To create a food secure region, we must address the SNAP Gap – the percent of people who are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) but are not getting it. SNAP is a powerful piece of our collective toolkit to alleviate hunger, lift individuals and families from poverty, and improve local economies. SNAP is a federal program that provides recipients with a monthly food allowance used to purchase food at local stores. However it can be difficult to navigate the SNAP enrollment process. Feedback from ONT guests sheds light on the challenges including lack of access to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) to enroll in person, uncertainty if they are eligible for benefits, and low benefit allowances.
ONT is now a SNAP enrollment site to ensure registering for these benefits is as accessible and easy as possible. Tress Ricker, ONT’s Food Resource Advocate, is available to help new applicants navigate the application process, answer questions about qualifying for SNAP and recertifying current SNAP beneficiaries. Not only will neighbors have access to more nutritious food, SNAP benefits will also free up money that can be used towards medication, rent and other living expenses. We’re thrilled to have Tress here as a friendly face and companion to help navigate an often intimidating and confusing web of services. To schedule a time with Tress for SNAP help, call 978-388-1907 x18 or pop into the intake office during Market hours.