DENVER (KDVR) — There are nearly 2,200 migrants currently being sheltered in Denver, according to data from the City and County of Denver.
The city has sheltered and supported around 26,000 migrants from the southern border at a cost of more than $29 million.
Local food pantries are stepping in to help do what they can to feed the migrant population.
Inside Servicios De La Raza on 14th Street in Denver, on any given weekday you can find Jenny Santos, the essential services director, helping out those in need.
“There has been an increase of people migrating to the state of Colorado because of political reasons, because of different circumstances,” said Santos.
She said many of the families are new arrivals from other countries. They come in hopes of getting housing assistance or snagging a box or bag of food.
“The increase among our migrant population is a lot of individuals. We’re seeing 175 people per day coming in,” Santos said.
With the demand going up, resources are running thin.
“We are already living in a crisis in the state of Colorado as far as benefits being decreased,” said Santos. “The demand is high.”
Yalexy Arguello was bussed to Denver and depends on the support of the agency.
“We wouldn’t be able to receive the help, we must fight to just get a job. We have to be here for at least 150 days before we have permission to work,” said Arguello.
She said the help she receives from not only Servicios De La Raza but several other agencies helps her keep her family fed.
Arguello said, “I’m able to survive right now. I’m still waiting on the time frame to have permission to work. However, with the food assistance and support, I’m able to navigate and obtain resources.”
Santos said no family should have to depend on food pantries, but the agency is there to make sure they fill in the gap where they are needed.
“It’s been extremely difficult to meet the demand of the required services. We had an influx of people coming in, making sure they are fed, plus our existing community. It has been very difficult,” said Santos. “However, we’re meeting with Food Bank of the Rockies and seeking funding and depending on the community.”
More information can be found on the Servicios De La Raza’s Facebook page.
There are ways you can help. Santos said the agency is always looking for volunteers and monetary and food donations.