Jeffco Weekend Food Helps Chronic Childhood Hunger

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Harvest Mountain Ministries is one provider in Jefferson County helping to reduce chronic childhood hunger

When a child does not have access to regular meals and is uncertain of when they may eat again they are experiencing the epidemic known as “chronic childhood hunger.” Families that cannot afford food or do not have regular access to food are considered “food insecure.”

The number of children living in households that were food insecure at some point during the year has grown 61 percent in Colorado since 2001-2003, to approximately 234,000 children by 2006- 2008, or 20 percent of all Colorado kids. This percentage has recently surpassed the national rate of 19 percent.Kids experiencing chronic hunger may not only suffer from poor health, they can also be denied the opportunity to reach their academic, athletic and social potential. Chronically hungry students may have the following issues in the classroom:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Lethargy or general fatigue
  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Disciplinary problems
  • Increased aggression

Recent studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that the effects of chronic childhood hunger can last a lifetime. Not knowing when they may have another meal can cause both anxiety and depression.

Hunger and Poverty in our Community

Hunger and poverty go hand in hand, which is why it is useful to use poverty statistics as a base for hunger statistics.

Chronic childhood hunger exists both above and below the poverty line, as the Federal guidelines for poverty are considered out of date.

  • To be considered 100% of poverty, a family of four must earn less than $23,050 per year.
  • To be eligible for reduced lunch, a family must be at 130% of the federal poverty line or earn less than $40,793 per year.
  • To be eligible for free lunch, a family must earn less than 185% of the federal poverty line or $28,665 per year.

In Colorado, 17% of kids live in poverty

The number of children in poverty has more than doubled since 2000 and the number of children living in extreme poverty (approximately $11,000 for a family of four) has increased 150 percent.

While the childhood poverty rate in Colorado currently remains below the national average, between 2000 and 2009 the number of children living in poverty in Colorado more than doubled, rising faster than any other state in the nation.

School Meal Programs

In Colorado, there has been a steady increase in the number of children participating in the School Breakfast Program. The U.S. increased four percent in the number of children served by the free breakfast program since 2008, while the number of Colorado children increased more than twice as fast with a nine percent increase over the same period.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 54,000 additional children participated in the National School Lunch Program in Colorado in 2009 than in 2005.

In Jefferson County, there are over 27,000 children who are eligible for free and or reduced lunch programs. Here in Golden, there are over 1,100 children eligible.

+Data compiled from the Kids Count Colorado 2011 Report

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Volunteers needed to pack and deliver 450 summer food totes – June 2-July 14

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Current Sign-up Sheets

No sheets currently available at this time.

`    We are pleased to announce our ability to partner with Jeffco Public Schools – Community and Family Connections team, Rebecca Dunn, MSW.  Summer is the time the 3500 homeless and at risk for hunger children most need extra help to not be hungry.

We will be supporting the JSEL program that provides FREE to all eligible families reading and writing help for kindergarten, first, second and third grade.  The sites we will bring weekly weekend food totes to are :  Allendale Elementary Arvada, Arvada K-8,Edgewater Elementary, Lumberg Elementary, Emory Elementary, Glennon Heights Elementary, Swanson Elementary and Stevens Elementary Arvada.

This program is from June 5 to July 14.  We will serve the children by providing seven to nine food items that are healthy.  Harvest Mountain Ministries is a program providers with the Food Bank of the Rockies.

We need volunteers to pack and deliver. We need donations to support our work in the summer and for the fall school year. Cost for a tote each week is estimated at $4.  Donate button is available on our website.  We are a Non Profit :  Ein Number: 46-5313137.

We are also proud to announce we are serving the Kids Smart Program, Director Corrine. Kids-SmART, Inc. is a company founded on the vision that every child deserves the opportunity to grow and thrive in a safe and nurturing environment. They deserve an environment where they are encouraged to discover themselves and are able to develop to their full potential. Kids-SmART also believes in a holistic approach where we feel open communication is important between the Kids-SmART staff, the child’s parents, their teachers, and the school administration to ensure the common goal of each child’s success in their educational growth. Kids-SmART provides these first-rate programs at a fee that is extremely affordable, and offers various discounts and payment programs for those who cannot otherwise afford it.

We are serving children with a weekend food tote at Glennon Heights, Edgewater Elementary, Mountain Phoenix, and Emory Elementary.

We will also help Eiber neighborhood with totes available at community dinners on every other Wednesday night and a summer breakfast program on Wednesdays at 8 to 9.  St Paul’s church is the location and is also our office headquarters.  Address is 9200 W 10th Avenue Lakewood – Phone is 303 233 4991.

 

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Would you consider Volunteering ?

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Our new office space is located on the lower floor of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lakewood.  If you would like to help occasionally with Volunteers group please email us at : harvestmountainministries@gmail.com 

As Program Managers for Totes of Hope [R] Food Bank of the Rockies we are providing hungry children with weekend food at four schools in Jefferson County. Three Title One Elementary Schools and one Title One High School and Junior High.  

We need volunteers to support this work :

  1.  People to go to Food Bank of Rockies on Friday mornings to pick up our order for week – this will take about two hours and you will need a pick up truck or large SUV
  2. People to help pack the totes or sacks which contain 7 to 9 lbs of food for a student for the weekend.
  3. People to deliver food in afternoon on Thursday or Friday at appx.  2 to 4 pm.  A regular vehicle will be able to load food crates for one delivery.
  4. People to help prepare office for repainting and painting.
  5. Events for fund raising will occur monthly. If you are like to help do community events we would love to talk with you.
  6. We need two person teams to host tables at a variety of retail establishments and farmers markets to share with people about our work and perhaps donate their time or talent.
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Weekend Food Needs for our school Children met through – Totes for Hope

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For half a year, we have been having meetings to help develop a program and volunteer team and funding for weekend food needs for the students at Eiber Elementary that are food insecure. That is a fancy term for HUNGRY.  The public school system has a federal nutrition program and Title One schools who have a majority of students on free and reduced lunch meet part of the food security needs of these school children.

Children can have a school breakfast, a school lunch, an after school snack and summer food service, but weekends are not covered under any government program by the federal agencies.

Reaching children during out of school times in regards to nutrition needs do not fit into the on site model of being at school.

I like to keep a heart mind set of not blaming but hoping that together one by one we can as community members get to help one another.

Totes of Hope®

Totes of Hope® was created in 2006 to assist children with nutritious, kid-friendly food to sustain them over the weekend when school is not in session. Every Friday, children take home a tote filled with 8-9 pounds of nutritious food items to feed them and their families. For many of these children, the totes are their main source of food on Saturday and Sunday. There is no fee assessed to the member agency for participation in this program.

 

Here are some statistics:

When a child does not have access to regular meals and is uncertain of when they may eat again they are experiencing the epidemic known as “chronic childhood hunger.” Families that cannot afford food or do not have regular access to food are considered “food insecure.”

The number of children living in households that were food insecure at some point during the year has grown 61 percent in Colorado since 2001-2003, to approximately 234,000 children by 2006- 2008, or 20 percent of all Colorado kids. This percentage has recently surpassed the national rate of 19 percent.Kids experiencing chronic hunger may not only suffer from poor health, they can also be denied the opportunity to reach their academic, athletic and social potential. Chronically hungry students may have the following issues in the classroom:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Lethargy or general fatigue
  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Disciplinary problems
  • Increased aggression

Recent studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that the effects of chronic childhood hunger can last a lifetime. Not knowing when they may have another meal can cause both anxiety and depression.

Hunger and Poverty in our Community

Hunger and poverty go hand in hand, which is why it is useful to use poverty statistics as a base for hunger statistics.

Chronic childhood hunger exists both above and below the poverty line, as the Federal guidelines for poverty are considered out of date.

  • To be considered 100% of poverty, a family of four must earn less than $23,050 per year.
  • To be eligible for reduced lunch, a family must be at 130% of the federal poverty line or earn less than $40,793 per year.
  • To be eligible for free lunch, a family must earn less than 185% of the federal poverty line or $28,665 per year.

In Colorado, 17% of kids live in poverty

The number of children in poverty has more than doubled since 2000 and the number of children living in extreme poverty (approximately $11,000 for a family of four) has increased 150 percent.

While the childhood poverty rate in Colorado currently remains below the national average, between 2000 and 2009 the number of children living in poverty in Colorado more than doubled, rising faster than any other state in the nation.

School Meal Programs

In Colorado, there has been a steady increase in the number of children participating in the School Breakfast Program. The U.S. increased four percent in the number of children served by the free breakfast program since 2008, while the number of Colorado children increased more than twice as fast with a nine percent increase over the same period.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 54,000 additional children participated in the National School Lunch Program in Colorado in 2009 than in 2005.

In Jefferson County, there are over 27,000 children who are eligible for free and or reduced lunch programs. Here in Golden, there are over 1,100 children eligible.

+Data compiled from the Kids Count Colorado 2011 Report

 

 about FOOD WASTE

Farmer in Chief a NY Times article by Michael Pollan
American Wasteland by Jonathan Bloom
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
WASTE: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal by Tristram Stuart
The Lorax by Dr. Suess225_dive.jpg

 

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