Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and Hunger Free Colorado are calling on Colorado’s senators to include additional food assistance, namely an increase in existing benefits to families, in future COVID-19-related legislation.
“Rationing meals is the last thing Colorado families need right now. Let’s ensure America’s families have their basic human needs met through this pandemic,” said Primavera in a video.
Specifically, her request is for a 15% increase in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Primavera said that while the transfers to low-income families generally run out by the end of the month, the additional percentage would equate to $100 more per month for a family of four.
“In previous relief packages, Congress has included some nutrition program flexibility and resources, but much more is needed for the growing number of families who have seen their income reduced because of this pandemic,” said Marc Jacobson, CEO of Hunger Free Colorado.
According to the advocacy group, enrollment in SNAP has risen by 20% since March. Nearly 2,500 organizations nationwide supported a letter to the U.S. Senate mirroring the request, and the signatories include Food Bank of the Rockies, Garfield County Public Health and the Adams County board of commissioners.
The Senate is currently crafting another economic relief bill. NBC News reports that there are some stumbling blocks, such as the Trump Administration’s requests to cut or eliminate funding for COVID-19 testing.