We know hunger impacts too many Coloradans.
Many American households experience “food insecurity at times during the year, meaning their access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources.” Food insecurity is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.
Hunger is an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity.
Food insecurity is a leading health issue in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 12.3 percent of all U.S. households — over 41 million Americans — were food insecure in 2016. More than 16 percent of households with children reported food insecurity at some point during the year.
Federal food assistance programs are the most effective way to reduce hunger and supplement the food budgets of low-income families. But Colorado has some of the lowest enrollment rates in the country.
We know that access to sufficient food because of limited resources, is a real and pressing issue for hundreds of thousands of Colorado families. Hunger is strongly linked with poor health outcomes and higher health care costs and utilization. Additionally, it is connected with poorer educational outcomes and more limited school readiness in children. For seniors, it dramatically impacts self-sufficiency and well-being.
Hunger not only hurts individuals, it has a real impact on Colorado’s economy.