DDPHE Announces New Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Grantees

Published on September 30, 2021

Twenty new projects receive funding to support programs that provide healthy food and food-based education to low-income and historically under-resourced youth

Committed to ensuring Denver’s youth have access to healthy meals and snacks, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) today announces an additional $5.5 million in funding through the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids (HFDK) initiative for 20 new projects that will address youth food insecurity in Denver. Funded projects include cooking and nutrition classes for students and families, healthy food box distribution, urban gardening and farming, and more. 

“We continue to be dedicated to making sure no child in Denver goes hungry, and to supporting organizations that fight food insecurity,” said DDPHE Executive Director Bob McDonald. “Projects funded through the HFDK initiative are innovative and impactful and support the long-term well-being of youth in our community.” 

Organizations that will be awarded grants from this round of funding include:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver 
  • Commún 
  • Denver Food Rescue 
  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority 
  • Denver Inner City Parish (DICP) 
  • Denver Public Library 
  • Denver Public Safety Youth Programs, City and County of Denver 
  • Denver Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services 
  • EARLY EXCELLENCE PROGRAM OF DENVER 
  • Ekar Farm 
  • First Steps at Monarch Montessori 
  • Jovial Concepts 
  • Kaizen Food Rescue 
  • Re:Vision 
  • Sewall Child Development Center, Inc. 
  • Sisters of Color United for Education 
  • Slow Food Denver 
  • Stigma (Stone Soup Inc, dba Stigma) 
  • Vista Academy 
  • Youth Employment Academy

“First Steps at Monarch Montessori is honored to receive the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids grant, which will significantly benefit the 300 children attending our school in Montbello,” said Monarch Montessori Business, Grants, and HR Director Noel Magee. “The grant funds will serve low-income youth and boost revenue to local food suppliers. Monarch will do this through three vital initiatives: daily lunch, monthly food distribution, and classes in gardening and cooking. These services will alleviate school-day hunger, provide healthy food year-round at home for students, and introduce skills essential to long-term healthy living.”  

Forty organizations in total have been awarded funds as part of competitive grant cycles in 2020 and 2021. Projects include providing healthy food to youth through school food pantries, meal and snack programs, food distribution and delivery, grocery boxes and meal kits, and enrollment in federal nutrition assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), and free or reduced-price school meals. Organizations are also educating and empowering youth and their families through food justice and leadership curriculum, cooking classes, and building and teaching in school gardens, urban farms, greenhouses, and hydroponic classrooms. 

Voters had approved the HFDK initiative (Ordinance 302) in November 2018 to establish a sales tax to help feed Denver’s food-insecure youth. HFDK collected close to $12 million dollars in 2019, $11.5 million in 2020, and is projected to collect approximately $12 million for 2021. More information about HFDK, including all grantees, impacts of the funds, and the commission is at Denvergov.org/HealthyFoodforDenversKids.