Metro Caring, a food pantry that aims to feed people in immediate need while addressing the root cause of hunger, will repurpose geese from Denver parks to feed its clients.
Citing environmental concerns, city and federal wildlife workers from the United States Department of Agriculture have rounded up Canada geese and sent them to a meat processing plant to be killed and turned into food. Donating them to families in need is the last step in the cycle.
Metro Caring says proteins like meat are in high demand at its market, which is free to people who need it.
“We had no say in the culling of the geese, that was the decision of Denver Parks and Rec,” said Tommy Crosby, who leads Metro Caring’s food access program. “We’re simply a recipient. We run a no-cost market and we had the option to receive a free source of protein.”
The meat is being distributed now at the market. Crosby would not divulge how much meat the nonprofit received. Denver killed more than 1,600 geese from city parks last month, according to city officials.
Previously, neither Parks and Rec nor the USDA would divulge where the goose meat went, citing safety concerns for needy families that accept the food. Animal rights activists have threatened city officials since Denverite broke the story last month, Denver Parks and Recreation Deputy Manager Scott Gilmore said. Peaceful protesters have also popped up around the city.
Metro Caring OK’d the information to go public, Gilmore said. Crosby would not say whether Metro Caring is concerned about protests, adding that the organization “is looking at it through a different lens” than others.
Canada geese are an invasive species that overpopulates the city and fills its waterways and sewer lines with fecal matter, according to Parks and Rec and the USDA.
Metro Caring did not immediately return requests for comment. (By chance, Denverite wrote about a Metro Caring urban farm internship program earlier this week.)
Correction: This story has been edited to clarify that the geese were not killed at Denver parks.