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Denver looking at $925K tab to buy food for migrants in shelters

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(The Center Square) – The city of Denver is looking to approve additional taxpayer funds for the city-wide purchase of meals for guests at migrant shelters, totaling $925,000.

On Tuesday, Denver City Council is set to approve an additional $450,000 for an amended contract with Colorado Hospitality Services Inc. for the continued purchase of meals for the guests of migrant shelters across the city, according to city documents.

The newly amended contract between the city of and Colorado Hospitality Services Inc. would be valid until Mar. 31, 2024.

According to a city council report: “Due to continued high shelter occupancy and feeding of migrants/newcomers, DHS is nearly out of capacity on this PO and is seeking to increase it again.” The original request for an additional $100,000 was issued on Dec. 1, 2023, but was increased to $475,000 in Jan. 2024.

The daily costs for meals provided by Colorado Hospitality Inc. are the same for weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

Breakfast: $6.95Lunch: $9.95Dinner: $9.95Kids meals: $3Snacks: $3

The city of Denver currently has “Newcomer and Migrant Support” on its website that allows individuals to offer clothing donations, sign up to volunteer, as well as a newcomer’s fund for donations. The funds go directly to the city’s nonprofit partners.

The city also announced it will be resuming the discharging of migrant families in early February and will continue for several weeks.

The city offers shelters for newly arriving families with children for up to six weeks, while those without children will receive two weeks of shelter before being discharged. The city stated that while it remains a welcoming city, newcomers will need to arrive with a long-term plan due to limited resources and that the city cannot offer shelter for indefinite periods of time, according to its website.

Last week, Mayor Mike Johnston announced $5 million in service cuts within Denver Motor Vehicle offices and the Department of Parks and Recreation, citing the migrant crisis and Congress’s lack of action. The city has supported 38,380 migrants since last December, costing over $42 million, according to the mayor’s office.

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