(OKLAHOMA CITY) – Aug. 29, 2019 – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has received a $51,200 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help fight hunger in central and western Oklahoma through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application assistance. With this grant, the Regional Food Bank will increase access to SNAP among eligible households, with emphasis on reaching seniors and rural residents.
“One in six people in Oklahoma do not have regular access to enough food for a healthy, active life," said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. "We are committed to increasing our efforts to assist both seniors in our service area and those in rural households who are eligible for SNAP benefits to gain access."
SNAP is a federal nutrition program provides food purchasing assistance for low-income people living in the United States. More than 15 percent of Americans eligible for SNAP currently do not receive this benefit. Both seniors and those living in rural communities are disproportionately affected by food insecurity and face barriers to SNAP access. Among seniors, 58 percent of eligible individuals are not enrolled in SNAP.
SNAP provides more than nutrition assistance. In fact, participation in SNAP is linked to reduced health care costs. SNAP improves food security, offers benefits that enable families to purchase healthier foods, and frees up household resources that can be used for preventative services and needed medical care.
In Oklahoma, nearly 200,000 households receive SNAP benefits. Funds from the grant will help support a SNAP outreach specialist at the Regional Food Bank. The specialist will meet with eligible applicants at the Regional Food Bank's community-based partner agencies. The Regional Food Bank will gather information about common obstacles to applicants receiving benefits and develop strategies for improving the chances of gaining certification.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks. In the last year, Walmart has donated $443,400 and more than 5.1 million pounds of food to the Regional Food Bank to fight hunger across central and western Oklahoma.
If you are in need of SNAP assistance, visit rfbo.org/gethelp or call 405-972-9111.