BY ROCHELLE SCHLORTT
According to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), people receiving SNAP benefits – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – will see a decrease in their benefits to pre-pandemic levels as early as February.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized Emergency Allotments to help meet food needs. These Emergency Allotments were temporary and will end soon, decreasing the total amount of benefits each month for SNAP households in Colorado.
We know this change may have a significant impact on many SNAP families and encourage families to look for alternative food sources now. One way to help reduce the impact on households is to begin stocking up on non-perishable items now, while SNAP benefits are still at pandemic levels. Another option is to roll over EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) benefits to the next month to help “cushion” the impact of the reduction in benefits. Freezing fresh fruits and vegetables as well as shopping sales at your local grocery store can also help.
CDHS has offered some tips for stocking your pantry and stretching food ingredients to cover more than one meal to save money and reduce food waste:
- Tips on stocking your pantry: English; Spanish
- Tips for stretching food ingredients: English; Spanish
- freezing your produce to make fruit and vegetables last longer English; Spanish
- Look at the Unit Prices to compare similar products at the grocery store in English; Spanish
If you or someone you know needs help with food resources, you can visit https://www.foodpantries.org/st/colorado to find the closest food pantry to you. The Marketplace food pantry at Marian House is also an option. To schedule an appointment, email Pantry@CCharitiesCC.org.
SNAP participants can call their local county human services office for questions about their benefits. For more information please visit https://cdhs.colorado.gov/snap
Disclaimer: The state and counties are not able to extend emergency benefits after the end of the federal emergency declaration
Rochelle Schlortt is the Chief Communications Officer with Catholic Charities of Central Colorado