Colorado activates disaster food benefits for communities affected by Boulder fires

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DENVER (Jan. 20, 2022) — The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) announced it will be activating the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in partnership with Boulder County Housing and Human Services (BCHHS) in the wake of the recent Boulder fires. At least 1,776 households in the affected area are eligible for replacement SNAP benefits and approximately 450 are eligible for D-SNAP. If eligible, individuals will receive one month of benefits. 

This program will provide eligible low- to moderate-income households who do not normally receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following the fire. Additionally, D-SNAP can replace SNAP benefits lost in the fire in the form of destroyed and spoiled foods as a result of the power outages for those who are currently enrolled. 

“This disaster program will have an important impact for our communities who lost everything in the fire,” said Karla Maraccini, CDHS Food and Energy Assistance Division director. “Worrying about where their next meal will come from or how they will feed their families is the last thing these families should have to struggle with. CDHS is glad we can provide additional assistance to families who need it most.”

Individuals may be eligible for D-SNAP if:

  • They lived in the Boulder County areas directly impacted by the fires, which are ZIP codes 80303, 80021, 80026, 80027 and 80020.
  • Their workplace was in these ZIP codes and was damaged or destroyed by the fire.
  • Their income falls within the income guidelines, which can be viewed on the CDHS website.

Interested residents can apply between Jan. 24 and Feb. 1, excluding Jan. 29-30. Applications will be at the Boulder County Housing and Human Services (BCHHS) building located at 515 Coffman St. in Longmont, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. BCHHS will accommodate applicants who cannot complete the application in person via their call center to accept requests for D-SNAP over the telephone, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Applicants can call into the Boulder County main phone line (303.441.1000) and then transfer to a D-SNAP application phone queue.

Individuals will need to bring:

  • A picture I.D.
  • Verification they lived or worked in the impacted ZIP codes
  • A paystub or other verification of income from the month of December, when the fires occurred, may be required

“Community members impacted by the Marshall Fire are demonstrating incredible tenacity  and resilience as they work to recover and rebuild,” says Susan Grutzmacher, division director for Boulder County Housing and Human Services. “We are working with state, federal and local partners to provide a range of support to help our neighbors during this difficult time. Access to high-quality, nutritious food is critical and we are proud to help increase access with the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”

Coloradans who are experiencing hunger or are struggling to afford nutritious food and are not currently participating in SNAP can apply at any time at their local human services office, by calling Hunger Free Colorado’s Hunger Hotline at 855-855-4626, or online at the Colorado PEAK website.

The CDHS Food and Energy Assistance Division (FEAD) administers the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program exists to safeguard the health and well-being of low-income, financially eligible households by providing food assistance benefits redeemable for food items at authorized retailers. On average, more than $87 million in food benefits are issued statewide every month, assisting more than 250,000 households and 499,000 individuals.

Media contact:
Jordan Johnson
Interim Deputy Director of Communications