Catching up on Front Range Rally and what the Food Bank for Larimer County does for our community? Here’s the general rundown on what they do, what they provide for kids, and seniors. Now we’re going to delve into some more realities that some people don’t consider – like how the food bank isn’t primarily supporting our homeless community, but mostly working poor families.
As I’ve mentioned in the other posts, 14% of Larimer County residents live at or below the Federal Poverty guideline leaving 42,880 people in our community food insecure.
The Food Bank for Larimer County has experienced a 50% increase in visits to their Food Share pantries since the Great Recession started in 2008. Over the last 8 months, in particular, they’ve seen record numbers of households visiting the Food Share Program where they are providing food for up to 2,000 individuals per day.
The need in Larimer County is being driven by wages that have not kept up with the increasing cost of living. Monthly rents in the Fort Collins/Loveland area increased 41% between 2011 and 2016 to an average $1,273 per month. For families with children, local childcare costs are among the highest in Colorado, which ranks 7th in the United States for most expensive infant care. Additionally, more than 1 in 10 jobs pay less than $11.30 per hour.
The Food Bank for Larimer County isn’t a service for our homeless community, they are serving a large number of friends, family, and neighbors who are working and still need assistance to feed themselves and their children.
49% of food insecure people are working. Today, millions of Americans belong to working poor families. That is, they live below 100 percent of the poverty threshold despite having at least one family member who works. Although these individuals and families strive to secure adequate income, many are often unable to meet their own most basic needs, let alone find the time, transportation, education, and other resources needed to improve their situation. As a result of their severely limited incomes, each day tens of thousands of our citizens must choose between spending their limited resources on food or paying their utilities, rent or mortgage, or needed medical care and medicine.
76% report choosing between paying for food and pay for utilities. 40% of these households are making the choice every month.
67% report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation. 39% of these households are making the choice every month.
79% report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care. 38% of these households are making the choice every month.
54% report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing. 33% of these households are making the choice every month.
We often hear the critics of the working poor say that minimum wage isn’t meant to be a long-term option for workers and that continuing education will solve their problems.
A recent study found 10-15% of students at Colorado State University are living with food insecurity, meaning they likely do not know where their next meal will come from.
39% report choosing between paying for food and paying for school loans, tuition or other educational expenses. 31% are making the choice every month.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, having to travel more than three miles can be a barrier to food access, especially for students who responded in the study that it’s hard to admit the need for food. The Food Bank helps to overcome this hurdle by bringing the Mobile Pantry to campus to increase access to food for students living in hunger.
While these numbers and realities in our community are daunting, the Food Bank does an excellent job of providing ways to help volunteer, donate, and support their efforts. This is precisely why you should buy tickets to the Front Range Rally. Not only is it a fun way to spend your time drinking unlimited beer and spirits, while eating from various food trucks, 100% of the proceeds goes to the food bank. Thanks to their sponsors, every ticket sold (GA) provides $200 worth of food to a neighbor needing assistance.
This year we’re doing something different on Feasting Fort Collins. As one of their media sponsors helping them to sell more tickets, readers will have an exclusive promo code. This is intended to not only get you there for the fun, but to get YOUR help in bringing your friends and family to the event too!
When you go to purchase your tickets, use the code : FEASTINGFOCO
It will unlock a 4 pack of GA tickets for $120, which is usually priced at $160.
I have six General Admission tickets to giveaway too! Get your entries through this giveaway widget by following me on Experience Fort Collins and Choose Your Own Fort Collins on facebook and Twitter! The winners will be chosen on Thursday night and I will be dropping the tickets off to the winners on Friday.
The more people that go to this event, the more people the food bank will be able to help our neighbors in our community.
Where: Loveland Food Share, 2600 N. Lincoln, Loveland, CO
When: 2:30 – 7 PM on Saturday, May 20th, 2017
Tickets: FrontRangeRally.org. Ticket includes admission to festival grounds, food trucks, live music, and UNLIMITED beer sampling. (Food is sold separately.)