File photo. (Scott Heins/Getty Images)
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law on Thursday a bill to boost the state’s employment and training program for residents who receive benefits from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), which provides a monthly stipend to help low-income households purchase food.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has cost countless Coloradans their jobs, many of whom have had to rely on critical support services to get by,” said state Sen. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat who co-sponsored the bill. “As we work to build back a stronger, more resilient Colorado, we must take action to uplift those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”
House Bill 1270 directs $3 million in state funds to the Department of Human Services to be used for the state’s SNAP Employment and Training program, also known as Employment First. The program “promotes long-term self-sufficiency and independence by preparing SNAP recipients for meaningful employment through work-related education, training activities, and work-based learning,” according to the state’s website.
The law also directs that county departments and any third-party partners should prioritize any state or federal money received to fund employment support and job retention services. The state funds allocated will be matched by $3 million in federal funds.
In 2020, 255,101 households in the state received SNAP benefits for an average monthly benefit of $343, according to the program’s website. Coloradans can apply online at Colorado PEAK website.
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