SNAP Outreach

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called Food Stamps.  SNAP benefits are available to individuals and families who qualify as low-income.  For more information on those guidelines visit the SNAP eligibility page of the USDA.

In many states, there are many more people that eligible for SNAP benefits than those that sign up for and receive them.  Historically, Massachusetts participation rates have been quite low.  As of 2007, Massachusetts was ranked 27th out of 50 in participation, with only 65% of the eligible population actually receiving the benefit.  As of January of 2011, we jumped to being ranked 8th in the nation in terms of access, and 6th in most improved states! 

Beginning in 2009, Hunger-Free & Healthy partnered with Project Bread/The Walk for Hunger to conduct SNAP Application Outreach and Advocacy.  A SNAP Outreach worker was hired in to visit various food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, community organizations, public housing, and Head Start locations to distribute information regarding SNAP benefits and how to apply, to assist people in filling out and submitting an application, and to advocate on their behalf to the Department of Transitional Assistance.

Hospitals have also begun to take part in SNAP application assistance through their Financial Benefit Counselors.  With the support of Hunger-Free & Healthy, Saint Vincent Hospital and UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester trained all their Financial Benefit Counselors in SNAP application assistance and now offer this service to all patients that they assist with medical insurance matters.

Do you or someone you know want more information on SNAP benefits?

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