Changes to SNAP

In July, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) which administers SNAP, announced proposed changes that if allowed to proceed, will mean more than 30,000 Coloradans will no longer be able to use SNAP to help pay for groceries.  You may ask why are we bringing this information to you.  Well, quite simply, the overall impact this will have on Colorado families means our children are affected.  Did you know that children in households receiving SNAP automatically qualify for the Free-or-Reduced Lunch program?  When the USDA changes the rules on who and how families can qualify, it means many children will slip between the cracks, making the nutritional assistance program unavailable to them.   In the 2017/18 school year, Jeffco’s student population was 86,131.  Almost 32 percent of students (31.7%) were qualified for Free or Reduced Lunch.   That’s over 27,000 Jeffco students (27,303 to be exact).  Please note, this change does not mean all of these students will lose access to the FRL program, but even one child is one child too many

The public comment can be submitted on the proposed SNAP rule in the Federal Register expressing concerns by the September 23rd, 2019 deadline.  We encourage you to comment.  Afterall, if we don’t speak up for our kids, who will?  Here is the link:

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FNS-2018-0037-0001

Read further on for more info from the Colorado Fiscal Institute and NPR’s coverage on the issue.

The Colorado Fiscal Institute recently published this article about the changes the administration is proposing to the SNAP program:

Food Insecurity Likely to Rise in Colorado Under New Rule | Colorado Fiscal Institute.  ( https://www.coloradofiscal.org/food-insecurity-rise-colorado-trump-rule/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=2d3c8ee4-02aa-4911-bc34-2d6df7ee9eae)

And, you’ve probably seen this story also covered by NPR and other news outlets. https://www.npr.org/2019/08/22/753402120/70-mayors-reject-trump-food-stamp-proposal-saying-it-puts-kids-at-risk

Here are some terms used throughout the CFI article:

SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps.

BBCE – Broad Based Categorical Eligibility –  BBCE came about as a result of a 1996 change in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), also known as basic cash assistance, that made it possible for states to offer non-cash benefits to eligible individuals and families.

TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

FPL – Federal Poverty Line  https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines  – SNAP “keeps 117,000 Coloradans out of poverty, including 55,000 children, every year.”

 

2019 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
PERSONS IN FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD POVERTY GUIDELINE
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,420 for each additional person.
1 $12,490
2 $16,910
3 $21,330
4 $25,750
5 $30,170
6 $34,590
7 $39,010
8 $43,430

“SNAP recipients in Colorado received $701.95 million in benefits in 2017…nearly half a million Coloradans received SNAP benefits in 2017, which is 8% of the state population.”

https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/a-closer-look-at-who-benefits-from-snap-state-by-state-fact-sheets#Colorado

The public comment can be submitted on the proposed SNAP rule in the Federal Register expressing concerns by the September 23rd, 2019 deadline.

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FNS-2018-0037-0001

“They say, if you want to know what a community values, look at how its children are treated.  If you want a sense of what a community hopes for the future, look at how it values its schools.”  

Comment submitted from Support Jeffco Kids.

We are Support Jeffco Kids, a 501(c)4.   Our mission has always been to support our public schools in Jefferson County, Co., and to Support our Jeffco Kids.   We strongly oppose the USDA’s proposed revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This proposed change will mean more than 30,000 Coloradans will no longer be able to use SNAP to help pay for groceries.  When the USDA changes the rules on who and how families can qualify, it means many children will slip between the cracks, making the nutritional assistance program unavailable to them.   In the 2017/18 school year, Jeffco’s student population was 86,131.  Almost 32 percent of students (31.7%) were qualified for Free or Reduced Lunch.   That’s over 27,000 Jeffco students (27,303 to be exact).  We understand this change does not mean all of these students will lose access to the FRL program, but even one child is one child too many

Jonna Levine & Shawna Fritzler
Co-Chairs & Co-Founders
Support Jeffco Kids