DENVER (KDVR) — Starting March 1, emergency SNAP benefits will end in Colorado.

The State Department of Human Services estimates that individuals receiving these checks will see at least a $90 decrease.

From the beginning, these emergency benefits were always meant to be temporary while Americans recovered from the Coronavirus pandemic. However, with inflation and the cost of living continually rising, families began to rely on it.

The Colorado State Department said it’s getting so many calls about these changes that it’s launched a new call center to answer everyone’s questions.

The Director for Food and Energy Assistance, Karla Maraccini, explained, “We launched a new interactive voice response system, and so it’s a 1-800 number that any SNAP participant and household can call. After verifying their identity, they can actually ask the smart bot pay-specific questions. So they can ask the bot, ‘when will I get my next SNAP benefit?’ And it will say your next benefit of $358 is scheduled for March 3.”

Here in Colorado, 554,000 people saw some form of SNAP assistance last January. This equates to $55 million.

Maraccini added this loss of funding will likely have a domino effect in the coming months. She expects there to be a significant need for assistance at food banks and food pantries across the state as families flock to find other resources.

If you need SNAP assistance, call 1-800-816-4451.