The Facts: Hunger in Colorado

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Read facts about hunger and poverty in Colorado. Find out how we define terms like hunger and why nutrition programs matter.

 

HUNGER & POVERTY IN COLORADO…

 

  • Nearly 1 in 7 Coloradans struggle with hunger, facing times when there is not enough money to buy food.
    (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012-2014 average in Household Food Security in the United States in 2014, September 2015)
  • Nearly 1 in 8 Coloradans live in poverty, including more than 1 in 7 kids.
    (U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey: Poverty, September 2015)
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Colorado kids may not always know when or where they will get their next meal.
    (Colorado Children’s Campaign, 2015 KIDS COUNT in Colorado!, March 2015)
  • More than 1 in 7 Colorado seniors struggle with hunger, often leading to choices between food and medication.
    (James Ziliak and Craig Gunderson, The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report, Prepared for the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, May 2015)
  • Among all Colorado children, those under the age of 6 are most likely to be in poverty. They also are most at risk of living in homes without enough food.
    (Colorado Children’s Campaign, 2014 KIDS COUNT Colorado!, March 2014; Colorado Children’s Campaign, 2011 KIDS COUNT Colorado!, 2011)
  • More than 1 in 4 working families in Colorado do not have enough food to meet their basic needs.
    (Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2011, September 2012)
  • About 23,500 veterans in Colorado live in households that participated in food stamps at some point during the past 12 months.
    (Center of Budget Policies and Priorities, SNAP Helps Roughly 1.7 Million Struggling Veterans, November 2014)
  • A Coloradan, on average, only receives $1.40 per meal or $4.20 per day in food stamp benefits, making it a challenge to put healthy food on the table for themselves and their family.
    (Based on USDA Food and Nutrition Service data: average SNAP benefits)
  • About 255,000 Coloradans, including 130,000 children, were lifted out of poverty due to food stamps between 2009 and 2013.
    (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Supplemental Poverty Measure data from the U.S. Census, 5 year estimates, November 2014)
  • Compared to other state participation rates, Colorado ranks 11th in school breakfast participation for low-income studentsi and 45th in SNAP/food stamp access for those eligibleii.
    (i Food Research and Action Center, School Breakfast Scorecard, February 2016; ii U.S. Department of Agriculture, Program Access Index 2014, February 2016)
  • While Coloradan participation has improved, statewide numbers still remain low in major nutrition assistance programs. For example, only about 3 in 5 of those eligible for SNAP/food stamps (59%) participate in the program that helps struggling families and individuals purchase groceries.
    (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Program Access Index 2014, January 2016)

 

IN THE UNITED STATES…

 

  • More than 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty and struggle with hunger. That’s more than 46 million people.
    (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Household Food Security in the United States in 2014, September 2015; Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014, September 2015)
  • More than 1 in 5 children live in poverty and face times when they may not know when or where they will get their next meal. That’s nearly 15 million kids under the age of 18.
    (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Household Food Security in the United States in 2013, September 2014; Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013, September 2014)
  • It’s estimated that food stamps helped lift 4.7 million people above the federal poverty line in 2014.
    (Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014, September 2015)

 

 What Can You Do?

Find out what we do, access our fact sheets and reports, and sign up for our email updates. If you want to be a part of the solution, join the Hunger P.O.D. Squad today!

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Colorado Hunger & Poverty Facts