Childhood hunger campaign celebrates success in Colorado

Courtesy of Boulder Valley School District
A lunch at Superior Elementary School.
Photo: School Lunch
Lunch at Superior Elementary School

on Friday celebrated the progress of a five-year-long effort to end childhood hunger in Colorado.

Officials report big increases in summer meals, after school snacks and meals and school breakfasts. Summer meals alone jumped to 1.5 million last year, an increase of 95 percent since 2009 when then-Gov. Bill Ritter started the campaign.

"It’s huge. The numbers are nothing short of miraculous to me," said Kathy Underhill, with Hunger Free Colorado, one of the campaign’s partners.

The campaign has enrolled more eligible families in the federal food stamp program, Underhill said. That will continue to be a big goal, she said, as will retaining the gains made in school meals.

"You can have the best teachers in the best classrooms with the best training and technology and if they’re standing in front of a group of hungry kids you’re simply not going to get the return on investment we’re all looking for," said Underhill.