Colorado effort to end hunger hires first leader

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

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.