Formally the Food Stamp Program A Federal assistance program that helps low income households purchase healthy food. FY 2012 51 million people per month
Benefits are placed on a LINK card (like a debit card) SNAP puts benefits on card once a month Programs to help clients learn about healthier food options and exercise
Every $5 in new SNAP benefits = $9.20 in local economic activity. On average, $1 billion of retail food demand by SNAP recipients generates 3,300 farm jobs. 5% increase SNAP participation rate nationwide = 2.1 million more low-income people would have an additional $973 million in benefits each year to purchase healthy food.
Clients can still qualify even if they receive other benefits. Average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 a meal. SNAP currently reaches only 56 percent of eligible working poor households. Half of all new participants will leave the program within nine months.
48% of all participants are children 79% of all benefits go to households with children 58% of households with children are headed by single parents $711 is the average gross monthly income per SNAP household
90% of poor older adults – 87% of households with elderly are eligible for SNAP benefits 11.4% (over 5 million seniors) experienced some form of food insecurity 76% of SNAP households included an elderly person or a disabled person.
Myth: “I have a job; therefore, I do not qualify.” Myth: “If I received SNAP, I would not be able to receive food from a pantry.” Myth: “I have been denied before, so I won’t be able to get them now either.”
Myth: “SNAP is a welfare program.” Myth: “Other people need SNAP benefits more than I do.” Myth: “I only get $8 and it isn’t worth it.” ◦ Minimum in IL is $16
People in Maximum Gross Monthly Maximum Gross MonthlyHousehold Income Income (Age 60 & Over or Disabled)1 $1,211 $1,8622 $1,640 $2,5223 $2,069 $3,1824 $2,498 $3,8425 $2,927 $4,5026 $3,356 $5,1627 $3,785 $5,8228 $4,214 $6,4829 $4,643 $7,14210 $5,072 $7,802
Other Factors: Citizenship or immigration status Household Expenses ◦ i.e. utilities, rent or mortgage, medical, child care, etc. Non-work Income ◦ i.e. child support, Social Security, SSI, Veterans Affairs benefits, etc.
Apply online or submit a paper application to local DHS. 2-3 Weeks – client will receive a letter in the mail with date and time of DHS Interview ◦ Interview – face-to-face or via phone ◦ Interview – must submit all necessary documents
30 Days – client will receive a letter explaining eligibility status. If client is eligible, the amount of monthly benefits will be disclosed. 40-50 Days – if client is eligible, a LINK will be mailed to them and must be activated. 6 months – 1 year after clients receives card, client will need to renew SNAP benefits - notified via letter
Identity ◦ Examples: birth certificate, driver’s license, etc. Residency ◦ Examples: utility bills, rental agreement or mortgage statement Immigration Status ◦ Examples: Immigration or naturalization papers
Medical Expense Deduction ◦ Examples: billing statements, Medicare card indicating Part “B” drugs, etc. Earned Income ◦ Examples: pay stubs, income tax forms, statement from employer as to gross wages Unearned Income ◦ Examples: bank statements showing direct deposit, letter showing money received for Social Security, SSI, child support, etc.
Help dissolve common misconceptions or negative feelings towards SNAP Lack of staff Lack of space Knowledge / Training
Client Choice Reduce strain on food pantry supply Providing additional assistance to clients in need Opportunity for progression/growth
Overcoming negative feelings towards SNAP or DHS/DSS Misinformation Transportation
Client Choice Chance to put food on the table for their children Keep elderly family members independent Make transition to self-sufficiency
Support local food retailers Generate economic activity ◦ $5 in new SNAP = $9.20 in community spending Support farms Leverage Federal funds A 5 percent increase in SNAP participation = $1.8 billion total in new economic activity Nationwide
Hosting STL Foodbank SNAP Outreach Coordinator ◦ Help advertise to clients ◦ Help advertise within your community Providing accurate information and materials ◦ Work to change perceptions of SNAP Refer clients to available services
Training sessions ◦ With STL Foodbank Coordinator ◦ Application Assistance Healthy buying and budgeting workshops
Stay informed and up-to-date on legislation pertaining to SNAP ◦ i.e. Farm Bill Write to local legislators
Seniors - vulnerable population that can sometimes be overlooked Senior centers and residential housing facilities Partnering with Meals on Wheels program ◦ Homebound Seniors – home visits and provide application assistance
Children ◦ School pantries ◦ Partnering with School districts in our service territory
USDA Food and Nutrition Service http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/faqs.htm Feeding America http://www.feedingamerica.org National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY DHS (IL) or DSS (MO) ◦ http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=30357 ◦ http://www.dss.mo.gov/fsd/fstamp/
Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2009, USDA FNS Feeding America http://blog.feedingamerica.org/tag/snap/ Illinois Hunger Coalition http://www.ilhunger.org/programs.html SNAP “Putting Healthy Food Within Reach: State Outreach Toolkit”, USDA FNS “The Benefits of Increasing SNAP Participation In Your State”, USDA FNS