Attorney General’s Office provides $3 million to food access and diaper programs to meet critical need statewide
Nov. 16, 2023 (DENVER) — Attorney General Phil Weiser announced today that the Colorado Department of Law will provide $3 million in funding to local food banks, food pantries, and diaper programs that Coloradans rely on for food and other basic necessities. Weiser made the announcement at We Don’t Waste, an organization that addresses hunger in the Denver area, in partnership with WeeCycle.
Through an interagency agreement, the Colorado Department of Law will transfer $2.5 million to the Colorado Department of Human Services to provide additional funding to their existing network, with $2 million directed to statewide food bank and pantry partners, and $500,000 to diaper programs. For the remaining $500,000, grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to 10 organizations focusing on areas with limited food access or targeting the barriers populations face in accessing food.
“As we head into the holidays, it is an important time to remember the critical role that local food banks, food pantries, and diaper programs provide to those less fortunate year-round,” said Weiser. “Our office is proud that we can help fund and support the good work of these organizations to help address food insecurity and other essential needs of Colorado families.”
We Don’t Waste works to reduce hunger and food waste in the Denver area by recovering quality, unused food from the food industry and delivering it to nonprofit partners, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools, and daycare programs. In addition, the organization’s mobile food markets target Denver food deserts to provide fresh, nutritious foods to those communities.
“We have recently seen a tremendous increase in need for food access in our community and with our food recipient agency partners. Our mobile food markets alone have seen a 65% increase in attendance in the last few months,” explained Arlan Preblud, founder of We Don’t Waste. “Our team is so grateful for the support from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office as it will allow us to continue to improve our services to meet this growing need and provide good food to more Coloradans than ever before. There is so much potential to recover more food and feed more people.”
Benefiting from the funds dedicated to diaper programs and often partnering with We Don’t Waste at its mobile food markets, WeeCycle distributes diapers, wipes, and other essentials, as well as new and gently used baby gear to families in need.
“WeeCycle is so grateful for this additional investment that is being made into food programs and diaper banks at a time when the need is so great. So far this year, WeeCycle has distributed nearly a half a million infant and toddler-specific meals of baby food and formula and over 5.1 million diapers. While these may seem like large numbers, we are only scratching the surface of the need that exists in our state,” said Morgan Seibel, executive director of WeeCycle.
The $3 million in funding is from a settlement Weiser reached with Walmart in July over the company’s failure to ensure the price customers paid for its products matched the price listed on the shelf. In 2022, Walmart’s pricing system repeatedly failed to pass price inspections from state agriculture department officials, prompting the action by the attorney general’s office.
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