DHS looks to "SNAP" hunger

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The holiday season usually means more demand on food banks, but Starlene Collins, of Food Bank of the Rockies, says hunger is a problem year round.

"It is amazing how quickly food goes in and out of this warehouse. Hunger knows no season. It's something that we deal with all year long," Collins said.

This year they are doing a little extra, trying to expand their reach.

"We are also doing something new this year, we are distributing at some of the schools," Collins said.

Many District 51 students are part of free or reduced lunches.

"The children can stop by and get some fresh bread, and fresh produce," Collins said.

Senior citizens are also hit hard.

"They aren't going to get a raise, they aren't going to get a bonus, they're not going to get a tax refund. They have to figure out how to stretch whatever income they have," Collins said.

"I wouldn't say that its any one particular group, because hunger can affect anybody," said Economic Assistance Division Director at Mesa County Department of Human Services, Michelle Trujillo.

To fight hunger, the DHS wants to get more people enrolled in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The department says there could be around 350,000 people statewide who are eligible for food stamps, and aren't enrolled.

"We serve individuals, we serve families, we serve couples, and the full gamut of age ranges from infants to the elderly," Trujillo said.

They want people to know, there is no shame if you need SNAP.

"We are a stable, consistent source of help for those in need," Trujillo said.

For more info on SNAP, go here: fns.usda.gov/snap/apply

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