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Food System Policies

People looking at fruit in back of truck

Many Denver residents, especially children, have limited access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages. Limited access to nutritious food can result in poor health.

Creating healthy communities is not just about changing individual behaviors, it is also about changing the environments in which people live, work, learn and play.

Denver and its partners are working to create a common agenda and a unified food system vision. By implementing broad, coordinated and evidence-based strategies across the food system, Denver has an opportunity to achieve the City’s health, economic and environmental sustainability goals. We have an opportunity to change the community’s food environments so all Denver residents can attain the health and wellbeing they deserve.

Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Commission Begins Meeting

The Denver Office of Boards and Commissions has selected members for the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Commission (HFDK). The commission was established from the 2018 ballot initiative #302 to fund up to approximately $11 million dollars a year to provide healthy food and food-based education to Denver’s kids, primarily low income and at-risk youth. The Commission will oversee the distribution, effectiveness, and impact of tax funds to support the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Initiative over the next nine years.

The HFDK Commission includes three persons from the mayor’s cabinet, or department heads; four residents of the city; and four representatives of city-wide organizations or institutions engaged in food related activities each of whom who will be appointed by the mayor; and two members of city council, who will be approved by city council. Members will represent a balance of knowledge or experience with food, gardening, youth development, non-profit administration, public health, grant-making, and business development. The HFDK commission shall reflect the geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity and composition of the City and County of Denver. Each commissioner must be a resident of the City and County of Denver, over the age of twenty-one (21) years, not currently a volunteer or paid staff person of an organization applying for Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Initiative funding.

The HFDK Commission will meet monthly to establish by-laws, set funding priority areas for the fund, issue out funds for healthy food and related education and ensure the funds are best used for their intended purposes. 

Selected Members of the Commission

Blake Angelo, citizen member
Laine Cidlowski, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment
Susan Gallo, Office of Children's Affairs
Patti Iwasaki, Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council
Todd Jorgenson, Denver Human Services
Shelby Miller, citizen member
Chelsea Parraga, citizen member
Andrea Pascual, citizen member
Sandy Stenmark, citizen member
Taber Ward, citizen member     
Alexis Weightman, citizen member

More details about requirements and qualifications for the Commission are available on the Board and Commission website

Meeting Dates, Locations, and meeting agendas will be posted online on the calendar below.


Denver’s 2015 report is an overview of the activities by multiple City and County of Denver agencies to address some aspect of the food system – from production, distribution and retail to consumption and composting.

The report helps identify and prioritize food policy options that offer the greatest potential to impact population health, as well as build on the successes of other programs.   new and existing food system policy options for the City and its partners to inform decision-making about how to reach health, economic and environmental sustainability goals.

The ordinance allows Denver residents living in residential zone districts to sell from their homes fresh produce they have grown themselves, and cottage foods, such as jams and honey, they grow and make themselves.

View a guide to residential sales in English and En Espanol


All food businesses must maintain a current Denver Business and Professional license through the Department of Excise and Licenses. The Department of Excise and Licenses can help determine which license is appropriate for your food business.

Advisement for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,

Regarding Business Licenses

Colorado requires an Affidavit of Lawful Presence to obtain a business license in the State of Colorado. To ensure that the city's form is clear and accessible to DACA recipients, who are eligible with the proper documentation, the Department of Excise and Licenses has included in List A on the second page of the Affidavit the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which can be offered to prove lawful presence.

Dedicated and entrepreneurial community members advocated for the clarified information through the Department of Public Health and Environment, Department of Excise & License, Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs and the City Attorney’s Office.

Find more information and a copy of the Affidavit of Lawful Presence.


Aviso para los beneficiados por la Acción Diferida para Arribos en la Infancia (DACA)

con respecto a Licencias para Negocios

La ley de Colorado requiere una Declaración Jurada (Affidavit) de Presencia Legal para obtener una licencia de negocios en el Estado de Colorado. Para asegurarnos que el formulario municipal es claro y accesible a los beneficiados por DACA, que son elegibles para gestionar esa licencia si presentan los documentos apropiados, el Departamento de Impuestos Especiales y Licencias ha incluido en la Lista A en la segunda página de la Declaración Jurada el denominado Documento de Autorización de Empleo (EAD), que se puede presentar para demostrar presencia legal.

Miembros dedicados y emprendedores de la comunidad impulsaron y pidieron esta aclaración e información ante el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente, el Departamento de Impuestos Especiales y Licencias, la Oficina de Asuntos de Inmigrantes y Refugiados, y la Oficina del Fiscal de la Ciudad de Denver.

Para más información y para una copia del Affidavit of Lawful Presence (Declaración Jurada de Presencia Legal) pulsar (hacer clic) aquí. 


For more specific questions, please contact us at 720-913-1311 or 311 in the Denver Metro area

The Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council is a citizen-driven food policy council that is appointed by the Mayor. It works to:

  • Educate, raise awareness and build support for the local food system
  • Advise the City on laws, policies, and programs related to food
  • Promote food security
  • Foster a sustainable food system.

In October 2017, the City and County of Denver released the final Denver Food Vision 2030. The vision is based on the Denver Food Baseline Report and Denver Food System Metrics and significant stakeholder engagement.

For more information on Denver's food system, see the Denver Food System Map or email comments and questions to

Food Vision 2030 Resumen Ejecutivo en español.

Stretch your family's food dollars and get more fruits and vegetables with Double Up Food Bucks.

Apply for food assistance through Denver Human Services

Find Denver Farmers' Markets that accept SNAP (Food Stamps/EBT). 

Locate a pickup spot for Community Supported Agriculture.


The Healthy Beverage Partnership (HBP) is a regional collaborative effort that facilitates the development of healthy food and beverage policy and environmental changes in a wide variety of community settings in the Metro Denver area. 

The HBP is made up of six public health agencies: Boulder County Public Health, City and County of Broomfield Public Health and Environment, the City and County of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Public Health, Jefferson County Public Health and Tri-County Health Department and is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through the Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) Grants Program.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment can provide the following services to assist you and your organization in developing healthier food and beverage policies and practices:

  1. Conducting baseline assessments of food and beverage environments and policies
  2. Providing technical assistance in the creation and adoption of healthy food and beverage policies and practices
    1. Healthy Meeting
    2. Healthier Vending
    3. Healthier Concessions and Cafeterias
  3. Implementing educational and public information campaigns, including the the Hidden Sugar Campaign Toolkit.

Executive Order No. 70 – Healthier City Vending Machines – was signed May 25, 2018, by Mayor Michael B. Hancock, establishing a policy to provide healthier food and beverage options in City vending machines.

For more information contact: Mondi Mason 720-865-5463

The Food Action Plan is a set of strategic projects to increase food equity in the city. The plan serves as an action-oriented companion piece to the Denver Food Vision, an aspirational view of advancing our food system in Denver.

The Food Action Plan is fulfilled through a series of projects. Our first highlighted project is Food Matters, a collaborative effort with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, to reduce the amount of food being wasted in Denver homes and businesses. 

As the second project, the Food in Communities project charts a path to achieve this bold vision for all Denver metro area communities to have access to fresh, healthy, affordable, and culturally-relevant foods.