$31K grant from Walmart Foundation supports SNAP outreach

The Food Bank has announced a $31,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help fight hunger in Berkshire, Franklin, Hamden and Hampshire counties through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) education and outreach. SNAP is the largest federal program dedicated to providing aid to millions of low-income individuals and families in hunger insecure communities. Yet, 17 percent of Americans eligible for SNAP currently do not receive this benefit. Only 42 percent of eligible seniors are enrolled.

With this grant, The Food Bank will scale access to SNAP among eligible households, with an emphasis on reaching seniors and college students throughout western Massachusetts, as well as the rural residents of Berkshire and Franklin counties. Their SNAP Outreach team assists food insecure households to apply for the program and gather all the necessary documentation to receive benefits. They are available to answer clients’ questions, provide pre-screening and determine eligibility.

“Currently, more than 223,000 people throughout western Massachusetts rely on the services of The Food Bank and its member agencies. 30% are children under the age of 18,” explains The Food Bank’s executive director, Andrew Morehouse. “We work tirelessly to help fill this need, and programs like SNAP can boost the supply of nutritious food in a child’s household, something our community really needs.”

SNAP provides more than nutrition assistance; it helps improve families’ overall well-being. With lower grocery bills, people are better able to pay for other necessities, such as rent or mortgages, medical expenses, utilities and transportation. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service Report, SNAP is critical to moving families into long-term food security.