The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has announced that Coloradans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with children under the age of 6 will begin to receive food benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program starting in late July. This effort will support even more of Colorado’s families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to providing benefits to school-age children, the P-EBT program now provides SNAP households with children under 6 with additional food benefits for missed meals due to child care center closures or reduced hours.
As many as 70,000 Colorado children under 6 may be newly eligible for the P-EBT program. This new group of children will be eligible for P-EBT benefits for the months of October 2020 through May 2021 and can use these benefits to buy groceries. The extension of P-EBT to child care-aged children will provide important nutrition assistance to support their health and development.
“Proper and adequate nutrition is critical to brain development in early childhood,” says Karla Maraccini, division director of Food and Energy Assistance. “Providing P-EBT benefits to families on SNAP with young children supports our Colorado youth and our recovering economy. We are thrilled to bring in an additional $70 million in federal funding to our state through this program.”
P-EBT benefits for children in SNAP households, who were not enrolled in school and are under the age of 6 as of Oct. 1, 2020, will be issued at a single, statewide benefit level split into two deposits going out in late July and late August to a household’s current SNAP EBT card.
For children who were enrolled in SNAP at some point since Oct. 1, 2020, but are no longer enrolled in SNAP, P-EBT benefits will be issued based on the months the child was actively participating in SNAP. These benefits will automatically load onto a household’s previous SNAP EBT card starting in late August.
To enroll in SNAP, apply online or contact Larimer County Public Benefits at 970-498-6300.
Please note that applications received after May 2021 may be considered for summer 2021 P-EBT eligibility, but cannot be used to issue P-EBT benefits retroactively for the 2020-21 school year.
Further updates will be shared on the P-EBT website, on CDHS social media channels, and through community partners.
In addition to supporting healthy and wholesome meals for Colorado’s eligible children, P-EBT is expected to bring approximately $70 million of additional federal money into the state’s economy through food retailers.
P-EBT was created under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (H.R. 6201) as an important opportunity to provide nutritional resources to families who are losing or lost access to free or reduced-price school meals as schools across Colorado closed in response to COVID-19.
More information can be found at cdhs.colorado.gov/p-ebt.