Friends who deliver food to families in need receive community award


DENVER — Samariddin Meliboev, Jamal Gironazi and Kai Suematsu want to make sure no one ever goes hungry.

That’s a pretty lofty goal for three young men who have been friends and worked together since their days at George Washington High School, where they met through the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

Their goals became bigger when they enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While working on degrees in information management, computer science and business, the trio began the Kobu Foundation because of the need they felt during the pandemic.

“I got a lot of help from the community when I came to the United States, so it’s more about giving back to my community,” says Samariddin.

Samariddin, Kai and Jamal give back every Friday. They and a group of volunteers come together to fill boxes and bags with food and deliver them to families in need in Boulder County. By their final year, they had already delivered over 100,000 meals. Since then, Kobu has grown and expanded, even partnering with DoorDash.

Their good work has not gone unnoticed. While visiting the Denver Scholarship Foundation offices, they were surprised by the SJ Dilenschneider Community Award.

“SJ Dilenschneider is my grandfather, and we give this award once a year to people who make a difference in the community,” said David Dilenschneider who also presented a check to the Kobu Foundation for $10,000 on behalf of the Scripps Howard Foundationthe parent company of Denver7.


Three friends who met through the Denver Scholarship Foundation and started the Kobu Foundation while at CU Boulder to deliver food to families in need have been awarded the SJ Dilenschneider Community Award and a $10 check $000 to continue their work.

The prize and the check made the three men smile and the wheels could be seen turning as they considered how to use the money.

“There’s a lot in my mind of what we can do with this. It’s insane,” said Kai, who was already thinking about budget items like gasoline.

“Nobody told me,” Jamal said. “I was just expecting to walk in and say, ‘What’s up, what am I doing’ and then go back to Boulder and go back to coding. I am so, very, very happy.

Just like the Dilenschneider family.

“We live in such a generation,” David Dilenschneider said, “where there’s so much focus on the individual and what ‘I’ want. And what they’ve been able to do is focus on the community as a whole and it’s so wonderful not just to see this but to hear it, isn’t it? There’s a phrase – actions speak louder than words – and these guys the put into action. That’s what’s so impressive.

Lorii Rabinowitz is the Executive Director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation and has known them since their early high school years.

“Kai, Samariddin and Jamal are three of the most humble human beings. They saw a need in our community and they acted on that need. These are extraordinary examples of the many Denver Scholarship Foundation scholars and alumni who are doing so much good in the world.

Samariddin and Kai are now CU Boulder graduates. Samariddin now works in data analytics at Kaiser Permanente, and Kai does consulting work at Accenture. Jamal is about to get two degrees, in Computer Science and Mathematics.

They started planning the future of the Kobu Foundation.

“It goes to the next generation,” says Jamal. “So I think it’s in good hands. Yes, very good hands, very good hands.


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