The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance for families through monthly assistance benefits, formerly known as “Food Stamps.” Although many people think Nutrition Assistance is only something participants take with them to the grocery store, SNAP also puts food on tables and people into employment.
Here are four ways SNAP goes beyond “Food Stamps.”
Employment and Training
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training (SNA E&T) program is intended to prevent long-term reliance on Nutrition Assistance. Participants are given the opportunity to find employment by engaging in work-related activities. Through training, job search activities, and community service, participants can find their way to self-sufficiency.
The SNAP Career Advancement Network (SNAP CAN) is a community-based employment and training program that provides employment readiness services to participants. Services are provided through community partners of DES who are dedicated to connecting participants to the tools and resources they need to overcome barriers and obtain employment.
AZ Health Zone
The AZ Health Zone is an educational program to help Nutrition Assistance recipients keep their families healthy and active, while staying within their budget. From local gardens in the community, to working with schools to create healthy environments, the AZ Health Zone provides families opportunities to be active and healthy.
Restaurant Meals Program
Not everyone is able to prepare their own food. Older adults, individuals with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness may not have the resources or ability to cook food purchased through Nutrition Assistance. The Restaurant Meals Program allows certain participants to use their Electronic Benefits Transaction (EBT) card to purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants.
Nutrition Assistance is an invaluable resource to help individuals and families get the temporary support they need until they reach self-sufficiency. Through the SNAP Outreach program, community partners of DES, like Arizona’s regional food banks, are able to provide application assistance and education to their own clients about Nutrition Assistance.
By Brett Bezio