Vermont Foodbank Receives $80,000 Grant from the Walmart Foundation to Support SNAP Education and Outreach
Barre, VT – July 20th, 2018 – The Vermont Foodbank today announced an $80,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help fight hunger in Vermont 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 Vermont Foodbank hopes to scale access to SNAP among eligible households, with particular emphasis on reaching seniors, families with children, and other vulnerable populations.
The Foodbank’s SNAP outreach and application assistance program helps to ensure that all eligible, food-insecure households in Vermont can gain access to this highly effective hunger alleviation program. Many Vermonters are deterred from applying for SNAP benefits because of challenges with the application process. The Foodbank provides outreach and support, helping eligible Vermonters complete the application and supporting them through the approval process. Since the Foodbank began these efforts in 2013, they have helped more than 1,200 low income Vermonters to enroll in SNAP.
“1 in 4 children in Vermont have limited access to nutritious food; food that is essential in their educational and social development. At, the Vermont Foodbank we work tirelessly to help fill this need, but programs like SNAP can boost the supply of nutritious food in a child’s household, something our community really needs,” said Vermont Foodbank CEO, John Sayles.
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 basic necessities—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.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks. Locally, the Vermont Foodbank picks up donated food weekly from the local Walmart stores; has received funding through the company’s Fight Hunger, Spark Change campaign; and has received grants to support their Retail Partner Agency Program, 3SquaresVT (SNAP) Outreach, the BackPack Program, and VT Fresh programs.