Make your voice heard on SNAP

The federal government is poised to make a change that could deprive thousands of Coloradans — including 1,177 residents of Boulder County — of critical access to food, by raising the eligible income for participation in SNAP. The USDA is soliciting public comments on the proposed change until Sept. 23.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is an integral piece of the federal safety-net for low-income families. It is what allows many of our participants to put more of their income towards rent and other critical necessities that prevent homelessness without having to skip meals. The proposed rule would make it harder for families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities to qualify for SNAP benefits, and thus will make these households more vulnerable to hunger and homelessness.

EFAA opposes the proposed changes to eligibility for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. We know that food insecurity is a prominent issue right here in Boulder County, where an estimated 40,000 people lack consistent access to healthy and nutritious foods. Last year, our food pantry alone assisted more than 1,500 households experiencing food insecurity.

In Boulder County, a single adult with two children would need to earn $78,926 per year – nearly four times the federal poverty level – in order to be considered economically self-sufficient. This new rule would force out families who make income of $42,000 – which is not nearly enough to cover basic necessities such as housing, the cost of which has risen rapidly in recent years, without receiving food assistance. The change would also eliminate benefits for many seniors and individuals with disabilities living on fixed incomes who would be cut off if their assets exceed $3,500.

By restricting access to the SNAP program, this proposed rule jeopardizes the stability of thousands of struggling families across Colorado that rely on SNAP to put food on the table.

Make your voice heard before September 23rd by submitting comment at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2018-0037-0001

Example comment: “I oppose the proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that would make it harder for low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities to access healthy and nutritious foods. In Boulder County alone, this rule could strip over 1,000 residents of their SNAP benefits. This rule would jeopardize access to basic needs for the most vulnerable in our communities and increase hunger for thousands of people in Colorado.”

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