ON OUR BLOG: 2016 STATE LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP
Hunger Free Colorado’s top priority this year was an ambitious goal: to increase accountability in the Food Assistance Program so it better serves Coloradans, regardless of which corner of the state they call home. To our great delight, not only did we take three critical steps towards that goal, but we did so with the backing of every state legislator and a broad coalition of stakeholders and advocates.
We approach all of our work with a collaborative framework, knowing that public policy is most successful for those we serve—Coloradans of all ages, backgrounds and zip codes who may be experiencing hunger—when developed with transparency, thoughtful compromise and the fulfillment of commitments as partners. The 2016 Legislative Session illustrated both the power of that model but also how difficult it can be to carry out.
AIMING FOR AVERAGE: NEED TO IMPROVE FOOD STAMPS
New data highlights longstanding issues with the administration of food stamps in Colorado. Our new “Food Stamp Impact Reports” for all 64 counties, released on Jan. 28, detail the efficiency and effectiveness of the state-supervised, county-administered program. While some Colorado counties meet national averages and federal guidelines, the overall data shows below-average performance at the state and county levels.
SUMMER MEALS FOR COLORADO KIDS AND TEENS
Summer should be a fun and enriching time for all Colorado children, but for many it represents a time when they are at the greatest risk of hunger due to lost access to school meals. A collaborative effort of government agencies, nonprofit and community-based organizations, and school districts focuses on filling the nutritional gap through a statewide summer food program.
More than 500 community sites across Colorado will provide summer meals to children up to 18 years old at no cost.
COLORADANS IMPACTED BY FEDERAL FOOD STAMP RULE
Due to federal regulations of the program, some adults now can only get food stamp benefits for three months during a three-year period, unless they meet specific exemptions or requirements. This federal “time limit” went into effect across Colorado on January 1, 2016, meaning those who do not meet the exemptions or requirements could have their food stamp benefits discontinued on or before May 1, 206.
Food stamp recipients and community organizations can access resources via the link below.