Denver’s most vulnerable report delays in SNAP food assistance benefits

DENVER — Residents of Denver have been waiting for SNAP benefits for weeks after a delay in processing those benefits. Now Contact Denver7 is getting answers for people concerned about feeding their families.

“I’ve just been through a lot in my life,” said Robert Lewis, who said the past month had been even more difficult after his monthly food allowance never arrived. “I try to be alone and do what I have to do even with my disability, and it’s just hard.”

Lewis said he went to the SNAP office in person and was told there was a backlog in processing benefits.

He said they had no estimate of when he would receive the money he depends on for food.

“I basically don’t eat much, but I always have my peanut butter and stuff like that! And I can’t even get it now because I only have $5 on my card,” Lewis said.

Food aid delays seem to be a widespread problem in Colorado and across the country.

In an email, a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Human Services wrote, “The end of the public health emergency poses nationwide workload challenges.

For some families, the “workload challenge” has created an impossible choice.

“I don’t want to show my face. I am embarrassed. I’m scared,” said a Denver mother, who declined to be identified but wanted to tell her story after DHS failed to send her SNAP benefits this month. “They said they were 30 to 45 days late. I couldn’t even pay my rent because I had to decide whether my children were going to eat or not. And so now I’m facing eviction because I had to use my rent money to feed my kids.

After contacting Contact Denver7, this mother said she received a call from Denver Social Services that her food aid had been approved.

“It’s a blessing from God,” she said. “We are crying with joy.”

Meanwhile, Robert Lewis also received a call from Denver Human Services and his food benefits arrived within hours.

“I’ll be okay with my peanut butter,” Lewis said. “You’ll get there – thank you!”

In a statement, Victoria Aguilar, spokeswoman for Denver Human Services, confirmed a delay in delivering SNAP benefits:

“Denver Human Services (DHS) is currently experiencing a delay that is disrupting the delivery of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for some of our existing beneficiaries. DHS has made improvements to the processing of new and expedited SNAP requests. Despite these efforts to process existing SNAP revisions, we continue to experience delays. »

Aguilar also said the city is accelerating “critical risk cases, which may include people who have been served an eviction notice, an at-risk senior, or people facing a non-life-threatening medical emergency.” .

Candidates who believe they are at critical risk can call the department at 720-944-4347.

Additionally, DHS has a partnership with the Food Bank of the Rockies to host monthly mobile pantries where boxes of food are available. The next mobile pantries are from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or until supplies run out on:

  • Friday, June 16 (Denver Human Services East Office, 3815 Steele Street, Denver, 80205)
  • Monday, June 26 (Sun Valley, Empower Field at Mile High parking Lot E, Denver, 80204)

Denver’s most vulnerable residents report delays in SNAP food assistance benefits

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