By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4) – This Thanksgiving, giving back to the community is two-fold at Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center in Five Points. They’re on a mission to keep Black chefs and bakers employed during the pandemic and provide food for people in need.

(credit: CBS)

Kym Ray worked in hospitality but was let go due to COVID-19. Now, she’s busy baking sweet potato and pecan pies with her mom and daughter.

“This is three generations right here,” Ray said, as they delivered pies to Brother Jeff’s. “I understand how quickly things can change in someone’s life, so being able to help is really profound for me.”

(credit: CBS)

Ray’s family is making extra income thanks to Brother Jeff’s. Brother Jeff Fard is buying pies from Black bakers and paying it forward.

“Think about the chefs, and think about the folks who are bakers, and folks that are going to be laid off because restaurants can’t sustain a model that shuts down a portion of their business,” Brother Jeff told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “We purchase their pies, and we distribute them in community for free.”

Brother Jeff (credit: CBS)

Brother Jeff says the need for food security has never been greater.

“There are individuals that have never thought that they’d find themselves in a position to wonder if they’re going to have the financial means to prepare a holiday dinner, let alone a dinner in general,” he said.

Kym’s family knows giving back, especially during a pandemic, is what Thanksgiving is all about.

“The only way we will survive this is through community,” Ray said.

Brother Jeff’s will be passing out Thanksgiving meals to seniors, unhoused neighbors and other people in the community, but they say the season of giving is year-round for the center. If you would like to donate and support their ongoing mission, visit their website at www.brotherjeff.com/.

Andrea Flores