We talk a lot about how many people in our community are at risk of experiencing food insecurity. But what is food insecurity, and why is it such a huge problem? While it might seem like those are obvious questions with clear answers, the truth is a lot more complex.
Food insecurity is a vast and complicated public health issue that negatively impacts the lives of over half a million people in Colorado and 10% of the population in Wyoming. It is linked to numerous negative mental and physical health outcomes and disproportionately affects lower-income households thereby reinforcing and exacerbating existing disparities in quality of life for historically marginalized communities.
Food banks, food pantries, and other hunger-relief organizations act as a first line of defense against food insecurity, and in the first half of 2023, we’ve seen an increase in neighbors needing our services. The reasons for this are as varied as the causes of food insecurity, but include: