Food insecurity has remained a stubborn problem in Colorado and across our country despite the efforts made to eradicate hunger over the last 50 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse. According to a Hunger Free Colorado survey completed this December, almost two in five (38 percent) Coloradans are food insecure and lack reliable access to nutritious food.
In conversations with local food pantries throughout the past year, I repeatedly heard stories about the increased demand for food. What makes food insecurity even more problematic is nearly 40 percent of all food produced in America is wasted while millions of Americans struggle to access food. The business community must take action to ensure all people are able to access quality food and fresh fruits and vegetables.
There are many local organizations working tirelessly to be there for people in need. Delta Dental of Colorado partnered with Metro Caring to provide nutritious and healthy food to the community. In February, DDCO organized food for Metro Caring’s drive-up food distribution, and we held two virtual food drives. We are proud of this partnership and of Metro Caring’s commitment to addressing the root cause of food insecurity, poverty.
How can Colorado businesses help drive out hunger in its residents?
There are many different ways for businesses to play a role in stamping out food insecurity. Contributing to food drives or participating in advocacy and policy activities can involve employees at every level of the organization. Additionally, we should all examine our own contributions to food waste. There are many organizations such as We Don’t Waste, Denver Food Rescue, and Metro Caring, who do address that issue. The problem of hunger is one that we can solve, but we all must step up and play a role.