“There are vulnerable people we know and interact with in our daily lives who are missing meals because they can’t afford food.
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) October 06, 2011
Today, more than 900,000 people in Colorado, including more than 25 percent of working families, do not have enough food to meet their basic needs. Hunger Free Colorado is working to raise awareness about this sobering reality in Denver and communities across Colorado with its “Hungry for Change” campaign, asking Coloradans to fill 10,000 plates with messages about fixing the hunger problem in the state.
After an official launch among the state’s anti-hunger organizations at the Hunger Free Summit in Denver on October 5, 2011, the “Hungry for Change” campaign will move into schools, places of worship, grocery stores, major sporting events, art galleries, youth groups and civic organizations in diverse settings across urban, suburban and rural Colorado over the next six months. Leveraging the support of hundreds of frontline workers in the battle to end hunger, including food bank staff, anti-hunger advocates, healthcare workers, non-profit personnel and public sector employees, the campaign will engage Coloradans of all ages to stand up against hunger and sign a plate to express their support of alleviating hunger in the state.
The hunger problem in Colorado has worsened dramatically in the last few years. According to Kids Count Colorado2011, just six years ago only 5 percent of working families were not making ends meet. In just two years, the number of working families in Colorado receiving food stamps has increased by 26 percent according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most strikingly, the largest population of people who are hungry in Colorado are children between the ages of 0 and 5.
“From now until March, we’re taking our campaign to the streets of our cities and towns to engage our community in rallying behind this issue,” said Kathy Underhill, Executive Director of Hunger Free Colorado. “Too often people associate hunger with poverty in developing countries, but it’s right here in our communities,” she said. “There are vulnerable people we know and interact with in our daily lives who are missing meals because they can’t afford food. This public awareness campaign is designed to shine a bright light on this issue to help make necessary changes to how we deal with the issue of hunger in our state.”
That’s where 10,000 plates come in. “Every plate is a symbol for change,” said Underhill. “Each plate signifies a person who can be part of the solution.” The plates will be used to create an art installation to raise awareness about hunger in Colorado, and show the widespread support for ending hunger in Colorado.
By visiting http://www.hungerfreecolorado.org, individuals or organizations that want to take a stand against hunger can download paper plates and host a plate drive in their communities. On the plates, people are asked to write their ideas for ending hunger, their feelings about hunger or just draw a picture about hunger—whatever they choose.
“By leveraging the power of the system, policy and social change, we hope to educate, advocate and mobilize Coloradans to take an active stance against hunger in our communities and to ensure that no Coloradan goes hungry,” added Underhill.
In addition to partnering with the Governor’s office and Share our Strength to launch the No Kid Hungry Colorado, Hunger Free Colorado has spearheaded multiple awareness campaigns to help families have better access to food services. It recently launched the Hunger Free Hotline to help Coloradans navigate the food services system and raise awareness about available resources such as the Food Assistance Program (known nationally as SNAP). The Sprout Clinic, a partnership with Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, focuses on the needs of children 0-3, and Hunger Free Colorado works closely with schools on breakfast and lunch programs as well as summer lunch programs across the state.
For more information about its programs or the Hunger Free Colorado Summit, visit http://www.hungerfreecolorado.org or call Public Affairs and Development Manager, Katherine Moos at (720) 328-1284.
About Hunger Free Colorado
Hunger Free Colorado is the state’s leading anti-hunger organization dedicated to ensuring that all Coloradans have sustainable access to nutritious, affordable food. The organization works with other nonprofit organizations to expand access to the programs that help everyone get the nutrition they need by identifying unnecessary gaps and barriers that prevent food access to Coloradans at risk of hunger.