Food Access and Security

Focus Area: Reimagine Systems
Picture of green vegetables growing in a garden

The Colorado Health Foundation believes all Coloradans should have dignified and dependable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. Five years ago, we made an important commitment to supporting an aspirational five-year plan that has – through tremendous partnerships – resulted in Colorado’s Blueprint to End Hunger. As our five-year commitment draws to a close in 2024, we look forward to seeing sustained and continued change around this critical issue in Colorado, particularly given the community voice and power that is present in this space now more than ever before.

We envision a Colorado where individuals most impacted by food insecurity have the power to shape the food system and supports in ways that work for them.

Why It Matters

Access to food is fundamental to health. Coloradans experiencing food insecurity are more likely to report poor general and mental health when compared to food-secure Coloradans. 

According to the 2023 Pulse Poll, 43% of Coloradans agree that hunger is an “extremely” or “very serious” problem facing our state. More than one-third of Coloradans are worried about affording food. And food insecurity is inherently inequitable: Coloradans of color and those living on low incomes express this concern disproportionately.

One challenge in resolving this issue is that food assistance programs that aren’t developed by the communities they serve often lack cultural and linguistic responsiveness. Too often, community members aren’t consulted about the types of food they can access, when and where food is available and how food distribution is managed. As a result, these programs are often underused.

How We Will Reach Our Vision

Our pathway to getting to a Colorado where everyone has access to the nutritious food they need includes:

  • Strategic funding and support of a racially just network of food security collaborators
  • Support advocacy and program efforts to reshape public food access programs
  • Strategic investments in fresh-food businesses that are led by and support communities of color


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