DENVER — Food insecurity affects more than ten percent of households across the United States, and over ten million children in the country are considered food insecure. In Colorado, one in seven children are unsure where they will get their next meal, and an estimated 400,000 kids are enrolled in the free/reduced lunch programs across the state.
After discovering the need for complex protein in children’s nutrition programs, Colorado’s beef community came together to create Beef Sticks for Backpacks. This non-profit organization was founded with the mission to produce and distribute beef sticks into backpack programs that help feed kids facing food insecurity on the weekends.
Colorado’s beef community, led by the Colorado Beef Council (CBC), Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), and Colorado Livestock Association (CLA), is working directly with Beef Sticks for Backpacks and contributing funds for a week of statewide distribution of beef sticks. These organizations are encouraging their members and allied stakeholders to contribute to the Beef Sticks for Backpacks program, as well.
On behalf of the leadership of CBC, CCA, and CLA, “Our organizations are excited to support the goals of this program and contribute to addressing childhood food insecurity. The beef industry is committed to feeding others every day of the year, so partnering with this organization is yet another way our industry demonstrates our commitments to supporting those in need.”
Beef Sticks for Backpacks was founded with the mission to create a world where no child in Colorado suffers from weekend food insecurity. To this effect, each week the organization distributes over 15,000 high quality, high protein beef sticks into kids backpack programs throughout the state of Colorado. Since September of 2020, more than 640,000 beef sticks have been distributed across the state.
“Beef Sticks for Backpacks gives Colorado kids the protein they deserve,” stated Dan Byers, Beef Sticks for Backpacks Executive Director. “As our organization continues to expand our outreach into more backpack programs and with assistance from key partners from the Colorado beef community, we get closer to our goal of ending childhood weekend food insecurity across the state.”
Over 30,000 Colorado kids go hungry on weekends. Many children are deprived of the recommended daily allowance of protein that the FDA prescribes. As proud contributors of protein to communities across the state, the Colorado beef industry is committed to doing its part to help get nutrient rich protein into the diets of food insecure children.
To learn more about Beef Sticks for Backpacks and how you can contribute to their mission of fighting childhood weekend food insecurity, visit www.beefsticks.org.
–Colorado Cattlemen’s Association