Colorado effort to end hunger hires first leader  Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger hires public health expert to shepherd effort  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Michele Ames, 303-817-5510  (Denver, April 16, 2019) – The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, the work of a coalition of groups and individuals statewide focused on eliminating hunger for all Coloradans, hired its first implementation director and will ultimately launch multiple initiatives aimed at achieving the goals set out by the Blueprint.   Erin Ulric , currently the interim director for Prevention Services at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will serve as the initiative’s first director. The veteran public health official, with statewide experience in key areas like nutrition services, will begin in May.  “We are thrilled to have an individual with Erin’s experience leading the effort,” said Mark Kling, executive director of the Family Resource Center Association and a member of the 15-member Governing Council overseeing the Blueprint work. “If we are to end hunger and help every Coloradan succeed, we must be coordinated and strategic. Selecting a leader like Erin, with her experience and skill, is the first step toward seeing our goal become a reality.”  Drafted in 2018, the Blueprint is a five-year plan aimed an ensuring that no Coloradan suffers with hunger and food insecurity and that all Coloradans have access to healthy foods in their own neighborhoods and communities. Currently, an estimated one in 10 Coloradans is hungry and an estimated one in six Colorado children don’t know where their next meal will come from. This means more than 580,000 Coloradans are hungry across the state. Full implementation of the Blueprint was recently called out as a key strategy by Gov. Jared Polis in his Roadmap to Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care.  “Ending hunger for every person in our state isn’t a small goal. But it is a necessary one if we are to create the kind of state we all want to live in, one where all Coloradans have the basic building blocks they need to create a healthy and successful life for themselves and their family,” Ulric said. “When the goal seems difficult to reach, I return to the simple fact that even one child too hungry to succeed in school is one child too many.”  Primary goals of the Blueprint include increasing awareness of hunger in communities, increasing access to affordable, nutritious food through community-based organizations, ensuring that all eligible Coloradans are benefiting from SNAP (food stamps), and WIC (which helps families with young children), and improving child nutrition through school and summer meals.  The Blueprint is housed at Trailhead Institute, a Colorado-based public health-focused non-profit, which will serve as the administrative hub for all Blueprint activities.  Work groups focused on various Blueprint goals have begun working on plans for how various strategies will be carried out. Implementation Director Ulric and the work groups will focus on advancing key components of the Blueprint work and launching new efforts in 2019.  The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger is a five-year plan to end hunger for all Coloradans. It was developed, with funding from the Colorado Health Foundation, by individuals and organizations from across the state who are working on or experiencing hunger in their own homes and communities.   To learn more, review the  resources  on this website, or contact Michele Ames at 303-817-5510.

Colorado effort to end hunger hires first leader

Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger hires public health expert to shepherd effort

(Denver, April 16, 2019) – The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, the work of a coalition of groups and individuals statewide focused on eliminating hunger for all Coloradans, hired its first implementation director and will ultimately launch multiple initiatives aimed at achieving the goals set out by the Blueprint.

Erin Ulric, currently the interim director for Prevention Services at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will serve as the initiative’s first director. The veteran public health official, with statewide experience in key areas like nutrition services, will begin in May.

      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) changes income eligibilty rule        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"          By Deb Stanley, ABC Denver 7   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 $40,000 for us to examine if she's eligible," explained Ki'i Powell, the Director of Colorado's Office of Economic Security.  In Colorado, the food assistance program is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It was formerly known as Food Stamps.  Colorado currently has about 200,000 families on SNAP. The change could make another 100,000 families eligible for assistance, Powell said.  "This really impacts family working in low wage jobs," Powell said.  Powell explained the change means families working in those low wage jobs can now work hard for a raise, or take extra shifts, without worrying about losing their eligibility in the program.  "Helping people become food secure helps them do better in school, and for seniors, it reduces rates of diabetes and reduces rates of hospitalizations," Powell said.  Learn more about applying for SNAP benefits and see the pre-screening tool  here .   Original Article >

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) changes income eligibilty rule

By Deb Stanley, ABC Denver 7

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   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. “When families are working their way out of poverty, the ability to receive even a small amount of help will make the difference between their success or failure and ultimately the health and wellbeing of all Coloradans.”   Currently, an estimated one in 10 Coloradans is hungry and an estimated one in six Colorado children don’t know where their next meal will come from meaning more than 580,000 Coloradans are hungry. Conversely, only about six of every 10 Coloradans eligible for food assistance are enrolled in the program. Today, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly food stamps, provides $1.40 per meal. This supplemental amount is key to food security, access to healthy foods, and ultimately economic security for low-income, working families. Today, about 455,000 Coloradans receive financial help to purchase food for their families. With the small change in eligibility, state leaders estimate a seven percent increase in the number of individuals using the program over the next five years.    “This change will bring stability and greater security to our most vulnerable individuals and families by making it less likely they will lose the help they need to continue on the path out of poverty,” said Ki’i Powell, the Director of the Office of Economic Security in the Colorado Department of Human Services. “We’re also confident that this change will benefit local human services departments that must process and reprocess applications because of the previously lower eligibility threshold.”   The lower eligibility threshold was a barrier to individuals and families effectively using the program because just $1 in additional income kicked individuals off the program, providing a strong disincentive to take overtime hours or additional days of work. The lower threshold was particularly difficult for low-wage workers in hourly or seasonal work as well as those working in jobs that provide a high gross but low net income. Additionally, areas of our state such as those living and working in resort areas have been particularly impacted because of the seasonal or occasional nature of the work in those areas.   The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger is a five-year plan to end hunger for all Coloradans. It was developed, with funding from the Colorado Health Foundation, by individuals and organizations from across the state who are working on or experiencing hunger in their own homes and communities. To learn more, visit endhungerco.org.  Contact: Michele Ames                303-817-5510

New income eligibility in food assistance for working families

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.

Foundation to dispense $100,000 to fight hunger

Foundation to dispense $100,000 to fight hunger

The Daily Sentinel, SENTINEL STAFF

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.

Solutions sought to hunger problem in Mesa County

Solutions sought to hunger problem in Mesa County

By Wyatt Hurt, Grand Junction Sentinel
Wyatt.Hurt@gjsentinel.com

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.

Let’s end hunger

Let’s end hunger

EDITORIAL
The Daily Sentinel

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.

Largest effort in Colorado history launches to end hunger

Largest effort in Colorado history launches to end hunger

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."

Seize the Opportunity: Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger

Seize the Opportunity: Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger

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 the onus 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.

Colorado Group Creates ‘Blueprint’ To Close Hunger Gap

Colorado Group Creates ‘Blueprint’ To Close Hunger Gap

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.

Blueprint to Guide New Drive to End Hunger in Colorado

Blueprint to Guide New Drive to End Hunger in Colorado

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."

Largest effort in Colorado history launches to end hunger

Largest effort in Colorado history launches to end hunger

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.”