One Colorado’s Pueblo team has been working towards food equity in our community, and we are excited to share some information about how you can impact food access this election season. You may have heard about Prop FF or “Healthy Schools Meals for All Colorado Kids,” which is a ballot measure that you can vote on this year. You may also be wondering how this affects you. Keep reading!

42% of LGBTQ+ Coloradans don’t regularly have access to nutritious food

Did you know that 42% of LGBTQ+ Coloradans don’t regularly have access to nutritious food? That data is from before the pandemic, so it’s very likely that even more folks have been impacted since. Having access to nutritious, culturally relevant, yummy food is central to our ability to live happy, healthy lives. We have heard from our community in Southern Colorado that “there is a lot of stigma that goes into food access,” for LGBTQ+ folks and non-LGBTQ+ folks. We know that LGBTQ+ folks face additional barriers to accessing food than the general public and are less likely to be enrolled in food assistance programs such as SNAP if they are eligible. This data shows the need to decrease barriers to accessing food so we can be healthier humans and have healthier communities for ourselves and our loved ones.

Temporary pandemic resources 

During the pandemic, new resources were available that made accessing food a little bit easier. For example, temporary pandemic aid made school meals free to all students. When this was in place, Colorado school districts saw a 20 – 40% increase in students participating in school meal programs. With this resource expired, more than 60,000 Colorado kids who can’t afford meals but don’t qualify for free or reduced-price meals are left without support. When young folks aren’t getting enough food or nutrients, it can impact their academic performance and more importantly, their mental and physical health. We want the young folks in our communities to face as few barriers as possible so they can thrive!

Free, nutritious, locally-sourced school meals 

Prop FF would provide free, nutritious school meals for all Colorado kids. Public schools would be fully reimbursed for providing breakfast and lunch to all students who need them. Where would the food come from? Colorado! Prop FF would provide the opportunity for schools to participate in local procurement programs to buy food from Colorado farmers and ranchers to make healthy school meals. This would strengthen Colorado’s food systems, the economy, and the health of young folks! The funding for Prop FF comes from limiting state income tax deductions for the top 5% of Colorado income earners- people who make $300,000+ per year. If you make less than that, your taxes will not be affected by Prop FF. 

If you’re looking for more information about Prop FF, check out this informational PDF from our partners at Hunger Free Colorado.