A change in income eligibility requirements in Colorado means thousands of families may now qualify for food assistance.
The Colorado Department of Human Services is increasing the income cut off to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in place of the previous 130 percent cut off, according to Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger.
"If you think about a family of three, a mom and two kids, mom had to make less than $35,000 for us to examine whether the family was eligible for food assistance. But now mom can make up to $40,00 for us to examine if she's eligible," explained Ki'i Powell, the Director of Colorado's Office of Economic Security.
New income eligibility in food assistance for working families will fight poverty in Colorado allowing a small increase in income expected to help thousands
(Denver, July 30, 2018) – Changes to eligibility income levels for thousands of working families began recently in food assistance and are expected to provide an effective boost to Coloradans working their way out of poverty. The Colorado Department of Human Services is increasing the income cut off to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in place of the previous 130 percent cut off. With the change, a family of two making just $33,000 a year will be eligible.
“We are thrilled to see this change because we believe that this small change will contribute greatly to ending hunger in our state,” said Jennifer Banyan, spokesperson for the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, a statewide effort to leverage and connect resources to ensure that no Coloradan is hungry.
The Western Colorado Community Foundation is offering a new grant that will fund nonprofit agencies working to end hunger, part of their efforts to support the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger locally.
The foundation expects to use funds from its community grants endowment and donations from community partners to distribute $100,000 to local projects that increase access to healthy, local foods and improve food security for vulnerable populations. Preference will be given to projects that involve collaboration among multiple community groups. The deadline to apply is July 15.
"We hope that innovative projects in the seven counties we serve will be able to use these funds to make tangible, positive impacts in their communities," foundation spokesman Tedi Gillespie said. "We're excited to see what they do to combat what we know is a widespread problem."
The foundation manages more than 265 charitable funds totaling nearly $75 million in assets and awards more than $3.4 million in grants and scholarships annually. For information and to apply, visit wc-cf.org/nonprofits/grantmaking.
Mount Garfield Middle School teacher Rachel Smith is no stranger to Mesa County’s widespread hunger problem; she sees it firsthand every day.
Twice a month, she spends hundreds of dollars at Sam’s Club, stocking a pantry in her classroom. Called “Gator-aid,” the pantry feeds a full spectrum of students, ranging from “hungry teenage boys” who want a snack to those who rely on the food to get them through the day.
“I think there are teachers feeding kids at every school. I’d be willing to bet that every teacher has given away their lunch at least twice,” Smith said.
She was one of the 70 attendees at Friday’s Mesa County Leadership Forum on Hunger, which brought together community leaders to brainstorm innovative solutions to end local hunger. Co-sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation, the event was a first step in what the organizations hope will be a permanent solution to the problem.
Nobody has to go hungry in Mesa County, but many do despite the best efforts of local government and community-based nonprofits.
The problem is not lack of caring or attention. There are dozens of stories of food pantries, backpack programs, community gardens and food recovery networks all pitching in to feed the hungry in Mesa County. But they often work in silos.
Friday’s Mesa County Leadership Forum on Hunger aimed to change that. It was the first summit in the state to brainstorm innovative solutions to hunger and to discuss ways to implement the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger — a statewide initiative supported by six goals to end food insecurity in the state.
The summit was a way of getting Mesa County organizations on the same page. The discussion, as reported by the Sentinel’s Wyatt Hurt, centered on strengthening hunger relief organizations, addressing out-of- school hunger, increasing fresh produce for hunger relief, expanding recovery of food waste, involving health care providers and spreading public awareness.
From the Colorado Health Foundation For the Trail-Gazette
A large and broad collection of Colorado leaders, including hunger and nutrition nonprofits, health care providers, state agencies, local county governments, schools, community-based organizations and individuals experiencing hunger launched an effort this week to end hunger across the state.
The coalition launched their work with a report, The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, which lays out a five-year effort of clear and actionable strategies to end hunger for all Coloradans by building on past successes and employing innovations in local communities statewide.
"This is, quite simply, an imperative for our state. To have a single Coloradan - particularly our kids and our seniors - go to bed hungry or worry about how they will eat the next day is unacceptable," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "Letting our kids go hungry. Making our seniors chose between medicine and food. This is not who we are."
Yesterday, the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger was released. It would be remiss not to thank the Colorado Health Foundation for their key role. They have been a steadfast funder of work to improve access to healthy food for a number of years, and now they’re taking on the issue of hunger even more by convening, staffing, leading, and funding the Blueprint’s development.
Most who have engaged in the Blueprint creation and today’s launch event are not only aware of the issue of hunger but interested in learning more about how we can work together to achieve a shared vision.
The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger is a strong beginning; a tool for turning vision into strategy. Now theonus is on all of us to seize this opportunity.
I truly believe hunger in Colorado is a completely solvable issue. It’s like a Rubik’s cube—we must turn the programs and policies in the right order and in the correct direction to solve it. The public and political will is the energy which turns the cube.
DENVER (CBS4) – A group of government and nonprofit organizations across Colorado are coming together for some of Colorado’s most vulnerable.
Wednesday the Colorado Health Foundation announced what they called the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six Colorado kids are hungry, and overall about one in 10 Coloradans struggle with having the necessary money to buy needed food.
In 2016, government assistance programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — also known as SNAP — and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — known as WIC — poured $1.3 billion in economic development into the Colorado economy.
But only six in 10 of those eligible participated in these programs, leaving $455 million of available federal money on the table.
One-in-ten Coloradans currently struggles with hunger or faces food insecurity. (Pixabay)
DENVER — A new coalition - including nonprofits, health care providers, state agencies, schools and more - has launched a new campaign aimed at ending hunger in Colorado.
Ki'i Powell, director of the Office of Economic Security at the Colorado Department of Human Services, said currently, 1-in-6 children and one-tenth of Colorado's seniors don't know where their next meal will come from. Powell said the coalition's new report, "The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger," is just the first step in addressing what she sees as a solvable problem.
"We feel that Colorado is up to the challenge of ending hunger in our state,” Powell said; “and through the efforts of collaboration - and a plan - can effectively do this."
Broad coalition of diverse groups joins forces to ensure no Coloradan goes without the food they need
(Jan. 17, Denver) – A large and broad collection of Colorado leaders, including hunger and nutrition nonprofits, health care providers, state agencies, local county governments, schools, community based organizations, and individuals experiencing hunger launched an effort today aimed at ending hunger across the state.
The coalition launched their work with a report, The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, which lays out a multi-year effort including clear and actionable strategies to end hunger for all Coloradans by building on past successes and employing innovations in local communities statewide.
“This is, quite simply, an imperative for our state. To have a single Coloradan – particularly our kids and our seniors – go to bed hungry or worry about how they will eat the next day is unacceptable,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Letting our kids go hungry. Making our seniors chose between medicine and food. This is not who we are.”