Colorado hunger poll hits record high / Public Information Service
DENVER – Nearly 40% of Coloradans are struggling to get food on the table due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the highest rate of food insecurity ever reported in the state, according to a new Colorado No Hunger Poll.
Ellie Agar, the group’s communications director, said the rate was twice as high as at the height of the Great Recession, with more than half of families with children not knowing where their next meal will come from.
She added that COVID-19 has also dramatically increased long-standing disparities in access to healthy food.
“Individuals of color are disproportionately affected,” said Agar. “About 50% said they had a hard time getting food on the table, and one of the main reasons was that they saw a higher loss of income during the pandemic.”
Fifty-one percent of Coloradans of color have lost income since the start of the pandemic, compared to 35% of White Coloradans.
Agar stressed that additional federal assistance will be needed to deal with the scale of the crisis. But some members of Congress have opposed the adoption of additional relief plans, citing concerns over the increase in the national debt and uncertainty that the money will go to those who need it most.
Agar argued that state lawmakers should also invest in scaling up outreach efforts to ensure more families can access SNAP, the program formerly known as food stamps.
She pointed out that every dollar of SNAP profits generates $ 1.50 in economic activity. Last year, the program added $ 1.5 billion to Colorado’s economy.
“So we know that by investing in these things, we are not only reducing health care costs, by helping our workers, our children, our families, but we are putting money back directly into our local economies; by helping our people. local grocery stores and our local food systems, ”said Agar.
The survey found that hunger is now a top concern for nearly one in four Colorado households.
Agar observed that if families are not able to consistently put healthy food on the table, studies have shown that the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of children across the state will suffer for decades. years.
Help is available online at www.COfoodfinder.org.
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