Ensuring Colorado kids and families have access to ample amounts of healthy food
Kids need plenty of fresh, nutritious foods to support their growing bodies and brains. When kids fail to get enough food—or enough of the right kinds of food—their physical and cognitive development suffers. Children need access to healthy foods wherever they go–at home, in child care settings, and at school.
In Colorado, approximately 159,000 children (13 percent) live in food insecure households. Food insecurity is linked to obesity because it encourages overeating and low-cost foods tend to be highly processed and less healthy. Young children are particularly impacted by food insecurity given the rapid pace of development during the early years of life, but research shows that older kids feel the detrimental effects of hunger as well, and that it can impact their behavior in school, academic success and their mental health.
The Children’s Campaign works with partners and community members to pursue policy changes at the federal, state and local levels that increase access to healthy foods and reduce food insecurity for all children.
Recent Policy Successes
House Bill 19-1171, Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act, eliminates the lunch co-pay for high school students eligible for reduced-price lunch. With this change, Colorado no longer charges reduced-price lunch copays in public schools.
Colorado regulatory SNAP expansion The Colorado State Board of Human Services approved several changes to Colorado’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) to make the program more efficient and effective, including increasing the gross income eligibility threshold from 185 percent of FPL to 200 percent.
2015 update to child care regulation This rules update limited screen time for children and improved access to healthy foods and beverages for children in childcare.