With more than 1 in 7 Montanans struggling with hunger, the Montana Food Bank Network recognizes that public nutrition programs play a critical role in helping to end hunger in our state. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest nutrition program helping approximately 125,000 Montanans put healthy food on the table each month. The program is available to anyone who is income eligible including working families, single individuals, seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are unemployed.
Participation in SNAP has increased dramatically since the start of the recession due to the program’s ability to automatically expand to meet the need, and contract as the economy improves. Despite the recent increase in participation, however, thousands of Montanans likely to qualify for SNAP do not participate. The most common barriers include a lack of knowledge about eligibility guidelines, misconceptions about how the program works, difficulty with the application process, and a reluctance to accept help from a public program. The Montana Food Bank Network focuses its SNAP outreach work on helping potentially eligible families overcome these barriers in order to increase food security in our state.
MFBN works to increase SNAP participation in Montana through:
- Distribution of outreach materials through our Partner Agencies and other service providers.
- Provide SNAP Application Assistance and Outreach webinars to ensure that service providers have the information and tools necessary to incorporate SNAP outreach into the services they already provide.
- Direct assistance by phone to answer questions, pre-screen for eligibility, and provide applications by mail.
For more information MFBN’s SNAP outreach work, contact Lorianne Burhop, Public Policy Manager, at 721-3825 ext. 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.