Senator’s Proposal to Increase SNAP Benefits by 15 Percent Included in COVID Relief Package President Trump Signed into Law
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet toured Broomfield Fellowship In Serving Humanity (FISH) with Executive Director Dayna Scott and Volunteer Coordinator Sharin Oliver to learn more about the organization and thank volunteers for supporting food insecure families during a moment of great need.
From Left to Right: U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Executive Director Dayna Scott, Volunteer Lucia Fang
Download photos from the visit HERE.
“I’m grateful to Broomfield FISH for providing Coloradans in need with access to fresh, nutritious food and other services, including––rent, utility, and transportation assistance,” said Bennet. “No Coloradan could have predicted this crisis, and we can’t expect them to endure it alone. The most recent COVID relief package includes a provision Congressman Joe Neguse and I worked on to increase the maximum SNAP benefit by 15 percent. It will help more Coloradans put nutritious food on the table. While I’m glad President Trump signed the COVID relief into law, this is not the end of our responsibility. When the Senate returns in January, we must be prepared to act again to provide the necessary relief to overcome this crisis.”
“More people than ever are facing hunger and visiting food pantries, many for the first time. We're grateful for Senator Bennet’s continued support and his leadership on addressing food insecurity for households in Broomfield County, Colorado, and across the country,” said Dayna Scott, Executive Director of Broomfield FISH Food Bank and Family Resource Center.
Feeding America projects that overall food insecurity could rise by 57 percent in Broomfield County by the end of 2020, with child food insecurity increasing by 94 percent. Since March, FISH has served more than 12,000 people in Broomfield County, which is more than one in seven residents.
Bennet has been working to increase resources for food insecure families since before the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started. A provision from Bennet’s proposal with U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) to increase the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit by 15 percent was included in the COVID-19 relief package President Donald Trump signed into law on Sunday. This benefit increase will support families that Broomfield FISH serves and other food insecure families across Colorado and the country through June 2021.
While this is a welcome short-term solution, Bennet and Neguse will continue to push Congress to pass their Food for Families in Crisis Act to expand and strengthen SNAP food assistance by:
- Increasing the maximum SNAP benefit by 15 percent, providing additional funding for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and eliminating work requirements during recessions.
- Tying the 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP benefit to the economy, rather than an arbitrary date assigned by Congress.
- Ensuring the use of broad-based categorical eligibility so that more vulnerable families can access SNAP benefits, even outside of a crisis.
Broomfield FISH was founded in 1963 by a group of women from six local churches who began collecting and distributing food to those in need. In 2001, the organization became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It has since expanded services to include a variety of resources and programs designed to help people become more self-sufficient. These programs include rent and utility assistance, transportation assistance, and one-on-one mentoring.
In 2018, FISH joined the Colorado Family Resource Center Association and became the only Family Resource Center (FRC) in Broomfield County. Currently, FISH serves residents in Broomfield County living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. FISH works closely with the Community Food Share in Boulder and Broomfield counties, which Bennet and Neguse visited in June.