Use the drop-down menu to learn more about available resources and opportunities, or call the bilingual, statewide Hunger Free Hotline toll-free at (855) 855-4626 or in the Denver Metro area at (720)-382-2920 to speak with someone who can provide more information by phone. Food assistance navigators are available to take calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Any message left after-hours will be returned the next business day.
Learn more about one of the vital food and nutrition programs for Coloradans:
What is SNAP/food stamps?
Food stamps, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a USDA-run nutrition program to provide households with the financial resources to purchase groceries.
Participating households receive their food stamp benefit allotment on a monthly basis. Benefits are automatically loaded onto a Quest Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. EBT cards can be used like debit cards at authorized food retailers,such as grocery and convenience stores, as well as some farmers markets.
The program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by each state. In Colorado, program delivery is administered by each county in the state. It is also called the Food Assistance Program in Colorado.
Why is SNAP/food stamps important to Coloradans?
Nearly 1 in 8 Coloradans struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table, whether due to a job loss, health issue, minimum-wage job or misfortune. It’s estimated that about 1 in 5 kids and 1 in 8 Colorado seniors don’t know when or where they will get their next meal.
Hunger affects too many in our great state, and you may have family members, neighbors, co-workers and friends who don’t always have enough money to buy food. On a tight budget, people often have to choose between paying rent and heat instead of buying food. They may have to turn to already-strained charitable and faith-based groups distributing emergency food, just to make ends meet.
Fortunately, resources like food stamps, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, exist to increase all Coloradans access to food. It enables eligible households to pay for groceries, literally putting food on the table; providing the fuel needed for better, healthier lives and stronger, thriving communities.
According to the USDA, nearly half of eligible Colorado households do not participate, meaning thousands continue to struggle to purchase groceries. Colorado’s low participation also has economic implications—federal dollars are not being claimed and utilized to support the state’s economic health.
Read more hunger and poverty facts for Colorado.
What is Hunger Free Colorado doing?
Hunger Free Colorado was launched in 2009 to ensure that every Coloradan has access to adequate, nutritious food. We work to make SNAP/food stamps more accessible through policy and systems change as well as connecting Colorado families to needed food resources.
Our efforts include:
- Connecting Coloradans to food and nutrition resources via the statewide, multilingual Hunger Free Hotline
- Taking our community services on the road via our mobile services, where we provide one-on-one eligibility screening and application assistance on-site at locations like health clinics, food pantries, grocery stores and community centers
- Supporting county human service agencies with outreach for food stamps, such as development of an on-site volunteer program to help answer client questions and assist with applications
- Offering training support where a Hunger Free Colorado team member provides education and tools to community organizations and agencies, so their staff and volunteers can provide eligibility screening for clients
We also work to streamline and make other nutrition programs more accessible to all eligible Coloradans, regardless of age, background or zip code.