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Maura Bennett Colorado SNAP Participants Protected
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: January 10, 2019

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The USDA has announced a plan to make sure that low-income Americans can still buy healthy food during the partial government shutdown.

459,000 Coloradans, about 8 percent of the population receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The group released an analysis of USDA for 2017. And says that 1 in 12 residents are recipients. More than 70 percent of participants in the state are in families with children.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said that despite the temporary shutdown payments for SNAP will still go out to states. Perdue told reporters the funding will continue through February.

The risk of losing benefits comes at a time when food prices are expected to rise. Annemarie Kuhns Agriculture Department Food Price Analyst.

“Currently we’re expecting to pay between 1 to 2 percent more for groceries in 2019.”

The child nutrition programs, including school meals and after-school programs have funding available to continue operations through March

To protect SNAP participants’ access for February, the USDA is working with states to issue February benefits earlier than usual. USDA will rely on a provision of the just-expired Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides an appropriation for programs like SNAP and child nutrition to incur obligations for program operations within 30 days of the CR’s expiration.

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