The USDA has reported that an average of 12.3% of households in the United States are food-insecure. Households that are food-insecure may struggle with or be unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of all of the family members in the home, including children. Food-insecurity can stem from the bigger issue of poverty, or may be a result of a community’s lack of resources.
If you are struggling to support a low-income household and you believe that you would benefit from Colorado’s food assistance program, it is more likely than not that you are eligible. The first step to determining whether you qualify for the Colorado Food Assistance program, however, is first figuring out what it is, how it works, and how you can get it.
What Food Assistance is Available in Colorado?
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture implement a Federal food assistance program across the country known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If you aren’t familiar with SNAP, you may know it by its former name: Food Stamps.
SNAP provides food security through benefits to over 45 million low and no-income households across the United States. Specifically, benefits are distributed by each U.S. state’s department of Social Services or Children and Family Services.
In Colorado, SNAP benefits are dispersed by the Colorado Department of Human Services and its Office of Economic Security. The Colorado SNAP Program is known as the Colorado Food Assistance Program.
How Does the Colorado Food Assistance Program Work?
Colorado Food Assistance Program benefits are transferred to the beneficiary’s card within the first ten days of the month. The day of the month varies, but should be consistent as you continue to receive benefits.
Colorado Food Assistance Program provides Colorado Quest Card to program beneficiaries once it is determined that you are qualified to receive SNAP benefits. The Colorado Quest Card acts a lot like an ATM card and is encoded with a PIN to ensure your safety.
The Program is designed to encourage healthy eating, smart purchases, and good living. The Colorado Quest card only allows you to purchase certain foods, such as bread, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, meat, and more. Other items, such as cosmetics, tobacco, and alcohol, are not purchasable on the Colorado Quest card.
While there are some items that may not be purchased with the Quest card, benefits be spent at various locations including supermarkets, convenience stores, and various farmer’s markets.
How Can I Qualify for the Colorado Food Assistance Program?
Various considerations come into play when it comes to determining whether you are eligible for the Colorado Food Assistance Program. First and foremost, you must be a resident of the state of Colorado. If you do not meet this requirement, you should determine your residency and figure out the best option in your state.
Secondly, you must have an annual household income below the following amounts:
Household Size Annual Income
This amount may vary depending on your situation, expenses, and the number of people in your home. For example, if you have more than 8 people in your home, you will want to add an additional $5,434 per additional person.
Alternatively, the Federal Government has provided a tool that enables you to determine whether you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits. More specifically, the state of Colorado’s PEAK website provides a pre-screening tool that can help you to determine if you are eligible to receive Colorado Food Assistance Program benefits.
How Much Will I Receive in Benefits?
The amount you may receive in benefits if you are found to be eligible for the Colorado Food Assistance Program depends on a variety different factors.
Factors that can change the amount you receive in Colorado Food Assistance Program benefits includes the size of your household, the income of you and other supporting parties in the household, and the expenses your household faces every month.
If you are struggling to determine whether the Colorado Food Assistance Program is right for you and your family, know that you aren’t alone. With millions of people in the United States relying on food assistance benefits, there is no shame in learning more about what you can do to improve your family’s life and your food-security.
Don’t hesitate. Contact us to speak to one of our family law experts today to learn more about the Colorado Food Assistance Program and what it can do for you.
Photo by Anne Preble on Unsplash