Funding from the American Rescue Plan will aid Denver residents experiencing food insecurity

An amount of $1 million in interest from Denver’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be used to provide grocery gift cards and support food box distribution events for Denver residents experiencing food insecurity.

The program will provide up to 4,000 individuals with a $200 grocery store gift card and support three food box distribution events in high need areas, according to a news release.

The grocery gift cards will be distributed by the city’s Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships (HRCP), Denver Human Services, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), Denver Office of Economic Development and Opportunity, and Office of Children’s Affairs to local community non-profit partners for residents who use their services based on referrals.

Denver received more than $308 million from ARPA to restore city services, eliminate furloughs, support vaccination efforts and build financial recovery.

The grocery gift cards, which referred residents will apply for and should become available the last week of September, will be limited to Denver residents, one per household, and the applicant must be under 200% of the federal poverty level. A limited supply of the cards will be available at all three Denver Human Services locations on a first come, first served walk-up basis.

City Council approved a Mayor Michael Hancock administration proposal to provide financial relief for Denver families struggling with food insecurity resulting from the pandemic and recent rising costs, the release said.

“Rising costs for everything from groceries to gas are straining family budgets everywhere. Inflation is impacting all of us,” Hancock said in the release. “This is a little bit of relief for those families who need it the most, and we will continue to look at different ways we can help lower costs for our residents.”

The funding will also support the distribution of 8,000 food boxes at three food box distribution events in October. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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