Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is the country’s primary nutrition assistance program, yet thousands of eligible families do not receive the benefits. Since 2007, the Benefits Outreach Team at the Greater Chicago Food Depository has assisted eligible households submit SNAP applications to the Illinois Department of Human Services, and has been part of the State’s SNAP Outreach Plan since 2009. The team is comprised of outreach staff, partner community organizations and volunteers. In FY17, the Food Depository’s Benefits Outreach Team assisted 7,634 households apply for SNAP and Medicaid benefits.
According to Feeding America’s Hunger in America 2014 national report, 45 percent of clients served by programs affiliated with Feeding America’s network of food banks are not enrolled in SNAP. The study indicates that 72 percent of client households not receiving SNAP are eligible for the program based on self-reported income, but have not enrolled because they are unaware that they qualify.
One half-time (920 hours in total; 18-24 hours per week) Hunger Action Corps member will work alongside the Food Depository’s Benefits Outreach Team and will be responsible for supporting the SNAP-O Network, a group of Food Depository partner agencies who provide SNAP application support to their clients. In this role, the member will help expand and strengthen the SNAP-O Network in an effort to connect more individuals to essential public benefits.
‐ Develop an in-depth knowledge of SNAP and stay up-to-date on changing policies and procedures
‐ Provide education and technical assistance to agency coordinators
‐ Host training events for new SNAP-O Network agency staff and volunteers
‐ Provide technical support to staff and volunteers at agencies in the network
‐ Develop and circulate SNAP-O Network newsletters
‐ Host webinars to disseminate information on changing SNAP policies and procedures
‐ Facilitate the development of partnerships between SNAP-O Network agencies to encourage peer-to-peer network support
‐ Conduct site visits to SNAP-O Network agencies
‐ Encourage agencies to track case dispositions for clients who have been assisted
‐ Support and participate in the collection of client stories to share SNAP impact statements
‐ Administrative duties
‐ Provide support to/screen clients to determine benefit eligibility via the hotline
‐ Follow up with clients to determine case dispositions
‐ Assemble marketing materials for outreach events
‐ Manage and track referrals and documents that come in via the website, e-fax, email, and mail
‐ Data entry to ensure accurate tracking of client cases and SNAP-O Network updates
Education award upon successful completion of service, Living allowance, Student loan forbearance, Training
Permits attendance at school during off hours
Subject to criminal background check