Get Involved: Hunger Free Colorado

December 5 2012, 9:00 AM

Hunger is a silent problem, though many Coloradans experience it (read our 2007 story about the issue here). It is difficult to bring up in casual conversation. Many people feel embarrassed or guilty about not being able to provide nutritious meals for their families. 

Hunger Free Colorado aims to educate the public about resources that can help. By raising awareness about available federal funds, and affecting policy and social change, the group hopes to streamline the local and federal benefits systems so every Coloradan can enjoy healthy, nutritious food.

For example, initiatives like the School Breakfast and Free or Reduced-Price Meal Programs can make a big difference in a kid's life. When children don't eat a healthy breakfast, it affects their concentration and can lead to academic and behavorial problems. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast (at school or at home) have better test scores, attendance and overall well-being. On the other end of the spectrum, seniors who have worked their whole life are often forced to choose between buying food and medicine. 

Get Involved: First, spread the word. Many people don't know about potential resources. Colorado has the fastest-growing rate of childhood poverty in the nation, but low participation in nutrition assistance programs like Food Stamps and the Summer Food Service Program (which helps feed kids during the summer months when school is out). You can also donate directly or volunteer time or services—everything from petitioning legislators to manning a booth at community events. 

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock