• June 14th, 2024
  • Friday, 08:42:37 AM

CO Families Encouraged to Sign Up for Pandemic EBT Benefits


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Disaster Household Distributions have been facilitated through partners such as San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) who have created this mass distribution sites, at the Alamodome to efficiently get food to more than 1,300 households, during the first 2.5 hours, on April 17, 2020, in San Antonio, TX. The site is open for four hours and staffed by more than 400 volunteers from various organizations, military, and individual residents who contributed their personal time today. Each household received approximately 150 pounds of food, mainly consisting of proteins, grains produce. Those who walked in received two bags of food. The food comes from food producers, retailers, the USDA, and others. Part of the efficiency of the site is that pre-registration was required before arriving. Under a Presidential Declaration of a National Emergency, FNS may approve state requests for Disaster Household Distributions (DHD) for targeted areas to meet specific needs when traditional channels of food are unavailable and not being replenished on a regular basis. DHD provides boxed foods to households using existing inventories of USDA-purchased foods. USDA has approved targeted DHD programs in several states including Texas. TEFAP Link: fns.usda.gov/tefap/emergency-food-assistance-program SAFB has seen a 100% increase in those who are served by 500 partner non-profit agencies in the past two weeks. Usually, 58,000 are served. The San Antonio Food Bank is a 501c3 non-profit organization providing millions of pounds of food to more than 500 charitable organizations in Southwest Texas serving those in need. In addition to food distribution, the San Antonio Food Bank provides numerous programs that not only solve the immediate problems of hunger but help individuals and families gain long-term food security. For more information about the San Antonio Food Bank, see safoodbank.org. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

By Eric Galatas

 

More than 200,000 Colorado children have not yet been enrolled in a food-assistance program that would put up to $279 per child into their parents’ wallets.
Max Young, SNAP education and outreach administrator for the Colorado Department of Human Services, said the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT, program, is meant to help pay for meals kids would have received at school during coronavirus-related closures.
She said the benefit can be tapped in addition to SNAP – the program formerly known as food stamps – as well as food pantries or any other assistance.
“The benefit is really not meant to impact any other benefit that families might be receiving from the state, but really meant to help families where they are right now navigate the waters of this pandemic,” Young said.
P-EBT benefits come in a debit-like card that can be used to buy food-related items at most grocery stores and many farmer’s markets.
Young said if a child attended a school that offered free or reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program, they’re eligible, regardless of a family’s immigration status.
P-EBT benefits will not impact Public Charge determination.
To sign up, Young suggested typing “Colorado P-EBT” into your favorite search engine, or visit her agency’s website.

“The benefit is really not meant to impact any other benefit that families might be receiving from the state, but really meant to help families where they are right now navigate the waters of this pandemic.”
Max Young, Colorado Department of Human Services

One significant barrier for getting all eligible kids enrolled is parents have to provide their student’s ten-digit state-issued I-D number, which can be different from their regular school I-D, so Young recommended families contact their school district before applying.
Young added the program also is expected to play a big role in the state’s recovery by generating more than $100 million in economic impact.
“That not only helps families provide food to their family, but also helps local grocery stores with food purchases as well,” Young said. “So we expect a huge boost to our economy just through the approval of this benefit alone.”
The program was funded through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for the 2019-2020 school year. The program has not yet been extended for the fall semester.
Young said if schools can’t remain open, more help will be needed to ensure families can continue to provide nutritious meals for students at home.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients: If you were notified that you received a “zero benefit” or $0 benefit for August, please check your balance. Some recipients received such notice by error. You may also call EBT customer service at 1.888.328.2656 or 1.800.659.2656

Another resource is 2-1-1 Colorado which connects Coloradans to critical resources such as housing assistance, food support, help with utility bills and more. Visit their website or dial 2-1-1 on your phone.

Public News Service – CO

 

For More Colorado News: WWW.ELSEMANARIOCOLORADO.COM