The city of Boulder has awarded $4.6 million in grants from money generated by the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax. The money is a windfall for non-profit organizations hoping to help bridge the gap between those who have and those who don’t have access to healthy options because of income. Nearly a quarter of people within city limits live at or below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census bureau. Another 25% of Boulder residents don’t earn enough money to be self-sufficient, according to a study published in 2015.
“According to the study, a family of two adults, an infant and a preschooler needed $86,644 to meet basic needs,” says Jill Strange, the Healthy Food Access Coordinator for Boulder County Public Health, “but that’s actually three times the federal poverty limit. And so, there is this huge gape in what people need compared to what a lot of people are actually making.”
Boulder County Public Health received $238,000 dollars to fund its SNAP Gap Produce Plus program, which will help people who earn too much to qualify for food assistance but not enough money to be afford fresh produce as often as they should.
Another recipient of grant money is the Boulder Day Nursery School which will use some of the funds to supplement the salary for a health coordinator as well as an on-site cook. The rest of the money will go toward purchasing fresh produce for snacks for its 50 children, create wellness programs for the parents, and purchase additional school equipment.
For a complete list of the 40 health equity programs, the amount of money they received and what they intend to do with it, click here.