DENVER (CBS4)– The State of Colorado is joining other states to help keep food stamps available to thousands of people who depend on them. Leaders have joined a lawsuit with 20 other states and the District of Columbia, which was filed in January.
This comes after the Trump administration proposed changes to SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2019. The proposal would tighten eligibility for waivers to the SNAP time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents.
As of now, 450,000 Coloradans receive SNAP benefits; the changes could impact 31,500, or about 7% of those who receive them.
Denver-based nonprofit Hunger Free Colorado connects families to SNAP daily, and says it’s against the proposal.
“The rule is trying to limit the flexibility for states to request waivers in different areas of the state when they’re facing economic downturn. Even if Denver’s booming, there may be areas in our state that have really high levels of unemployment. And these waivers allow those communities to ensure that their community members can continue to receive food assistance while they’re looking for work,” said Hunger Free Colorado public policy manager Anya Rose.
“We’re really concerned because we know that people who are qualifying for these federal programs really need the assistance, they need help and we know that removing states’ flexibility to provide that during times of economic downturn — that doesn’t make the need go away, it just causes more hunger and hardship in our communities,” Rose added.
The Trump administration has said it’s committed to providing benefits to those who truly need them, but encouraging participants to make steps toward self-sufficiency.
The changes are set to take place April 1.