Rising Star Award-winning chefs Tajahi and Danielle Cooke have been feeding their community in Denver for years. For their fourth annual “Ms. Betty’s Harvest Madsgiving,” their team is partnering with the Salvation Army to deliver 10,000 meals across Colorado this Thanksgiving.
And they’re looking for help.
“The first year we did this was seven years ago out of our apartment. We only fed three floors of our apartment complex. Four years ago, when we really started documenting the work, we pushed out 550 meals. I thought that was a lot,” Tajahi Cooke said. “The year after, we pushed 3,800. Last year, I said, ‘Let’s push for 5,000.’ We did 7,800.”
Their goal this year is 10,000 meals, which will be delivered across Denver, Aurora, Grand County, Eagle County and Poudre Canyon, organizer said. They cook the food throughout the night and into Thanksgiving morning, then box it up and deliver the meals. Cooke explained that they’ll be cooking at Avanti, Golden Mill and Zeppelin Station.
“My team is a bunch of crazy chefs who are positive individuals who want to help the community.” Cooke said.
With a goal that big, Cooke has called upon the Denver community to help him and his team.
“I need at least 200 volunteers. I need everyone. The whole damn community,” Cooke said. “I’m just a chef. All I’m trying to do is play positive role in my village and I need everyone to be apart of it with us.”
The food Cooke said they’ll be providing is a traditional Thanksgiving meal that’s spiced a little differently — but something everyone’s familiar with.
Cooke has started a fundraising campaign to help pay for “Madsgiving 2022.” All of the proceeds go toward this year’s Madsgiving, he said.
To volunteer to help or to donate money, visit firesideatfive.com/thanksgiving.
“I’m honored to work for my community. And it’s beautiful to work with people who care,” Cooke said. “Our community has so many shining lights, and if we bring those lights together, its going to be blinding.”
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