Half a Million Struggling Coloradans to Lose Food Assistance This Fall

August 2, 2013
Aug. 2, 2013
Contact: Jenny Davies-Schley, 720-296-9545
Half a Million Struggling Coloradans to Lose Food Assistance This Fall
Will harm struggling families, Colorado’s economy
DENVER – More than half a million struggling Coloradans will lose food assistance this fall when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) expires, according to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  The across-the-board cuts scheduled for November 1st will reduce the program by $5 billion – $55 million in Colorado – in fiscal year 2014 alone.
“This small increase in SNAP benefits has helped 511,000 in struggling Colorado stay afloat during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” said Kathy Underhill, executive director of Hunger Free Colorado. “This modest assistance provides a lifeline to those who are struggling to find work, or are working at jobs that do not pay them enough to put food on the table every day.” 
Food assistance cuts for more than 47 million Americans – including 22 million children – will go into effect when an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) boost designed to strengthen the economy and ease hardship expires on October 31st. For a family of three, that cut will mean a $319 reduction for the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year, or getting by on $1.40 per person per meal. 
“Colorado’s $55 million in lost SNAP benefits to families will have a much bigger economic effect in the state,” said Kathy White, deputy director at the Colorado Fiscal Institute. “In addition to helping to feed hungry families, SNAP is one of the most effective ways to stimulate a struggling economy because a $1 increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity.” 
SNAP has been a powerful tool in helping to keep families out of poverty – and it is a tool to generate economic activity in the states.  Even so, the U.S. House of Representatives recently considered even deeper cuts to the program and could vote on additional bills to reduce it in the coming weeks.

The Colorado-specific report can be found on the Colorado Fiscal Institute website. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ full report, SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013, can be found here.     

Colorado Fiscal Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides credible, independent and accessible analyses of fiscal and economic issues facing Colorado in order to inform policy debates and foster greater economic prosperity for all:http://www.coloradofiscal.org
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