What do you get when you mix a food pantry, health clinic, community center, elementary school, mobile home, grocery store, apartment building, library, and a health fair together?
You get SNAP outreach.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, is a federal program which provides eligible households an EBT card that can be used at participating grocery stores to purchase food.
SNAP outreach encompasses many different elements and often requires thinking outside the box. Outreach workers visit various partner agencies and other locations in the community to provide pre-screening services, assist with the application process and offer trainings.
Recently, the food bank’s SNAP team and several volunteers performed outreach at local Mobile Home Parks including Holy Acres, where many trailers were destroyed after massive flooding last September. Today, over 30 trailers are still occupied by families who were interested in learning about SNAP and its benefits.
The SNAP team also distributes fliers at mobile food pantries where families and individuals pick up fresh produce once a month. During the months of February and March 2012, the SNAP team distributed information to over 265 households at two new mobile food pantries – Holiness Tabernacle in Woodbridge and Hybla Valley Elementary School in South County Fairfax.
More recently, the SNAP team launched a three month series at the Columbia Pike Library in Arlington (816 South Walter Reed Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22204). In partnership with the Arlington Department of Human Services, the series is offered on the first and fourth Tuesdays of April, May, and June from 3-7 PM, and provides assistance with SNAP, Medicaid, and WIC applications.
If you or someone you know is in need of SNAP assistance, or if you’re interested in volunteering please contact the Public Policy and Community Outreach team at Advocacy@CapitalAreaFoodBank.org.