Food Assistance

For additional meal sites and food resources, call the Hunger Free Colorado's food resource hotline at 855-855-4626 (toll-free and bi-lingual). No registration or ID required. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and the program is administered at the federal level by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Food Assistance Program Details

Apply for Public Assistance Benefits

Visit Denver Human Services online here, or call 720-944-4DHS (4347) for more information about how to apply for food assistance benefits in Denver.

Benefits can be accessed online via the PEAK system without having to visit a Denver Human Services office. You can apply for food, cash, medical, and child care assistance, as well as RTD’s LiVE program, at the same time online through Colorado PEAK. You can apply for benefits, reapply, or check the status of applications online at Colorado PEAK, or scan or mail-in required documents as well as conduct required interviews over the phone. You can also apply in person at one of our offices or outreach locations. Call 720-944-4DHS (4347) to find the outreach location nearest to you. Or, download an application (en español) and mail it to us.

The Colorado Program Eligibility and Application Kit (PEAK) at https://coloradopeak.secure.force.com/ have everything you need to: 

  • Learn about public assistance programs 
  • Complete an application 
  • Manage benefits 

Programs accessible through the app include:

  • Food Assistance (SNAP) 
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 
  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) 
  • Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) 
  • Colorado Works (CO Works) (state name for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF) 
  • Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) 
  • Child Health Plan Plus (CHP ) 
  • and many more

Anyone can connect to PEAK 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the internet on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. PEAK is safe and secure, which means your information is protected. You may also Google “Colorado PEAK” to reach the site.

Free Tasty Food for Youth

Denver's Office of Children's Affairs invites youth, ages 5 - 18, to enjoy breakfast, lunch, a nutritious snack or a supper meal that includes up to five food groups low in fat, preservative free and served with fresh fruit on the side. Registration or signing in is not required, just show up and eat up, and YES ... you can bring a friend, or two, or three, or more!

Tasty Food sites are located within various Denver recreation centers across the city. Locations and a full list meal schedules are available online at https://www.denvergov.org/tastyfood.

Food Distribution Through Denver Public Schools

See the DPS website for full details, locations and hours.

Breakfast and Lunch

Denver Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch meals to students and their families at 12 locations throughout the city, weekdays from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 17. Food will only be available in grab-and-go packaging to avoid congregating. To prioritize social distancing, families are not allowed to eat on site. DPS is not able to provide transportation for people to obtain these meals.

  • Breakfast pickup: 8-9 a.m.*
  • Lunch pickup: 12-1 p.m.*

Breakfast and lunch are also available for adults and can be picked up every weekday. In addition, weekend breakfast and lunch will be available for families to pick up every Friday. The adult and weekend meals are made possible by fundraising from the DPS Foundation.

*All meals for students and their families can be picked up during either time slot.

Vegetarian options will be available. In order to maximize our federal funding for student meal services, we ask that children be present to receive their meals.

In addition, Food for Thought Denver will be providing Powersacks at all 12 DPS Breakfast and Lunch locations, every Friday starting March 20 until circumstances change. Each Powersack will contain enough non-perishable food for a family of four for two days. These sacks are available for anyone in need, not just for our DPS students.

Dinner

Select Denver recreation centers will be serving dinner to children 18 years old and younger, weekdays from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 17. Meals are grab-and-go on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Dinner: 3:30-5:30 p.m.

All meals are free!

Food Assistance at Pantries

The majority of pantries are still open to the public but have shifted to a “drop off” model at vehicles, such as the Action Center in Lakewood.

Additionally, many pantries such as Metro Caring are allowing folks to come on behalf of those unable to come—just make sure you have the client’s name and birthday to receive their benefits.

For providers, and/or those looking for support around food, you should call the Hunger-Free Hotline for the most up to date, specific information: 855-855-4626 (toll-free) 720-382-2920 (metro Denver).

Smaller pantries may be closing because many volunteers are over the age of 65 , please call ahead to confirm open hours. 

List of open food pantries

Hunger Free Colorado

Hunger Free Colorado is working to connect Coloradans to food resources and information, including:

  • School meals
  • Food pantries
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
  • Older Adults Services
  • Resources for women, infants, and children (WIC) 
  • College student assistance
  • How you can help
  • And more!

Hunger Free Colorado's food resource hotline can be reached by calling 855-855-4626 (call 720-382-2920 if you're in Denver) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Messages left after-hours or on a weekend will be returned the next business day. If you are hearing impaired, call Relay Colorado at 7-1-1 or 1-800-659-2656

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Hunger Free Colorado's Food Resource Hotline call volume is three times the average, resulting in slower than usual response times of 2 – 3 business days.  For immediate food assistance Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 and receive food distribution locations (for kids 0-18).

Persons 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 FoodBank, 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. 

https://www.rtd-denver.com/services/access-a-ride

Additional Food Assistance Resources

Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado Office is a visible and trusted source of information on the full range of long-term services and support options available to older adults. All older Coloradans seeking assistance getting nutritious food can call 1-844-COL-ADRC (1-844-265-2372) for more information.

Meals On Wheels delivers to home-bound seniors. Call 303-297-0408 for more information.

Denver Food Resource Listing

Below you will find a list of resources that can help families and individuals find food at food pantries, and enroll in programs like SNAP, or food stamps, that can extend buying power at grocery stores and other food retail outlets (e.g., some farmers markets, corner stores). The resources include how to access home delivered meals, the Summer Food Service Program, farmers markets and soup kitchens. Some of the listings include additional information related to employment services, health services, tax assistance and aging and disability. The information below can be accessed through websites, by telephone, or in-person at local offices.  The resources included in this document are updated annually. If you have updates you would like us to include please contact foodaccess@denvergov.org

SNAP or Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) 

Denver Human Services (DHS) lists multiple ways to sign up for SNAP, including online, over the phone, with a paper application, by mail/fax, or in person, at one of several locations.  DHS can connect you to other food resources in our community, such as free summer meals for kids, food pantries, and area farmers markets. Call 720-944-4DHS (4347) for more information. Se habla español.

  1. DHS has Neighborhood Resource Sites that co-locate DHS services with community partners. People can sign up for SNAP at these locations and an EBT card will be sent to them in the mail. (When signing up at a DHS site, the EBT card is provided at that time.) The Neighborhood Resource Sites are:
    • Federico F. Pena Southwest Family Health Center
      • 1339 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219, 303-602-0000
    • St. Francis Center
      • 2323 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80205, 303-297-1576
    • Families Forward Resource Center
      • 12000 E 47th Ave · In Small Business Loans Denver · 303-307-0718
  2. The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) provides statewide information about signing up for SNAP. Also addresses students and SNAP eligibility, Double Up Food Bucks, qualifying foods, documents needed to apply, frequently asked questions about EBT cards, and nutrition education. Employment and training are available through Employment First. The following organizations,  also provide services to sign people up for SNAP:  Hunger Free Colorado Food Resource Hotline, the 211 Resource Line, Benefits in Action, Metro Caring and Food Bank of the Rockies.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, healthy food, health referrals and other services free of charge to Colorado families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 5 healthy.  By filling out this online form, a WIC clinic near you will contact you soon. 

WIC does not ask or keep information about visa status or citizenship. All responses are kept confidential.  WIC gives you resources, knowledge and tools to help you and support your family. It’s free for moms, dads, grandparents, foster parents and all Colorado families who qualify. Whether you're pregnant, already a mom or raising a child younger than 5, you can get the right personalized support for you and your family.

Food Pantry Maps and Listings 

  1. The 211 website has a map of food pantries that is searchable by address, city or zip. There are 127 food pantries listed in the Denver area.  One can also search for other services such as housing, employment, health services, tax assistance, pregnant and new parents, mental health and addiction, childcare, and aging and disability. Through the website, individuals can create their own personalized resource page.
  2. Through this Food Finder map, one can input an address and search for nearby food programs and other services, including food pantries, kids meals, TEFAP sites, soup kitchens, home delivered meals, baby items, nutrition education and farmers markets. It also shows sign up locations for SNAP and WIC.
  3. Food Bank of the Rockies has developed a Pantry Locator. Simply enter your address, including city and zip code, to find the food pantries near you, including mobile pantries. They also have a list of food programs for children, including summer and after-school meal sites, and Totes for Hope, a food backpack program.
  4. View a list of Denver Metro emergency food providers in an Excel format.  The list was compiled by the Denver Department of Public Health & the Environment.

Telephone Resources 

  1. The Food Resource Hotline connects Coloradans to needed food and nutrition resources, regardless of legal status. All caller information is confidential and services are available in 150+ languages.  Callers are connected to food pantries, helped to sign up for SNAP or food stamps, and referred to other food resources.  Call 855-855-4626.
  2. This 211 emergency hotline helps direct callers to services for, among others, the elderly, the disabled, those who do not speak English, those with a personal crisis, those with limited reading skills, and those who are new to their communities. All calls are confidential. Find out about food pantries, soup kitchens, federal nutrition programs (SNAP, WIC, and others), Summer Food Service Programs, and home delivery services. Listings are updated at least once per year. Through the website, individuals can create their own personalized resource page. Call 211.

Food Delivery Services 

  1. Benefits in Action (BIA) delivers food boxes containing non-perishable and fresh foods to those living in the Denver metro area who are unable to acquire food on their own. Use the website or call the office at 720-221-8354 to start receiving food. BIA also offers application assistance with SNAP and federal health care programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. 
  2. Metro Caring provides food delivery services as well as on-site no-cost market shopping.  Application information is provided in Spanish and Mandarin.  Education classes are also offered on topics including nutrition, cooking, diabetes and Kidz in the Kitchen program for children and their families. 

Many local food pantries offer food deliveries – check with a food pantry near you.

Farmers Markets

The Colorado Department of Agriculture, through its Colorado Proud program, has a searchable list of farmers markets in Denver and throughout the state. The website also contains the Farm Fresh Directory, a Produce Calendar and Recipes featuring Colorado products.