DENVER — More than 290,000 Colorado households are about to see a significant drop in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Emergency additional benefits put in place during the pandemic are expected to end in February.
The Omnibus Bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act) was signed into law in December, putting an end to the additional benefits. Because the change was enacted by congress, state officials say the decision is not appealable by individual SNAP recipients.
The emergency benefits brought every household up to the maximum allowable benefit for this household size. Typically, that amount would be calculated based on household income and expenses.
The Colorado Department of Human Services said the change could result in an average reduction of $90 per person per month.
State officials launched a new website to help residents plan for the end of the additional benefits.
There are additional resources: the USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program which connects low-income families with U.S. grown food, the Double Up Food Bucks program that gives you dollar for dollar benefits back when you use your EBT card to by fresh healthy foods, and you can also click here for a list of all food banks and pantries in our state.
The state also offers the following for those that may be impacted by this change:
- Roll over unused SNAP benefits to the next month. Unused benefits can remain on EBT cards for up to nine months. This may help cushion the impact of the reduction in benefits.
- Stock up on non-perishable items now, while you have the additional benefits. (View tips on stocking your pantry in English or Spanish.)
- Stretch food ingredients and plan to use them in more than one meal. This helps to save money and reduce food waste. (View tips on stretching ingredients in English or Spanish.)
- Consider freezing produce to make fruit and vegetables last longer. (View tips on freezing food in English or Spanish.)
- Look at unit prices to compare similar products at the grocery store. (View tips on comparing prices in English or Spanish.)