FEEDING STUDENTS IN SUMMIT AND LAKE COUNTIES, COLORADO
Smart Bellies is working to reduce childhood hunger and increase access to healthy food options on the weekends. We deliver weekly bags with breakfast, lunches and snacks for the kids, produce for the whole family, and monthly snacks to our local schools. And we have a ton of fun doing it!
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Our impact is your impact - a reflection of our community and the belief that every kid deserves reliable access to food.
Smart Bellies currently feeds more than 700 bellies every week in Summit & Lake County. Last year alone, Smart Bellies provided 29,990 weekend bags, 9,708 produce bags, and 71,250 snacks for classrooms.
The number of weekend bags Smart Bellies provides is up 46% - even since the height of the pandemic.
Why this increase? There are many factors as food insecurity is a complex issue, but currently the increase in inflation has had an impact on all our lives - especially since food and oil prices have increased substantially. Low-income families tend to have to spend a larger portion of their budget on these items and therefore are disproportionately impacted by the increases in these goods. We know we cannot tackle all these inequities, but we are determined to help provide children and families with a reliable source of nutritious food. We are also committed to ensuring the ease of access to this food - removing as many barriers and obstacles as possible.
So while we do not celebrate the increase in food insecurity, we do certainly want to give a cheer to our community that continues to show up to help each other and keep bellies full.
1 in 3 Summit County children are enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.
(Colorado Department of Education,
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than
18 million children may face hunger in 2020. Hunger knows no boundaries.
(Feeding America, feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america)
A Coloradan, on average, only receives about $1.39 per meal in food stamp benefits, making it a challenge to put healthy food on the table for themselves and their family.
(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Colorado Food Assistance Program fact sheet, March 2018)