DENVER — As the March deadline approached for the end of emergency additional SNAP benefits Denver7 spoke to recipients, food banks and state officials who all said the decrease in additional benefits are hitting Colorado families in need hard.
Recipients saw an average reduction in benefits of around $90 per person, per month.
"I knew that these emergency allotments were going to end at some point. I think, like so many people, it took me by surprise that they were ending before the Emergency Declaration for COVID," said Democratic Congresswoman Yarida Caraveo of Colorado.
She will be introducing the "Keep Families Fed Act" on Monday.
"It says that the emergency allotment will continue one year past the bill's passage. And importantly, it requires the USDA to submit a strategy to every state SNAP agency to say, 'Here are resources and guidance so that you can make the public aware and have them prepare for the end of the extension,'" Caraveo said.
When asked where the funding would come from, Congresswoman Caraveo said it would be a continuation of SNAP benefits already being used by the federal government.
"About 80% of the Farm Bill, which is about to come up for re-authorization, has to do with these benefits, so it's just saying let's extend these a year out," she said.
The bill already has the support of organizations like Hunger Free Colorado.
"We do hope that this bill will spark more conversation about the need to have increased benefit levels for SNAP sustained for the long-term so families don't have to make hard choices between food and housing or food and medicine," said CEO Marc Jacobson.