East Boston-based Project Bread was recently awarded a grant from the Boston Resiliency Fund that will focus on enrolling more food insecure families into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Project Bread will develop and implement a public awareness campaign to promote SNAP enrollment and utilization. The campaign will target SNAP gap households and other eligible but unenrolled families. These funds will provide operational and additional language support to the FoodSource Hotline and train community-based organizations and health centers to screen for SNAP eligibility and support with applications.
“SNAP has been incredibly effective in getting food to the people who need it, and it has become more important now than ever with the impact of COVID-19 on households,” said Project Bread in a statement.
Aside from trying to enroll more residents in SNAP, Project Bread has been calling on Congress to expand the maximum SNAP benefit in the next coronavirus relief package by 15 percent through the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“SNAP prioritizes nutrition when providing food assistance, making the effort to ensure access to healthy food for low-income families during the pandemic particularly vital,” said Project Bread. “Congress took some early steps to address childhood food insecurity during the pandemic, especially through instituting P-EBT. The program allowed households with children who were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch to receive the cash value of those meals on electronic benefits cards. Unfortunately, only 15 percent of eligible participants had received P-EBT benefits by mid-May, which caused families to rely on other means of getting food at home.We are joining anti-hunger organizations across the country for an Anti-Hunger Week of Action to highlight the importance of SNAP and key nutrition priorities before Senators adjourn for the summer.”
The grant to Project Bread was part of nearly $1.9 million in grant money to 15 organizations sacross Boston from the Boston Resiliency Fund. In total, the Resiliency Fund has granted over $22 million to 295 nonprofit and local organizations to provide support to Boston’s most vulnerable residents.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is still having major impacts on the City of Boston and our residents, and we will continue to use the Boston Resiliency Fund to support our communities with the greatest need,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “As we enter the summer months, I am pleased that the Fund will help us support essential and vital services, including providing and delivering meals, expanding capacity in the domestic violence shelter system, supporting those in recovery, and more.” Many of the grants during the latest round went to supporting the expansion of campaigns to close the SNAP gap.