Report finds hunger issues most prevalent in south Golden

Disconnect between grocery stores and hungriest residents

Staff Report
Posted 2/17/20

The section of Golden where residents are at the greatest risk of food insecurity also has some of the lowest access to both resources like food banks and grocery stores, a survey study conducted by …

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Report finds hunger issues most prevalent in south Golden

Disconnect between grocery stores and hungriest residents

Posted

The section of Golden where residents are at the greatest risk of food insecurity also has some of the lowest access to both resources like food banks and grocery stores, a survey study conducted by the Hunger Free Golden Community Collaborative in 2018 determined.

That was one of the primary findings from a report produced last year based on the survey that was presented by Hunger Free Golden chair Bethany Thomas to the Golden City Council on Feb. 12.

The survey, based on responses from more than 200 city residents, found that residents whose socioeconomic status places them at the greatest risk of food insecurity are concentrated in the southern section of Golden. While the survey also found resources and grocery stores, including those that accept SNAP benefits, are concentrated in the southern and northern portions of Golden.

“You'll see a lot of these food outlets are not close geographically to the highest need in the south part of the city,” Thomas said. “That area is technically considered a food desert.”

Thomas also noted that neither RTD or Flex transportation routes serve that southern area with the highest risk.

Those findings were also echoed by a portion of the survey that found that also determined residents experiencing food worry (worry that they will run out of food before they have money to buy more) and food insecurity (food not lasting before they could buy more) are most heavily concentrated in southern neighborhoods.

The highest percentage of respondents who experienced food insecurity (28%) and food shortage (23%) live around Golden Ridge while the second highest percentage of respondents who experienced food worry live around the Jeffco Fairgrounds. On the other end of the spectrum are the areas around downtown and Golden High School where 12% or less of respondents reported experiencing food insecurity and shortage.

Thomas also presented several key learnings that came out of the assessment. Among them were, the existence of a need for more awareness and use of community resources that exist to address hunger; The existence of a connectivity gap that shows hunger insecure residents have trouble “getting where they need to be to access food"; Low enrollment in SNAP among those that are eligible (Golden's enrollment rate is lower than the county, state or national rate for those that are eligible); The existence of a positive sense of community and strong partnerships among groups working to address hunger in Golden; and the existence of hunger on the School of Mines campus

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