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PNS Daily Newscast - September 20, 2019 


A whistleblower complaint against President Trump sets off tug-of-war between Congress and the White House; and students around the world strike today to demand action on climate change.

2020Talks - September 20, 2019. (3 min.)  


Climate change is a big issue this election season, and global climate strikes kick off, while UAW labor strikes continue.

Daily Newscasts

Room for Improvement in Colorado Food-Stamp Participation

Colorado counties are getting food stamps to clients faster, and won more than $2 million in federal performance bonuses in 2016 and 2017. (USDA)
Colorado counties are getting food stamps to clients faster, and won more than $2 million in federal performance bonuses in 2016 and 2017. (USDA)
March 27, 2019

DENVER – Colorado counties are making progress getting SNAP benefits – the program formerly known as food stamps – to low-income residents, but there's still room for improvement.

Colorado ranks 43rd nationally with just 60 percent of low-income people receiving benefits, below the national average of 73 percent, according to a new report from Hunger Free Colorado. Anya Rose, a policy analyst with the group, says increasing enrollment is important because the program is the first line of defense against child hunger.

"But then we also know that receiving food-stamp benefits has been linked to better long-term health, better economic and educational outcomes," she said, "so enrolling more eligible Coloradans is kind of a win-win."

While Colorado's 64 counties face unique challenges, Rose said there are some common barriers to getting families and individuals the help they need.

Some simply don't know food stamps are an option, or they don't realize that enrolling will not take benefits away from someone else in need. The multi-step enrollment process also can be challenging, and Rose said many workers can't take time off when county offices are open.

Rose added that getting more federal food-stamp dollars into the state also would help local economies, especially in rural areas. When low-income families can afford to buy food, it creates a multiplier effect. Every food-stamp dollar spent creates $1.79 in economic activity.

If the state can achieve 100 percent enrollment, Rose said, the economic impacts would be significant.

"We could have tapped into more than $235 million in additional federal benefits, which would have had an economic-stimulus impact of more than $421 million in our Colorado economy."

In 2017, 455,000 Coloradans who were enrolled in SNAP helped bring more than $700 million into the state, creating $1.25 billion in economic impact. Colorado also was awarded more than $2 million in federal performance bonuses in 2016 and 2017 for timeliness and accuracy, meaning counties are getting benefits to clients faster.

The report is online at hungerfreecolorado.org.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO