Helping the hungry

Monarch teachers deliver food to those in need


Courtesy Mr. David Tencer

Mr. Redouan Bouchta and Mr. David Tencer distribute food to families in need over Spring Break. This photo was taken before strict guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks were established for Colorado.

Ruby Cervantes

One of the most pressing concerns in the midst of Colorado’s Stay at Home order for Boulder Valley School District is how to make sure students and families have enough food to eat.

Monarch teacher Mr. David Tencer, along with a handful of other Monarch teachers, have been supporting the community by delivering food to those in need.

“We are currently supporting about 40 families, but the list is growing as myself and others are making call campaigns reaching out to the community,” Tencer said.

In an effort to help fight the effects of this global pandemic, BVSD has set up a number of different food drives to help families struggling with being able to put food on the table.

“My first experience was an emotional one for a woman who drove up and thanked me as I put bags of food in the trunk of her car,” Tencer said. “Within moments of interacting with me, she began to cry and tell me about her two businesses that are “going under” and that she has been holding back her tears for days now so that she, as a single mom, could be strong for her kids. This is a family in our community and this situation just crushed my heart.”  

This inspired Tencer to want to do more to help out his community. The next day he reached out to other teachers and Monarch Principal Mr. Neil Anderson to put together a team who could deliver food and reach out to all families in the community. They are also in the process of trying to supply other items, such as toiletries.

Monarch teachers Mr. Redouan Bouchta, Ms. Kate Lunz, Ms. Jane Felknor, Ms. Connie Williams, Ms. Deann Bucher, and others have joined Tencer’s team.

“This is my community,” Lunz said. “As a teacher, our online schedule offers us some flexibility.  This is a way I can support those who need help.”  

Of course, these volunteers are still taking precautions to make sure they aren’t catching and spreading the virus. BVSD provides a list of precautions they must take in order to be able to deliver the food to families. Some of these include keeping your vehicle in a clean and sanitary condition, staying six feet away when greeting the family, and wearing a cloth face cover. BVSD is also providing masks and sanitizer.

“I am not worried [about getting sick],” Tencer said. “I have a strong meditation practice that keeps my immune system high, I overall live a very healthy life, and I practice appropriate social distancing.”

He said that what’s most important to him is using his time and energy to help others. “Our fellow human beings are in need of our support. Empathy is best demonstrated, not taught, and it starts by living an exemplary life helping those in need if you are able,” Tencer said.