By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) — On Thanksgiving, employees at Qdoba on 5th and Grant in Denver did what they do every Thursday — they rolled burritos. General Manager Ben Reiners says, “About 1,500 burritos between the three of us.”

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They joined two other downtown Denver locations and Snooze Eatery coming in on their holiday to help feed people in need, but instead of turkey and stuffing, at Qdoba they did what they do best.

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“You get a little bit of spice in your life with some rice and beans this Thanksgiving,” Reiners said.

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It’s part of an all-volunteer effort put together by James Salinas. He works at the Rude Recreation Center in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood. He sees the need for food in that community every day.

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“Sun Valley is the most impoverished community in the state of Colorado,” he said. “They are thinking about, ‘How am I going to feed my family from day to day?”

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Four years ago he decided to start collecting food donations from local restaurants to distribute in the neighborhood.

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“So at least on this one day when we do Thanksgiving it’s a great way to be able to come in and help subsidize their day and let them know people are thinking about them,” Salinas said.

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The residents in Sun Valley who got the food were grateful and the giving spirit started to rub off.

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“I think it’s beautiful. Actually I’m cooking but I was going to share it with the neighbors also,” one resident said.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.


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