The loaf of bread Yvonne Dollison buys for her family from the grocery store used to cost 88 cents.

After the coronavirus hit and people began stocking up on food and supplies in Denver, it jumped to $1.05.

Every penny counts for Dollison, who must feed herself, her husband and her two grandchildren who live with her.

“I don’t have the money to get what I normally would get,” she said.

The 58-year-old paraprofessional for Denver Public Schools finds herself, like many Coloradans, struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic that has led to soaring unemployment rates and reduced her workload. A survey commissioned by advocacy group Hunger Free Colorado released in late July found that 1 in 3 Coloradans are struggling to afford food, with 40% of households seeing a drop in income.

Black and Latino families are hit the hardest, according to other national and state data. Applications for the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits — formerly known as food stamps — in April were up nearly 47% year over year, according to state data. Food banks and other community organizations are giving out double the amount of food they distributed before the pandemic began.

Typically, Dollison works for various educational programs during the summers to pay her bills, but many have been shut down. So, she’s had to get creative. She signed up as a dog walker. She sells vegetables from her garden.

Her husband, who is recovering from major surgery, isn’t able to work. They don’t use government assistance for food, but a friend recently suggested a food pantry as an option. Thursday, Dollison went for the second time since the pandemic started.

As more Coloradans are having to make choices about paying bills and feeding their families, food banks and their partners have stepped up food distribution through mobile pantries. Federal and state agencies have provided additional assistance.

Photo by Rachel Ellis/The Denver Post

AURORA, CO – AUGUST 1: Thomas Booth, center, food bank coordinator, helps volunteers prepare boxes of food during a food distribution outside of Restoration Christian Fellowship in Aurora on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020.

Advocates are calling for a 15% increase in SNAP benefits in the coronavirus relief legislation Congress is currently debating, as well as an extension of pandemic EBT, which provides money to states to ensure families who qualify get their children’s meals at home even when schools are closed.

“The results of the survey were shocking, even having seen the numbers from people going into food pantries and the lines,” said Marc Jacobson, CEO of Hunger Free Colorado. “More than three times the number of folks are food insecure than the last Great Recession.”