Most low income households can get help paying for food and DHS will help you apply for these benefits.
Find out if you are eligible by going to the “Can I Get Food Assistance” page of the Colorado state web site.
Applying for Food Assistance
Step 1: Get an application
Online: Click here to apply through PEAK.
In-person: You can come to any of our offices, Monday - Friday, 8:00a.m. - 4:30p.m., and pick up an application:
- Castro Building, 1200 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80204
- East Office, 3815 Steele St., Denver, CO 80205
- Montbello Satellite Office, 4685 Peoria St., Denver, CO 80239
Mail or Fax: We can send an application to you by mail or fax – please call us at 720-944-3666 to have one sent to you.
Step 2: Complete the application
Please fill out as much of the application as you can. At a minimum we will need to have your name, home street address and signature on the application to begin the process (see page 8 of the application). If you need help or don't understand a question, a staff member at one of our offices can help you complete your application or you can call us at 720-944-3666.
The application can be used just for requesting Food Assistance or for requesting other types of benefits; mark any of the benefits on the list on page 1 of the application that you wish to apply for.
Step 3: Return the application to one of our offices
You can return the application to any of the offices listed above. As long as you provide your name, home street address and a signature, you can turn in the form to begin the process, but providing as much information as possible could help complete the process faster.
Step 4: Make an appointment for an interview
If you return the application in person, you can make an appointment for an interview. If you return your application by mail, our office will contact you to schedule an appointment – please be sure to provide your phone number on the application. Your appointment may be conducted in person or over the telephone.
To save time and to help the process go faster, please bring all the necessary paperwork with you. The following is a list of examples of verification that you might need to bring to your interview:
- Birth Certificate
- Drivers License
- Child Support documents (such as a court order or cancelled checks)
- Pay stubs
- Unemployment compensation documents
- Pension documents
- Social Security letters and/or other documents
- Veteran's assistance letters and/or other documents
- Rental Agreement
- Mortgage statement
- Utility bills - telephone, electricity, gas, oil, water, sewerage, garbage
- Child Care expenses documents (such as cancelled checks)
- Medical bills that you pay (if 60 years or older or disabled)
- Bank statements
Step 5: The interview and decision
If you have an interview scheduled at our office, bring your verification documents with you to the interview. You will keep your original documents and we will make copies for our records.
If you have a telephone interview, the worker will explain how to submit your documents and will let you know if any additional information is needed.
You can call 720-944-3666 if you have questions about your case or if you need to provide additional documentation.
After your interview, you will receive a notice in the mail explaining your eligibility.
Step 6: If you are eligible
You will get a notice that will explain how many months you can get food assistance benefits and the amount of food assistance you are eligible for.
Every month you are eligible, your food assistance benefits will be deposited into an account. You will be given a Colorado Quest debit card to use the money in this account; information about using this card will be included with the notice that you are eligible. You will use the card as you would any credit card when you are paying for purchases at a store.
More information about the Colorado Quest card can be found on the Colorado state web site.
This card can be used in any grocery store or retail location anywhere in the United States that has been authorized by the USDA and displays the Quest logo. Food assistance benefits can be used to buy most foods but may not be used to purchase food that can be eaten in the store or hot foods. Also, you may not purchase any nonfood items, such as:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco
- Pet foods
- Soaps, paper products, household supplies
- Vitamins, medicines
The U.S. government provides information about nutrition, meal planning, and smart shopping.
If you are not eligible
If you are not eligible for food assistance benefits, you will receive a notice that explains why. If you feel you have been denied incorrectly, you can call or visit our office. You may also request a Fair Hearing (you will not be charged for this hearing). The Colorado state web site has more information about your rights.