Food Insecurity is Particularly Devastating for Children

Not having enough healthy food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement, and future economic prosperity. Research shows an association between food insecurity and delayed development in young children; risk of chronic illnesses like asthma and anemia; and behavioral problems.

Food insecurity is a symptom of historical and structural oppression, not individual weakness. It does not exist in a vacuum: people who face challenges accessing enough food also face challenges affording adequate housing, healthcare, transportation, and other basic needs. Food insecurity is a complex issue that will not be solved with a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, effective solutions to food insecurity should be informed by a deep understanding of individuals and families experiencing food insecurity and where they live.

Effects and Impacts of Childhood Hunger

Household food insecurity impedes children from reaching their full physical, cognitive, and psychosocial potential. Some common effects include:

  1. Poor academic performance: Children who experience food insecurity are more likely to have trouble focusing and learning in school. Longitudinal data suggest children’s learning outcomes suffer when they regularly experience hunger and that nearly every aspect of physical and mental function is hurt as well. Food insecurity affects concentration, memory, mood, and motor skills, all of which a child needs to be able to be successful in school.

    Research also revealed the negative impacts of hunger on children’s social-emotional skills and approach to learning. In many cases, a child who enters kindergarten developmentally behind their peers will struggle to catch up, which affects their academic performance for years to come.

  2. Increased health problems: Kids who don’t get enough food to eat face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma.

    Compared to rates had they not been food insecure, children in a food-insecure household had rates of lifetime asthma diagnosis and depressive symptoms that were 19.1% and 27.9% higher, rates of foregone medical care that were 179.8% higher, and rates of emergency department use that were 25.9% higher.

  3. Developmental differences: Chronic hunger negatively impacts children’s development both physically and cognitively. Hunger can change how a child’s brain and body grow and affect their thinking, learning, and behavior. Children experiencing hunger at home had lower scores in vocabulary and word recognition.

    Chronically hungry kids are more likely to present with hyperactivity, anxiety, and aggression than their peers are.

Current Trends

The United States’ response to the economic downturn that began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic was to expand federal and local support programs, and for a period of two years (2020-2022) food insecurity levels were stable or declined. As pandemic programs ended and prices for household expenses (including food) rose, food insecurity levels have also risen.

The USDA reports that 18.5% (1 in 5) of children in the U.S. may experience food insecurity. Sadly, additional research links food insecurity and poor child health and behavioral outcomes at every age. The graph below shows the trends in food insecurity levels among all individuals and children from 2006 through 2022. Child food insecurity also exists in every community, and rates reach nearly 50% in some counties.

Stigmas Children Face When they Experience Food Insecurity

We know that school-based nutrition options, including the option to eat breakfast at school, translate into better academic achievement for students. Unfortunately, some children might feel social pressure from their peers that prevents them from taking advantage of the free or reduced-price meals available at school. For many children and teens, it can feel embarrassing to receive free or discounted meals; it can also be difficult not to be able to pay lunch fees or purchase “extras” that their friends enjoy. This issue can prevent solutions from being as effective as possible – but luckily, efforts are being made to change this.

Colorado’s ‘Healthy Meals for All’ Bill

Passed in the 2022 Regular Session in Colorado Legislature, the Healthy Meals For All Public School Students (HMFA; SB22-087), created the healthy school meals for all program in the Colorado department of education to reimburse school food authorities for free meals provided to students who are not eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the federal school meals programs. Under the bill, a participating school food authority that creates a parent and student committee to advise on food purchasing (advisory committee) is eligible to receive a local food purchasing grant (grant) to purchase Colorado grown, raised, or processed products for school meals. Most of Colorado’s 178 school districts participate.

FBLC’s ‘Lunch Lab’

HMFA only supports kids when school is in session; what about every other day? The Food Bank for Larimer County helps relieve the fear of going hungry by rolling out The Lunch Lab. Over the summer (and school-out days throughout the year) we have food trucks covering different daily sites providing hot meals for kids’ lunches. We partner with fun community organizations to provide activities to keep your kids well-fed and engaged.

If you or your family need healthy, made from scratch meals for children aged 18 and under at multiple sites throughout Larimer County. All are welcome; no ID or registration is required to be served a hot, healthy lunch.

Learn more about the Lunch Lab here.

Food Bank for Larimer County Web Search

The Food Bank for Larimer County Fresh Food Share Pantries will be closed Saturday, May 25. 

Our Administrative Offices will be closed Monday, May 27.


El Banco de Comida estará cerrado sábado, 25 de mayo y lunes, 27 de mayo.


A full closure of northbound College Ave. in Fort Collins will affect easy/regular access to our Food Share location at 1301 Blue Spruce from April 15 – 19. Plan accordingly. 

PLEASE NOTE: The Loveland Fresh Food Share has closed early Saturday, Feb. 24. It will re-open during regular business hours Tuesday. 


The Food Bank Food Share location at both Fort Collins (Blue Spruce) and Loveland (Lincoln Ave.) are closed Saturday, April 6.

Administrative Offices at Wright Drive in Loveland are closed Friday, April 5. 


Las ubicaciones de Food Share del Banco de Alimentos en Fort Collins (Blue Spruce) y Loveland (Lincoln Ave.) estarán cerradas el sábado 6 de abril.

Las oficinas administrativas en Wright Drive en Loveland estarán cerradas el viernes 5 de abril.

Due to inclement weather, the Food Bank’s office and Fresh Food Shares will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Normal business hours will resume at all locations Wednesday.
Please stay warm! 
Debido a las inclemencias del tiempo, la oficina del Banco de Comida y Fresh Food Shares estarán cerradas el martes 16 de enero.
El horario comercial normal se reanudará en todas las ubicaciones el miércoles.
¡Manténgase abrigado!

Due to winter holidays, please observe the changes in our regular schedule listed below:


Dec. 23-26: Food Share Pantries & Administrative Offices CLOSED

Dec. 27-29: OPEN Regular Hours

Dec. 30 – Jan. 1: Food Share Pantries & Administrative Offices CLOSED

Jan. 2: OPEN – Resume Regular Hours


We are different together.

At FBLC we are not all the same. And that is our greatest strength. We draw from our differences of who we are, what we have experienced, and how we think. We cultivate a dynamic and diverse work environment, one that plays a critical role in our ambitious work to end hunger, so we believe in including everyone.

FBLC is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy-related conditions), gender identity or expression (including transgender status), sexual orientation, marital status, military service and veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws and ordinances in the provisions of its programs, services, or activities to include discrimination against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

FBLC’s management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities, access to facilities, and programs and general treatment during employment.

We embrace a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity.

Our goal is to attract, develop, retain, and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.

FBLC endeavors to make our careers site accessible to any and all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact our Human Resources team at This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

Thinking about applying and feel you may not meet all of our qualifications?

If you believe you can shine in one of our roles, we encourage you to apply!

Be aware of altered Food Share hours during the week of

Monday, November 20 | OPEN | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday, November 21 | OPEN | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday, November 22 | OPEN | noon – 3:00 pm
Thursday, November 23 | CLOSED
Friday, November 24 | CLOSED
Saturday, November 25 | CLOSED
Sunday, November 26 | CLOSED
Monday, November 27 | CLOSED – Regular schedule resumes

If there is a government shutdown...

The most important thing for you to know, is the Food Bank for Larimer County IS NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY. No matter what happens, we will remain open and available to support you. 

There will be other changes you’ll need to know about.  Click here to learn more. 

Si hay un cierre del gobierno...

Lo más importante que debe saber es que el Banco de Comida del Condado de Larimer NO ES UNA AGENCIA GOBERNAMENTAL. Pase lo que pase, permaneceremos abiertos y disponibles para apoyarlos.

Habrá otros cambios que necesitarás conocer. Clic aquí para saber más.

The Food Bank for Larimer County Fresh Food Share Pantries will be closed Saturday, September 2. 

Our Administrative Offices will be closed Monday, September 4.


El Banco de Comida estará cerrado sábado, 2 de septiembre y lunes, 4 de septiembre.

Food Bank for Larimer County is closed Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

Banco de comida ester estará cerrado el miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2023.