Low-income Coloradans affected by the Marshall Fire could be eligible for food assistance

Posted at 8:46 AM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 10:51:05-05

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Low-income Coloradans in parts of Boulder County who were affected by the Marshall Fire could be eligible for food assistance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.

Households who may not normally qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits under regular program rules may qualify for the department's Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) if they meet certain criteria, including disaster income limits and qualifying disaster-related expenses.

“Hundreds of houses and businesses were tragically consumed by fire in suburban communities in Boulder County,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “While affected families are working to find ways to move forward, D-SNAP can help make sure they are able to get food to feed their families.”

According to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), at least 1,776 households in the affected area are eligible for replacement SNAP benefits, while roughly 450 households are eligible for D-SNAP.

“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.”

Those who qualify for the disaster program will receive one month of benefits, equal to the maximum monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size. D-SNAP benefits can be used to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores or from select online retailers.

According to CDHS, Coloradans could be eligible 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, that was located in the qualifying ZIP codes, was damaged or destroyed by the fire
  • Their income falls within the guidelines

Those interested can apply between Jan. 24 and Feb. 1, excluding Jan. 29 and Jan. 30.

Applications will be at the Boulder County Housing and Human Services (BCHHS) building, located at 515 Coffman Street in Logmont. The building is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those who can't complete the application in person can call the BCHHS call center for help at 303-441-1000.

“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.”

Applicants will need to bring:

  • A picture I.D.
  • Verification that they lived or worked in the impacted areas
  • A paystub or other verification from the month of December may be required

For more information, Coloradans can call 2-1-1. Those outside the state can dial 1-800-536-5298. More information on SNAP benefits can be found here.