Hunger Facts

Hunger Facts

Who Are The Hungry?

From the report ‘Hunger in America 2010 – Local Report prepared for Food Bank of the Rockies” by Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

  • 42% of the members of households served by FBR are children under 18 years old
  • 10% of the members of households served by FBR are children age 0 to 5 years
  • 5% of the members of households served by FBR are elderly
  • 43% of households include at least one employed adult
  • 71% have incomes below the official federal poverty level during the previous month
  • 49% report having to choose between paying for food or paying for utilities or heating fuel
  • 44% had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage bill
  • 36% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care
  • 25% of households served by FBR have at least one household member in poor health

Hunger and Poverty in the United States

1 in 7 people in Colorado are deemed food insecure, according to a 2011 USDA survey. Learn more about the USDA Food Insecurity in the U.S. study.

Hunger and Poverty in Colorado

  • 11.2% of people in Colorado live in poverty. (quickfact.census.gov)
  • 13% of Colorado children live in poverty. (nccp.org)
  • 1 in 7 households in Colorado are food insecure, or food insecure with hunger (USDA – 2011)
  • The number of children living in poverty has increased 85 percent since 2000, with more than 192,000 children living at or below the poverty level. (coloradokids.org – 2009)
  • Poverty in Colorado has increased since 2001. The total poverty rate in Colorado increased from 9.6% in 2001 to 11.4% in 2008. Furthermore, Colorado’s child poverty rate increased from 12.2% in 2001 to 15.1% in 2008, and the family poverty rate increased from 6.8% in 2001 to 7.8% in 2008. As we examine the 2008 figures for poverty in Colorado, we should be mindful of the fact that while Colorado is arguably worse off than in was in 2001, the worst has yet to be seen in the data.
  • A 2009 Point-in-Time count conducted by the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative found that families comprise nearly half of the homeless population.
  • 8.5% of Colorado seniors live in poverty.

Housing Issues in Colorado

In Colorado, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $857. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $2,856 monthly or $34,277 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $16.48.

In Colorado, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $7.28. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 91 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, a household must include 2.3 minimum wage earner(s) working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two bedroom FMR affordable.
In Colorado, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $15.08 an hour. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 44 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.1 worker(s) earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

Monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for an individual are $674 in Colorado. If SSI represents an individual’s sole source of income, $202 in monthly rent is affordable, while the FMR for a one-bedroom is $684.

Data above from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2009 data. A unit is considered affordable if it costs no more than 30% of the renter’s income.