Colorado food banks have been struggling with a "staggering" increase in demand over the last two years, a problem that, as the Denver Post reports, is likely to only get worse over the next few years while the economy slowly improves.
"The worst news is that we continue to hear that even if the economy (goes) back to pre-2008 levels, there may be a gap of 18 to 24 months," Kevin Seggelke, president and chief executive of Food Bank of the Rockies told the Post.
The Post's report that the state's food banks are set to distribute 7 to 10 percent more food in 2010 than 2009 comes in the wake of a KUSA story (video below) describing widespread delays in Colorado's food stamp distribution system.
According to KUSA, the delays are due to increased enrollment caused by the recession (requests for food stamps in Larimer County were up 67%) as well as a faulty computer system.
Glitches in the state's benefits management computer system, which was installed in 2004, have long accounted for errors and delays in the distribution of food stamps and medicaid benefits.
For the fiscal year 2008, Colorado was ranked 52nd in the country (behind Guam) in on-time delivery of food stamps.
In June, an AP study found Colorado's Mesa and Jefferson counties to be among the nation's worse for on-time delivery of food stamps, with 44% of applications taking over 30 days to process.
As KUSA reports, delays in food stamp delivery force many to turn to food banks.