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Human rights advocates applaud Biden's policy to reunite immigrant children separated from parents; pivotal SCOTUS arguments today on Voting Rights Act.


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President Biden meets with Mexican President Lopez Obrador; DHS Secretary Mayorkas says separated immigrant families may be able to stay in U.S.; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces legislation for a wealth tax.

CO Food Pantries Must Apply for Special Grants by Sunday

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Fifty-four million Americans are projected to lack reliable access to nutritious food because of economic fallout from COVID-19 by year's end. (Pixabay)
Fifty-four million Americans are projected to lack reliable access to nutritious food because of economic fallout from COVID-19 by year's end. (Pixabay)
December 16, 2020

DENVER -- The Colorado Legislature has allocated an additional $5 million to help address an unprecedented rise in hunger across the state as part of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The state's food pantries and food banks have until this Sunday to apply for grants.

Jason Harrison, community food systems manager for Hunger Free Colorado, said calls to their confidential food-resource hotline have more than tripled since the onset of the public-health crisis.

"Almost one in three people in Colorado is facing some form of food insecurity or hunger," he said. "We've seen up to 10 times the amount of clients in communities accessing food-pantry services right now."

Forty-five percent of those facing hunger in Colorado are families with children, and communities of color and people with disabilities have been affected disproportionately. Food banks and pantries can apply for grant money through the Colorado Department of Human Services. Harrison said help with the application process is available by calling (303) 228-7983.

Federal food relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture comes to an end this month, and unless Congress passes additional relief, Colorado is expected to lose an estimated $6 million a month in food resources. Harrison said Coloradans don't have to wait to help pantries meet the increased demand.

"For folks who are in a better position right now during this pandemic," he said, "there is immediate needs in volunteering, immediate needs for donations, but there are also opportunities to engage long term."

The Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program passed with strong bipartisan support in a special session, and should help at least 150 food pantries and Colorado's five food banks. In addition to direct food purchasing, grant recipients can use up to 20% of their award to cover food distribution costs, including transportation, home delivery, refrigeration and staffing.

Disclosure: Hunger Free Colorado contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO