On May 21, Gordon & Rees partner Byeongsook Seo of Denver received the 2012 Special Recognition Award from the Colorado Lawyers Committee (CLC). The award is given for outstanding professionalism, commitment and support of the CLC’s mission to improve conditions for children and the underprivileged.
Byeongsook and fellow recipient Adela C. Flores-Brennan of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange were honored at the CLC’s 35th Anniversary Awards Luncheon in appreciation of their exceptional contributions in securing food stamp benefits for Denver residents.
The CLC’s Food Stamps Task Force was created in 2008 to examine and improve the performance of Colorado counties in processing food stamp applications. Individuals and families in many counties across the state were experiencing delays that far exceeded the federal mandated timelines requiring an application for food assistance, leaving many people struggling to obtain food.
On behalf of the Food Stamps Task Force, Byeongsook met regularly with officials from Denver over several years, resulting in Denver completely restructuring its application process and establishing procedures to assure a level of customer service and staff accountability that had not previously existed. In the last two years, Denver’s processing of applications improved by 22 percent for regular food stamps and 50 percent for expedited applications. Rates of compliance with federal law have increased to 98 percent for regular applications and 94 percent for expedited applications and the number of people adversely impacted each month has dropped from an average of 1,250 to 29.
To learn more about the Food Stamps Task Force and other projects at the Colorado Lawyers Committee, please click here.