck driving.

 “I’ve seen anywhere from 1,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds come back in the morning,” said VanMaanen.

These trucks head out every morning to pick up food from multiple King Soopers stores, Sprouts, a Costco, and a SuperTarget. Sometimes, the trucks need to take more than one trip out so they can collect all of the donated produce that shoppers didn’t end up buying.

“[If] people aren’t taking watermelons, guess where they’re gonna be next week,” said Monica Aden. “They’re gonna be here.” 

As SECOR’s Volunteer Coordinator, Aden makes certain that the volunteers are ready to fill those who shop in the market with hope and connection.

“We partner every single guest up with a volunteer to shop the market,” said Aden.

This is to both help them find what they need and establish a relationship.

Walking guests through the market, regular volunteer Justin Loerwald feels grateful at the end of every volunteer session that she was able to help a family on the verge of homelessness.

“I’ll take guests through the shopping market and make sure their cart is pretty darn full before they walk out the door,” Loerwald said.

“[It] makes a lot of difference to those people in need.”

SECOR also partners with organizations and delivers food to smaller food banks to support other communities. They even drive food to those families affected by COVID-19, who are quarantined and unable to come and shop.

“A lot of people come to us, but we come to people too,” Aden said.

And while SECOR’s work is primarily food related, they also provide limited personal items and pass off clothing to other organizations that deal with it.

The whole process of this non-profit organization is run by the wish to help the community in any way possible. Food donations are accepted and volunteers are needed. Volunteering can even get high school community service hours signed off by Aden.

“[Our tagline is] caring people caring for people. We don’t shut our doors, we don’t cut anybody out,” said VanMaanen.

“We do what we can to serve those that live in a food insecure home.”