Successful pandemic food assistance program has supported 500,000 Colorado children and families 

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DENVER (Dec. 21, 2021) — The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is pleased to announce that Colorado's pandemic food assistance program — known as Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer or P-EBT— has supported 500,000 children and families who may have experienced food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The P-EBT program aims to continue nutritional support for Colorado children and to save money for families who did not receive school or child care center meals while these sites were closed or had reduced hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, more than half of households with children are food insecure. Additionally, 1 in 6 Colorado kids may not always know when or where they will get their next meal. Nutritious foods are integral to the cognitive and behavioral development of children. P-EBT increases families' access to healthy foods and helps to ensure that all Colorado children have access to the resources they need to grow up to be healthy adults. 

More than 500,000 Colorado children who were eligible for P-EBT received benefits, which reimbursed families for the free and reduced-price lunches that children missed while schools or child care centers were closed due to COVID-19 and for the summer break.

“Many families in Colorado continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and P-EBT offers funds to families to provide their children with healthy foods at a time when many households are struggling to pay bills and feed their children,” said Karla Maraccini, CDHS Food and Energy Assistance Division director. “Providing these benefits to families supports our Colorado youth and the state’s economy. We are thrilled to have distributed more than $567 million in federal funding to our state through this program.”

CDHS would like to remind families that if they have received notice that their child is eligible for P-EBT benefits and have not received a P-EBT card or benefits onto their SNAP EBT card by Jan. 31, they should contact the P-EBT Support Center at 1.800.536.5298 or cdhs_pebtcolorado@state.co.us. Families should not throw away their card, even if they have spent all the benefits, as future P-EBT benefits may be loaded on the same card.

CDHS recently distributed $179 million to families of 470,000 eligible students and children for the summer months of June-August 2021. A single benefit payment of $375 per child was determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is based on a daily benefit of $6.82 for 55 days. 

Children who received a P-EBT card with 2020-21 school year benefits were issued a summer payment on the same card as the 2020-21 school year benefits.
Children enrolled in school who became newly eligible for summer benefits or received prior benefits on an existing SNAP EBT card had a new P-EBT card mailed to the address provided by the student’s school.
Children under 6 who were enrolled in SNAP had benefits automatically loaded onto the household’s EBT card. 

For information about other food assistance programs visit https://cdhs.colorado.gov/benefits-assistance/food-assistance/p-ebt/more-food-resources.

More information can be found at https://cdhs.colorado.gov/p-ebt.

Media contact:
Jordan Johnson, Interim Deputy Director of Communications
720.355.3657
jordan.johnson@state.co.us