Have questions about your SNAP benefits or case status? There’s a new statewide hotline! Call (800)-816-4451.
We're here to support you.
This page has ways to get free, healthy food in the City and County of Denver. You can:
- Find out how to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Learn about our free, monthly mobile food pantry events
- Get free food, hot meals and groceries from other programs in Denver
New! EBT Card E-Lockers
DHS' new and first of its kind e-lockers are officially up and running! We're excited to see more users picking up their EBT card using this new option. Denver residents who have not yet had the chance to try the e-lockers are invited to pick up a new or replacement EBT card at our convenient e-lockers.
These safe lockers can be utilized all hours of the day, even outside the DHS Welcome Center’s normal operating hours. By using the e-lockers, users can receive their EBT cards quicker than if they requested them to be sent via mail. The EBT card will be loaded in the locker the day after a request is made, while mailing can take anywhere from three to five days.
With the new e-lockers, there is no need to engage with DHS staff. If any problems should arise, DHS staff are eager to help users learn how to use the e-lockers and resolve any issues.
For additional questions or to get started using the e-lockers, call 720-944-4DHS (4347).
How to Apply for SNAP
Free Food in Denver
Free Mobile Food Pantry Events
Denver Human Services (DHS) and Food Bank of the Rockies offer free Mobile Food Pantry events. All are welcome.
Events are held every month. Add these events to your calendar by visiting our event pages: DHS East Office and Empower Field at Mile High - Parking Lot E.
September 2023 Events
Events begin at 9 a.m. Food is distributed on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive no earlier than 8 a.m.
- Friday, September 15 at Denver Human Services East Office (3815 N. Steele St., Denver, CO 80205) | 9-11:30 a.m., or until food runs out
- Monday, September 25 at Empower Field at Mile High - Parking Lot E (E, Mile High Stadium W Cir, Denver, CO 80211) | 9-11:30 a.m., or until food runs out. Download the location map / flyer(PDF, 7MB) for additional wayfinding and support.
For a complete list of 2023 mobile food pantry dates and locations, download our flyer:
2023 Mobile Food Pantry Schedule Flyer (English / Spanish)(PDF, 9MB)
Free Breakfast and Lunch in Denver Public Schools (DPS)
New school year = free school meals in DPS! All DPS students have access to free, healthy, nutritious school meals at breakfast and lunch, thanks to the Healthy School Meals for All program approved by Colorado voters.
It is important for families complete the You Benefit! form on MySchoolApps. This will help make sure DPS gets full access to available federal funding. You may qualify for discounted school fees, class materials, bus passes, utilities support and more! All household income information provided through this form is strictly confidential, and protected by law. Only one form is required for all children in the household.
Learn More from Denver Public Schools
Tasty Food Program: Free meals at several Denver Rec Centers
School's in session - and so is the Tasty Food program! Denver youth ages 5-18 can get FREE after-school meals at several Denver Parks and Recreation locations. No ID or registration required, just show up and eat. And yes, you can bring a friend, or two, or three, or more!
For hours and locations:
Visit the Tasty Food program page
Public No Cost Grocery Programs
The Denver Food Rescue has a list of free / no cost grocery programs. These are places where you can get fresh groceries for free. You don't need to bring ID or share personal information, either. All are welcome:
Public No Cost Grocery Programs in Denver (link opens in new window)
Food Pantries and Hot Meals in Denver
Looking for a map to free meals and food pantries in your neighborhood? We suggest visiting the Food Bank of the Rockies "Free Food" page! All you have to do is put in your zip code:
Search for Free Food Near You (link opens in new window)
Frequently Asked Questions
I need healthy meals for my kids. Where can I get help?
The first step in ensuring your children have enough healthy food to eat is to apply for food assistance (SNAP).
After enrolling, we can introduce you to community partners and resources to show you how to stretch your food dollars. They can also help you discover how to prepare quick and healthy meals and snacks for the family.
Community partner Cooking Matters helps people shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious and affordable kid-approved meals.
The Tasty Food for Denver's Kids program hosted by the Office of Children's Affairs provides free meals to Denver youths.
Where can I find free or reduced-cost food?
Hunger Free Colorado serves the City and County of Denver and the entire state of Colorado. You can apply for food assistance through its services and connect with food pantries and free meal sites in your area. HFC's operators can also give you directions, share food availability, help you find holiday mealtimes, and other beneficial information about those pantries and sites. Contact the food resource hotline at (720) 382-2920 for Denver and (855) 855-4626 statewide for more information.
Nourish Colorado's Double Up Food Bucks Colorado helps SNAP recipients save money at community grocery stores, farmer's markets, and farm stands. The program also posts easy, step-by-step, family-friendly cooking videos on their YouTube channel.
For the 2022-23 school year, most Denver Public Schools offer free breakfast to all students.
What discounts are available to me if I receive food assistance?
In addition to food funds, SNAP recipients may also access a number of Denver’s premiere museums and cultural centers through the Explorer Pass program, which provides discount general admission to select venues for as low as $1 per person, up to 10 people.
With the Double Up Food Bucks Colorado program, SNAP users also receive a discount on the food they buy at participating locations using their SNAP EBT (electronic benefit transfer – the card that manages food assistance dollars) cards.
Children 18 and younger can access free meals during summer months thanks to the Free Summer Meals program.
Food resources for older adults
The Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado Office is a trusted source for information on long-term services and support options available to older adults. Older Coloradans who need help getting access to nutritious food can call 1-844-COL-ADRC (+1 844 265-2372) for more information.
Another helpful resource is, Meals On Wheels. This well-known program delivers daily meals and provides in-home visits to home-bound seniors. For more information, call (303) 297-0408.
Resources for people with disabilities
Access-a-Ride Grocery Delivery Services:
Home grocery delivery service is available to all Access-a-Ride (AaR) customers. RTD is offering this service during the COVID-19 state of emergency to provide current Access-a-Ride customers with a food delivery option that does not require leaving home. No fare is required for customers to use this service. Grocery pickup is now available from King Soopers, Safeway, Community Ministry Southwest Food Bank, Senior Hub Senior Solutions, and Adams County Food Bank. Access-a-Ride customers can continue to book trips for essential purposes, including to purchase groceries. Customers must place their grocery order themselves and schedule a pick-up with Access-a-Ride one day in advance.