The Truth About Local Food Bank Patrons

February 3 2010, 10:53 AM

Seventy-two percent of the people who regularly visit a food bank or pantry in Colorado do not receive food stamps or welfare assistance. And more than half the households receiving donated food last year claimed at least one adult with a job. That's according to The Denver Post, citing a 2009 survey by the Colorado Coalition to End Hunger, which bursts some of the stereotypes about who is receiving help during the recession. The survey also found that the income of people visiting food banks and pantries was $1,010 per month and that 80 percent of people reported they were hungry. "Some of the most disturbing findings are around Colorado's children going without food," says Kathy Underhill, director of the Colorado Coalition to End Hunger. "Numerous studies show that even mild under-nutrition is written on the brains and bodies of children for a lifetime." Unfortunately, food is scarcer in other parts of Colorado. Care and Share, the food bank for southern Colorado, is cutting its allocations to dozens of food pantries and hunger relief organizations in El Paso County by 33 percent, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Some families do, however, turn to the government for aid, but it can be difficult to get into the system. A 2007 settlement requires Colorado to process food-stamp and Medicaid applications within 45 days, but advocates for the poor say some applications are still delayed (via the Associated Press).