Don't go hungry: True North connects residents with food resources
Last updated 6/3/2020 at 5:42am
By Britney Robertson, Assistant Director Youth Leadership Training, True North Empowerment Services Inc.
As the country is trying to combat the novel coronavirus, it is no secret that residents are struggling in many ways. According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, unemployment filings statewide reached higher than 31,000 between May 3 and May 9. This unprecedented change has impacted families in countless ways, but one of its worst effects comes in the form of food insecurity. The Colorado Children’s Campaign found in 2019 that 1 in 8 children in our state do not know where their next meal will come from. According to The State of Senior Hunger in America, 1 in 30 older adults in Colorado have had to choose between groceries and medicine as of 2017 (James Ziliak and Craig Gunderson, The State of Senior Hunger in America, 2017).
Given the new circumstances, all these issues are surely not easier to deal with. So where do residents turn when their income may be taken away and food resources may seem difficult to navigate or are closed due to Covid-19? Local resident Carlos Gonzalez and his team asked themselves this when they were looking into summer hunger among local families.
What started as an initiative to ensure students in the Tri-Zip area (80925, 80817 and 80911), who do not get lunch benefits over the summer or have consistent access to food when school is not in session, became a goal to connect residents impacted by COVID-19 in any way with local food resources that they may not know about.
The volunteer staff at True North Empowerment Services, Inc. (501c3) are working closely with the staff at Connections 4 Life Center (C4L), a local agency that has been working to end hunger locally for the last 20 years. C4L is a local nonprofit (501c3) organization located in the Fountain Valley that aims to assist residents on an individual basis with food access, life skills, helping with employment opportunities, and support for military families. Each family’s situation is unique to them, and this is why the employees and volunteers at True North are using a personal approach to connect residents with local resources.
If you know anyone who could use assistance locating local food resources, please have them call 719-510-7364 or email [email protected]