The act creates the summer electronic benefits transfer for children program (summer EBT) in the department of human services (state department). The purpose of summer EBT is to provide food benefits to students in low-income households for the summer months when students are not in school pursuant to federal law.
The state department is designated as the lead agency to administer summer EBT in Colorado, in cooperation with the federal government. The state department may enter into an agreement with the secretary of the United States department of agriculture food and nutrition service to accept federal program benefits for summer EBT and disburse those benefits to qualified households. To administer summer EBT, the state department shall:
- Establish eligibility criteria and distribute benefits consistent with federal law;
- Develop procedures to pursue claims for benefit recovery;
- Develop an outreach plan and conduct outreach to community-based organizations and households;
- Develop and provide resources, training, and technical assistance to local community-based organizations, specifically to local community-based organizations in rural areas, to conduct outreach and provide support and information to parents, legal guardians, and emancipated students seeking to access program benefits;
- Develop and provide resources and technical assistance, including providing contact information for local community-based organizations, to local education providers and school food authorities, specifically local education providers and school food authorities in rural areas; and
- Promulgate rules to manage household and administrative errors and any other rules necessary to comply with federal law.
The act designates the department of education as the partner agency for the administration of summer EBT. To administer summer EBT, the department of education shall:
- Develop an outreach plan and conduct outreach to local education providers and school food authorities participating in the national school lunch program (lunch program) or national school breakfast program (breakfast program); and
- Provide technical assistance to school food authorities, specifically school food authorities located in rural areas.
The state department and the department of education shall jointly:
- Develop protocols for the sharing of relevant data necessary for the administration of summer EBT and outreach to households with students who are eligible for summer EBT;
- Streamline data collection; and
- Develop and provide an opt-out process for parents, legal guardians, and emancipated students, to the extent allowable by federal law.
The act requires school food authorities that participate in the lunch program or breakfast program to provide the department of education with the minimum student-level data necessary to gather and maintain the eligibility information required by federal law. The department of education shall share the data with the state department to administer summer EBT. As required by federal or state law, all data must be treated as protected personally identifiable information.
The act appropriates $3,140,412 to the department of human services for use by the office of economic security and $169,870 to the department of education for school district operations to implement the act.
APPROVED by Governor November 28, 2023
EFFECTIVE November 28, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)