$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 in a situation of food insecurity.
According to a press release, the program will provide up to 4,000 people with a $200 grocery gift card and support three food box distribution events in high-needs areas.
Grocery gift cards will be distributed by the city’s Human Rights and Community Partnerships Agency (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 nonprofit community partners for residents who use their referral services.
Denver received more than $308 million from ARPA to restore city services, eliminate furloughs, support immunization efforts, and bolster financial recovery.
Grocery gift cards, which referred residents will apply for and are expected to be available the last week of September, will be limited to Denver residents, one per household, and the applicant must be below 200% of the federal poverty level. A limited supply of cards will be available at Denver’s three Social Services locations on a first-come, first-served walk-in basis.
The city council has approved a proposal from Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration to provide financial assistance to Denver families struggling with food insecurity resulting from the pandemic and recent cost increases, the statement said.
“Rising costs for everything from groceries to gas are straining family budgets everywhere. Inflation affects us all,” Hancock said in the statement. “It’s a bit of relief for families who need it most, and we’ll continue to look for different ways to reduce 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.