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Cover picture by: Pitrih, from Yugoslavia Hunger Abatement Plan, presented to the public on June 3, 2009


Table of Contents Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 2 Is Hunger Really A Problem? ..................................................................................................... 5 Who are the Hungry in Alachua County? ................................................................................... 8 Costs of Hunger ........................................................................................................................ 10 Strategies to Address Hunger.................................................................................................... 11 The Hunger Abatement Plan (HAP) Planning Process............................................................. 13 Overarching Goals of the HAP ..................................................................................................... 16 1. Ensure Implementation of the HAP ................................................................................... 16 2. Increase Utilization of government programs.................................................................... 17 3. Expand Customer service capabilities of emergency food programs ................................ 18 4. Expand Knowledge of economical food acquisition, nutritious and safe food preparation and storage, and promote self sufficiency among nutrition assistance recipients .................... 18 5. Increase the amount of healthy food available for distribution in the nutrition assistance system ....................................................................................................................................... 19 Hunger Abatement Plan – Logic Models...................................................................................... 21 Appendices .................................................................................................................................... 59 Appendix I: Acknowledgements............................................................................................... 60 Appendix II: HAP Committee Memberships ........................................................................... 62 Appendix III: Local nutrition assistance resources ................................................................... 65 Appendix IV: Survey Results ................................................................................................... 67 Appendix IV-A: Survey Results: 304 food/meal assistance recipients in April 2008 .............. 69 Appendix IV-B: Survey Results: 114 Elder Care meal recipients April 2008 ......................... 85 Appendix IV-C: Survey Results: 49 nutrition assistance agencies and organizations January 2009 ............................................................................................................................. 94 Appendix V: Reports, Studies, Tables, Charts, Data .............................................................. 101 Appendix VI: Model Programs ............................................................................................... 175 Appendix VII: Glossary .......................................................................................................... 198

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The Gainesville – Alachua County Hunger Abatement Plan was prepared by: John Skelly Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Denniese Bennett Alachua County Community Support Services

Brandon Pohja Alachua County Community Support Services

Appendix V Survey Results prepared by: Cheryl Twombly Department of Children & Families

The Logic Models were prepared by co-chairs of the HAP Committees: Karen Slevin Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc.

Janet Allen Women, Infants & Children (WIC)

Jim Hencin Citizen advocate

Sharon Yeago Farmers Market Coalition

Janet Kreischer Elder Options

Tom Barnes Agency for Health Care Administration

Jeff Lee Elder Care of Alachua County

Peggy Exum Alachua County Health Department

Maria Eunice School Board of Alachua County

Brenda Williams Alachua County Cooperative Extension/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)

Pam McMahon University of Florida, Food Science And Human Nutrition Department

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Introduction

T

he Gainesville – Alachua County

Hunger Abatement Plan -“Making Nutrition Accessible to all Citizens”, is the product of dedicated citizens of the community. The Hunger Abatement Plan (HAP) was created here, and will become reality here, only if the community as a whole embraces its goals and insists on its implementation. It is the mission of the Gainesville – Alachua County Hunger Abatement Plan to promote “Food Security” throughout the community. Food Security is access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food Security includes: the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and, an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (e.g., without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing or other coping strategies). The hungry and malnourished in Gainesville and Alachua County are citizens who are not able to adequately access one of the critical needs for life – food. Hunger is a manifestation of poverty. Poverty is growing. Hunger is growing. The consequent costs to society and individuals are growing. The long term 2


consequences of hunger will haunt our community for decades, if not generations. This plan represents an option for an alternate future. First, the bad news(stay tuned for the good news). This is not the first plan to end hunger in Alachua County. In 1986, the Central Florida Community Action Agency, at the behest of the Board of County Commissioners, agreed to lead a Hunger Task Force that developed a plan to reduce hunger by improving the Food Stamp program participation rate, by increasing charitable donations within the community, and by improving access to donations from local farmers, among other recommendations. The community was stimulated to this action by the Harvard University School of Public Health labeling Alachua County a “Hunger County”, ranking the county 97th out of the 150 “worst hunger counties” in the USA. The resulting plan called for creation of a food bank, and Bread of the Mighty Food Bank was created. The numerous other recommendations of the Hunger Task Force are depressingly the same or similar to the recommendations presented in this current plan. It would appear that despite all the changes to food assistance programs in the last 23 years, not much has actually changed regarding the failure to provide access to adequate nutrition to all hungry individuals, unable for a variety of reasons, to feed themselves, within Gainesville and Alachua County. In another effort in 2002, the State of Florida announced its “Stamp Out Hunger Five-Year Strategic Plan”. The plan was developed by a large consulting firm with headquarters in Tallahassee, MGT of America. The plan laid out the roadmap for five state agencies (Dept. of Education, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Children & Families, Dept. of Elder Affairs, and the Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services - which are responsible for government nutrition assistance efforts) to achieve success in ending hunger. The plan committed the State of Florida, its legislature, Governor and agencies to achieving four major goals and 61 separate strategies. The goals, objectives and strategies (almost all unmet) are also distressingly similar to our local product of 9 months of work, beginning in September, 2008. The current plan, the “Gainesville – Alachua County Hunger Abatement Plan” (HAP) is the product of local residents, representatives of state and locally operated, federally funded nutrition assistance programs, and local non-profit charitable and faith based organizations providing nutrition assistance. Now, the good news! The HAP contains a major recommendation (not contained in the 1986 Plan) intended to ensure the implementation of the plan, with a feedback 3


mechanism – oversight by an association of nutrition assistance providers, which will develop and present a HAP Update Report to the Community – to be presented one year from now, in June, 2010. It is proposed that a “Gainesville – Alachua County Association of Nutrition Assistance Providers” be formed. Its membership will be open to individuals and all the non-profit, charitable, faith based and governmental nutrition assistance program agencies. It will have a Board of Directors and operate under Bylaws that it adopts. Its two major purposes are to oversee implementation of the HAP, and to provide a monthly forum for all the nutrition assistance agencies to coordinate and collaborate among themselves, sharing information, ideas, & resources. The initial organizing of the association will be accomplished by a volunteer Board composed of individuals who provided leadership in developing the HAP. The responsible agencies and entities, from the small to the mighty, are identified in the HAP and will annually be held accountable for progress in implementing the HAP. Progress at the state and federal levels (where the vast majority of nutrition assistance resources reside) are often dismissed as impossible – a waste of effort. If you believe that, you are helping to ensure it. Ultimately, the community will be the responsible entity for achieving the reduction of hunger and food insecurity in Alachua County. Federal, state and local changes will not occur without the pressure of certain knowledge, among federal, state and local authorities, that their actions and progress (especially with regard to significantly increasing funding for benefits and administration of federal programs) will be observed, measured, and judged as to whether they are either helping to reduce hunger, or helping maintain the status quo, or worse. We believe all the recommendations of the HAP, whether targeted at federal, state or local entities, are achievable. Many recommendations and their attendant positive consequences could be achieved fairly quickly. Many other recommendations can certainly be achieved within a year. Some may never be achieved, but ALL can be. Absent concerted voice and action, it can be guaranteed that we will be going through this same process 20 years from now. You would not be reading these words if you did not care about hunger in the community. Will you commit to becoming involved? This plan will show you what needs to be done.

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Is Hunger Really A Problem? In Alachua County, as in America, most people think we live in the modern era where the government makes sure that all in need of food and nutrition assistance get that vital aid. Many believe that in the rare cases where needy residents cannot obtain federal or state assistance, local charities have adequate resources to come to the rescue of the elderly, children, individuals with physical or behavioral /mental disabilities, veterans, unemployed, working poor, homeless, and others who meet a definition of „food insecure”. Truthfully, America has a long and sad history of providing assistance to those experiencing poverty and hunger. Hunger and the consequent diseases and deaths were widely experienced, even common. During the Great Depression, government funded and administered assistance to the hungry began in a serious way, but since then critics of the poor (and those who assist them) have made periodic efforts to „blame the victims‟ and describe hunger as the consequence of character flaws. Time and again, when challenged for evidence that widespread indolence, laziness, or excessive assistance were the primary causes of hunger, critics of charities and government have been unable to substantiate their claims. Yet, the stigma imposed by the critics has had its intended impact. Local and national data reveal the impact of stigma among elders in need (over 60% receiving local food aid – almost certainly eligible for SNAP benefits, do not receive them – many due to concerns about their reputations.) (See the APPENDIX for results of the local survey of elders receiving meals from Elder Care of Alachua County.) Stigma is a huge problem that contributes to the continuation of hunger in the community. Stigma drives children eligible for free and reduced meals to skip lunch in area high schools, to avoid being identified as „needy‟. The USDA has developed specific measures of relative food security or insecurity, and USDA uses these measures to assess the severity of hunger in localities and states throughout America. (See the APPENDIX for a detailed definition and explanation of the concept of “Food Security” as used by the USDA). Let‟s define “food insecure”. Food Insecurity is limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways. The US Census Bureau defines food insecurity a little differently: “…not always having access to enough food to meet basic needs”. In 2005 the Census Bureau 5


reported more than an estimated 35 million citizens lived in „food insecure‟ households. USDA reports that in 2007, the figure was 36.2 million, including 23.8 million adults and 12.4 million children. (See in APPENDIX the data from FEEDING AMERICA - formerly named America‟s Second Harvest - regarding Hunger and Poverty Statistics, Child Hunger Facts, Hunger in the Suburbs, Rural Hunger, Senior Hunger, Working Poor, Low Income Families, and the Implications of Food Insecurity for Children.) Until recently, St. Francis House (SFH), one of the local emergency shelters for homeless individuals, was serving well over 200 meals per day to residents who did not reside at the shelter. An estimated 25% to 50% of those in line were not homeless, but were merely unable to pay for sufficient food for themselves and their families. (The City of Gainesville has recently insisted that SFH abide by the legally allowed number of meals that can be served to the destitute and hungry – 130 daily – the remainder in line after 130th person is served, they are turned away.) The numbers of people seeking food assistance from other local meal, food and commodities providers have increased exponentially in the past year. Over 22,000 county residents receive Food Stamp (from her on referred to as SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. This represents about 37% of county residents who meet eligibility criteria, which is based largely on income below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level. (See the APPENDIX for results of the local survey of 304 food/meal assistance recipients regarding whether they receive SNAP benefits, and if not, why not.) Does participation in the SNAP cause obesity? According to a study sponsored by the USDA Economic Research Service, written by Michele Ver Ploeg and Katherine Ralston, March, 2008, “Critics of the Food Stamp Program point to higher rates of obesity among some low-income populations and question whether the program might have been too successful in boosting food consumption. They assert that giving assistance in the form of benefits redeemable for food, instead of cash, has led participants to spend more on food and eat more than they would have otherwise. Others wonder if the monthly issuance of food stamp benefits is linked to boom-and-bust cycles of consumption that could lead to weight gain over the long term.” The conclusions do reveal that single women, who receive SNAP benefits for long periods of time, 2 to 5 years, and some young boys and girls, do show an increased 6


tendency towards obesity. This is not true of men and older children however. And the average length of time a person receives SNAP benefits is 8 months. Several possible causes of obesity associated with SNAP are explored in the study. The monthly cycle of under consumption of food (at the end of the month when benefits have run out) followed by overconsumption at the beginning of the month is one suspected cause. Another is the link between long term receipt and tendency to gain weight. Numerous other possible cause and effect possibilities have been postulated but no studies have yet been designed to test the possible cause and effects. The authors‟ general conclusion about what should be done is… “The stronger relationship between food stamp participation and body weight found for women but not for men, the mixed relationships found for young boys and young girls, and the lack of any relationships found for adolescents make it difficult to come up with appropriate changes to the program to address obesity. Most food stamp benefits go to households that contain a child, elderly adult, or nonelderly disabled adult. Devising program changes that are appropriately targeted to household members who may be at risk of gaining weight, without harming those who are not, will be difficult. Nutrition education efforts and other programs that help improve the overall diets of all household members may be more effective.” (emphasis added) Please note that the Hunger Abatement Plan addresses the need for the State of Florida to expand the USDA SNAP Nutrition Education Program to Alachua County and the other 44 counties where no funds or services are currently provided for this purpose, despite federal recommendations and willingness to share the associated costs. (See Goal 1, Objective 3, Strategy 2, in the Logic Model on page 27 of the HAP.) Hunger exists, and it is getting worse in both depth and breadth. This HAP is intended to aid the community in its efforts to feed the hungry, and to help those capable of eliminating the need for assistance, to do so.

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Who are the Hungry in Alachua County? The elementary, middle and high school students who are eligible for school based USDA subsidized meals, but who do not eat breakfast and/or lunches and snacks due to stigma. Families and individuals who appear once a month at Catholic Charities and Gainesville Communities or any number of other local charities, when, despite the desperate efforts of the charities, the food available is sufficient for a few days at best. The working poor who spend half or more of their income on housing. Elders who are on the waiting list to receive meals on wheels. Unemployed people who used to contribute to local charities to feed the hungry, never imagining they would someday be „on line‟ for food, not on the WEB. Residents of rural Alachua County who need nutrition assistance but do not have transportation face location based barriers to access nutrition assistance providers services. People with disabilities who were denied Social Security system disability benefits, or whose benefits are insufficient for them to afford both food and housing. Veterans who come to Gainesville for treatment at the VA but do not have enough income for both food and housing. Families and individuals who are „sanctioned‟ by various federal program administrations for non-compliance with various arcane and sometimes inscrutable directions, rules, etc. Families who are victims of miscommunication (leading to sanctions) between three separate state agencies that administer various aspects of Food Stamps/ SNAP. (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called Food Stamps) Families that do not complete the application processes due to computer literacy challenges, reading literacy challenges, and/or missed appointments (often made months in advance.)

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These are just some of the people you see and pass every day, not knowing about the knots in their stomachs caused by hunger or by the guilt of not being able to feed their children or elderly or disabled parents. While there is hunger among the 1,600 estimated homeless persons in the county, the vast majority of hungry are not homeless. The hungry are among the 63% (25,000 to 30,000 people, conservatively) of residents in the county, eligible for SNAP benefits, who do not receive the federally funded aid. They are among the one in seven, to one in ten, who are food insecure at some time during the year in Alachua County. The USDA reports that the State of Florida average for food insecurity is little over 9% of its population.

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Costs of Hunger In purely economic terms, according to an analysis commissioned by the Sodexho Foundation published in June, 2007, the “Minimum Total Cost Burden of Hunger in America” totals to $90.4 billion. Taken into consideration are the: costs attributable to lost education opportunities of students and lowered productivity of workers ($9.2 billion); costs attributable to illness and psychosocial dysfunction ($66.8 billion); and the costs attributable to charities providing emergency nutrition assistance ($14.4 billion). Please see the APPENDIX item “The Economic Costs of Domestic Hunger – Estimated Annual Burden to the United States”. The critically important conclusion of this analysis, is not in the totals identified above, but the fact that for an investment of an additional (over current expenditures) $10 billion to $12 billion, Congress could „expand existing programs to nearly end hunger” in America. In return for a 13% increase in funding for existing programs, the United States could avoid the economic cost (to say nothing about human costs) of over $90 billion caused by hunger annually. “It cost more to let people go hungry than to feed them” according to the study cited above. An associated economic cost is the cost of low participation in federal programs. According to Florida Impact (flimpact.org) Alachua County loses at least $18 million per year that could be used as benefits to purchase food in the SNAP Program. According to the Food Research Action Center (frac.org) data, in the 2007-2008 school year, Florida was among the top 10 states in lost revenue (due to low participation among eligible students). The funding would have fed an additional 156,300 students and amounted to $34.6 million. The children not served by the federal programs either eat food purchased by their low income households (who could have used the money for other vital necessities) or they obtain food at local charities, or they go hungry. Very many do just go hungry. In purely human terms, we can safely list: human suffering, illness and death caused by hunger, chronic malnutrition among elders, children, working poor , poor fetal development, poor early childhood and brain development, depression and exacerbated other mental illnesses, use of monetary resources to purchase food instead of other vital necessities such as rent, transportation, clothes, health care, dental care, education, etc. This is a short list of human costs of hunger. An exhaustive list would go on forever, as do the impacts on generations of malnourished, ripple upon the shores of the future. 10


Strategies to Address Hunger Six committees were formed at the original Gainesville – Alachua County Hunger Summit on September 18, 2008. Food Stamps Program– SNAP Committee; School Based Meals and Summer Youth Food Committee; Adult and Aging Food Programs Committee; USDA Food & Nutrition Services Programs Committee (including WIC Program, Senior Farmers Market Program, WIC Farmers Market Program, and Commodities Supplemental Food Program); Food Bank and Food Pantries Committee; Self Sufficiency Committee Each committee worked to develop goals, objectives and specific strategies or actions that would address the problems they were aware of or discovered as they met. They shared information about themselves and their agencies, collected data and other information, discussed and analyzed their findings, and agreed upon their recommendations. There were no disagreements among the committees. Numerous recommendations of the various committees reflect common recognition of the same problems and potential solutions. All the committees recognized, from one or multiple perspectives, that invaluable new communication and collaboration among area nutrition assistance agencies (fostered by the committees‟ work) led to immediate improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of those agencies. It was agreed that a forum for such communication and collaborations must be established to maintain „out of the box‟, „out of the funding silos‟ thinking, planning and implementation. The recommendation to create the Alachua County Association of Nutrition Assistance Providers (ACANAP) flowed from this recognition. At the same time needy residents access and use local food assistance resources, they often (most of the time actually) are passing up access to the federal SNAP resources. This situation causes negative impacts within local food bank and pantries – they are overwhelmed with requests for assistance, from people who 11


qualify for federal assistance but who do not receive such. Making recommendations about the policies, administration, and funding of SNAP was a natural development among the committees, due to the very large but unused resources available from SNAP. The recommendations of each committee are reflected within the Logic Model section of the HAP.

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The Hunger Abatement Plan (HAP) Planning Process Community-wide concern over the growing problem of hunger in Gainesville and Alachua County led one of the Board of County Commissioners advisory Boards, the Poverty Reduction Advisory Board (PRAB), to undertake a study of the „big gorilla in the room‟, i.e. the under-utilization of the Food Stamps Program. Under the chairmanship of Peggy Exum (Department of Health) , the PRAB and its subcommittee composed of co-chairs Cornelia Odom (Gainesville Community Ministries) and Jack Donavan (Gainesville City Commission), and members Eileen Roy (School Board of Alachua County), Radha Selvester (FloridaWorks), and Kali Blount (citizen advocate), spent the better part of a year burrowing into the details, including how the Food Stamp Program worked, administrative policy options adopted by the State of Florida, benefits levels, funding for staff to conduct intake, an analysis of the reasons why applications were denied, an analysis of the demographics of who received benefits, an analysis of the understaffed and thus dysfunctional statewide call center system, etc. The results of PRAB‟s work were twofold: a recommendation that the county, at least temporarily, fund a Food Stamps Hotline; and the encouragement of county staff to initiate planning for a community „town hall‟ type meeting on hunger in Alachua County. The community town hall type meeting was originally suggested to the Alachua County and City of Gainesville Commissions by Arupa and Bob Freeman of the Home Van program, which serve homeless and everyone else who asks for a meal. Consequently, both County Commission Chairman Rodney J. Long and City of Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan approved the concept and committed their respective governments to support a Hunger Summit event. The purpose of the Hunger Summit that occurred on September 18, 2008 was to commence a process of developing a Hunger Abatement Plan that would comprehensively address all known and knowable causes and solutions to hunger in the county. A summit event planning team was assembled. The planning team recruited the support of four additional co-sponsoring organizations: United Way of North Central Florida, School Board of Alachua County, Florida Department of Children & Families, and Alachua County Medical Society.

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The invaluable support of each of the six co-sponsors enabled the six committees appointed at the Hunger Summit I to do their work. At the September 18th event, keynote speaker Kate Houston, lead administrator of the Food Stamps program nationwide, along with Florida Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Doug Beach, Department of Children & Families (DCF) Deputy Secretary Don Winstead, and Janie Williams, Chair of the Alachua County School Board, all addressed the appropriateness of and need for the development of a comprehensive Hunger Abatement Plan. Each gave suggestions about how to approach the task, and how to try to ensure the actual implementation of recommendations. It was decided to use six committees, composed of area agency staffs and local citizen advocates, each of which were to focus on different aspects of the hunger problem. The six committees began their work in October 2008, meeting every 2 to 4 weeks, for nine months. The Food Stamps Program Committee took a field trip to the DCF Call Center in Jacksonville, to observe first hand, the operations of and challenges to the understaffed, underfunded portal to gaining benefits. The co-chairs of the six committees met twice towards the end of that nine month planning period to exchange information about their committee‟s work and set a course for final compilation and presentation to the community of the HAP. John Skelly, Director of the Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program functioned as staff for the six committees, assisting with the recordkeeping details of multiple meetings, and keeping each committee informed of business and issues being considered by the other committees. While the HAP does contain an „Acknowledgments” section, the contributions of the DCF ACCESS program staff cannot be overstated. They provided outstandingly helpful information to the committees regarding: the ACCESS program itself and its efforts to expand partnerships with other large and small organizations; the DCF Food Stamp application process; information about processes necessary to maintain access to benefits after initial application approval; and the nature of the working relationships among DCF, the Agency for Work Force Innovation (AWI), and Child Support Enforcement (operated by Florida Dept. of Revenue), among other vitally relevant topics. The HAP will need ongoing maintenance, as local entities, together and individually, work to implement its recommendations, and oversee the overall progress towards full implementation. A follow up Summit is planned for June, 2010 to present to the community a report card on if and how well the 14


recommendations contained within the Logic Model of the HAP have been implemented. No one entity is in charge of oversight. No one entity has authority over all the nutrition assistance programs. Like the HAP itself, implementation must be a community effort, overseen by the agencies that have committed themselves to doing all that has been agreed to and helping the community and its citizens have impacts in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. to truly abate hunger.

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Overarching Goals of the HAP 1. Ensure Implementation of the HAP As stated in the Introduction to the HAP, unless the recommendations are implemented by the identified responsible parties (and others who may be able to assist with implementation) the Goals, Objectives and specific Strategies contained in the HAP will not come to fruition. Numerous well meaning, well documented, and logical assessments of problems and solutions have been developed. Highly paid professional management firms that specialize in contracting with government and industry to study problems and identify viable solutions, have done so relative to hunger in Florida. Funding to implement the recommendations was not provided by the State of Florida, the recommendations were not implemented, and hunger was not „ended‟. The state and its agencies took some actions, of course, but the bottom line is that hunger has only grown as a problem. Local communities have appointed task forces to study hunger and make recommendations to reduce unmet needs. The Bread of the Might Food Bank (BOTM) was the result of just such a local task force in operation in 1986. However, most if not all of the other recommendations (many of which mirror the HAP recommendations) either were not implemented or were done so ineffectively. A short 23 years later, few among us even remember that the 1986 Alachua County Hunger Task Force was formed, what its recommendations were, or whether they were implemented and worked to reduce hunger. We are grateful for their creation of the BOTM and the community has benefitted tremendously from this action, but the remainder of the matters they addressed remain largely unchanged. The HAP will not be implemented unless a well organized and concerted effort is made by some entity to oversee progress (or lack thereof). Therefore, the HAP recommends that the community support the development of an “Association of Nutrition Assistance Providers” which will fulfill that oversight function, among other activities. That new association of agencies will meet regularly, have a Board of Directors, operate under adopted Bylaws, and work to both expand their capabilities and oversee the progress in implementing the HAP. A report to the community one year from now (in June, 2010) should be developed and presented at Hunger Summit III with an item by item accounting of success, progress, or lack thereof for each Goal, Objective and Strategy listed within the 16


HAP. Between now and then, the association, through its members, will work to promote and facilitate the work of its members. Implementation of the HAP rests on two shoulders, local changes and progress, and state and federal government changes and progress. Mark Twain said “Everybody is in favor of progress, but nobody wants to change.” Federal and state funding needs to change. Federal and state rules, procedures, and administrative processes need to change. The capabilities of local agencies need to expand. The HAP contains within its pages specific detailed recommendations about implementation, including the admonition that absent consistent and concerted pressure from HAP advocates (local government, agencies and citizens) the state and federal government will not change; and local agencies will find it exceedingly difficult to expand their capabilities. The ball is our court; the game has to start here and now. Or else, the game is really already over. You decide.

2. Increase Utilization of government programs The United States Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Services (USDA – FNS) administers multiple federal nutrition assistance programs. America‟s largest program in terms of its total budget ($36 billion in 2007), the number of enrolled people and the number of eligible but not enrolled people is the SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps. The veritable well of available resources constituted by the USDA – FNS programs, especially the largest programs (SNAP, School Breakfasts, School Lunches, WIC, and Commodities Supplemental Food programs), dwarf the totality of charitable resources. For example, if you could triple the budget and capabilities of all the local charities, food bank, food pantries, emergency shelters, faith based programs, etc. – it would not add up to more than 5% or 10% of the resources available from USDA – FNS for eligible residents in Alachua County. A tripled Catholic Charities would be able to distribute 3 bags of groceries once a month, instead of one bag. While we certainly want to do all within our power to use local resources to supplement the role and effectiveness of government based assistance, we will never be able to expect that local resources can be the primary means to solving the problems of hunger. See in the APPENDIX the results of a local survey of 304 residents receiving food and meal assistance in April 2008, asking them if they received Food Stamps, and if not , why not. The USDA – FNS programs listed above, if utilized to the extent that 75% of eligible residents participated, would bring between $20 million to $25 million in 17


additional food assistance annually to Alachua County. Other states are achieving such success. Florida must join their ranks.

3. Expand Customer service capabilities of emergency food programs The local emergency food assistance provided by charities, churches, donations of individuals, donations of institutions and others are a critical element of the food and nutrition assistance system that operates in Alachua County. Those agencies serve individuals and families that for whatever reason are not enrolled in government programs, or are enrolled but the government programs provide insufficient resources. It is often noted that most SNAP recipients run out of SNAP benefits before they run out of „month‟. Local organizations are thus supplementing and subsidizing the federal government‟s programs. Some may complain that this is only enabling the government to continue to under-perform, but individuals in need of food would disagree. Thousands of residents in Alachua County would go hungry every day without the local aid they receive. Hundreds are showing up at local food distribution events that last year would have seen 40 or 50 appear. Local agencies could expand their capabilities to receive and distribute donated food from local restaurants, farmers and institutions. Local agencies can expand their coordination, communication and mutual support. To some extent, this has already begun through the HAP Committees‟ plan development process. Local agencies can identify needed physical resources (such as storage and refrigeration facilities) and human resources (such as a coordinated volunteer recruitment, training and assignment process). Commercial and agricultural food waste can be reduced. Local residents not in need of assistance can, through volunteering, gain a greater understanding for the needs of the most needy among us, destroying stereotypes and joining the chorus of citizens demanding the federal and state governments fulfill their obligations.

4. Expand Knowledge of economical food acquisition, nutritious and safe food preparation and storage, and promote self sufficiency among nutrition assistance recipients The Self Sufficiency Committee that contributed to the development of the HAP had the mission of developing recommendations that, when implemented, would expand the capabilities of individuals and families to do their best to regain, to the maximum extent possible, the ability to feed and nurture themselves without the need for assistance. 18


We immediately recognized that many residents who receive food assistance are in life situations and conditions that preclude nutritional self sufficiency. Income, even among the working poor, is often insufficient to purchase sufficient food. However, we also recognize that education about how to obtain the maximum benefit from food resources is and should be a major goal of assistance programs. The HAP is recommending that Alachua County Cooperative Extension/IFAS institute regularly scheduled (quarterly) training events for staff of local agencies that provide nutrition assistance. The training will cover such „how to‟ topics as: where to purchase inexpensive but nutritious food how to prepare attractive and delicious meals and safely store leftovers how to create a family/household budget that reduces spending on „optional‟ items and reserves funds for vital necessities like rent, utilities, transportation, education and food how to look for employment and/or develop better „employability skills‟ how to obtain a GED or other school based education and skills other related topics for self sufficiency training Readily available education materials, menus, budgeting guides, and other education and/or tutoring resources will be provided to agencies which will in turn provide the materials to their customers. Agencies may consider requiring participation in self sufficiency education, among those capable of attending and benefiting from training. Staff of local nutrition assistance agencies will institute opportunities, classes, and other means to educate their customers regarding the self sufficiency strategies available to them. This “Train the Trainer” approach was identified as the most plausible means to encouraging and actively promoting self sufficiency, to the reasonable extent it can be attained by the agencies customers.

5. Increase the amount of healthy food available for distribution in the nutrition assistance system While purchasing food at grocery stores and super markets has been the predominant way for many decades to obtain perishable and non-perishable products that originated on farms, there are now viable and low cost alternatives. We can now purchase „farm fresh produce‟ including some non-perishable items, 19


such as honey, at local farmers markets. Florida now has over 100 farmers markets offering the public many delicious choices of produce that have not been shipped thousands of miles and handled by an unknown numbers of processors. There are two USDA funded programs that support local farmers while providing nutrition assistance to two vulnerable populations, low income elders and low income pregnant and/or parenting mothers. However, those two programs could become even more effective if they could increase the funding available to increase the number of people who can gain access to the benefits. Also, the restricted time period in which one program operates is a deterrent for elders who could benefit from year round (or at least extended) access to the benefits. Another source of locally grown nutrition is the produce left in the fields after harvesting has occurred. “Gleaningâ€? is as old as agriculture itself, yet most of that perfectly edible food is now plowed under, since the farmers cannot locate volunteers or others to actually go out into the fields and manually harvest the produce remaining after mechanized or farm labor worker harvesting. The HAP recommends that there are options available to reduce this waste of food. One is to utilize labor and other resources that could be provided by Alachua County Jail inmates and the certified kitchen located at the Jail. The proposed project would provide some income to inmates, while providing low cost nutritious food to local nutrition assistance agencies. A grant opportunity currently exists and local organizations are considering whether they might be able to access that funding source and/or other resources to design and implement this proposal. Another option is based on the use of volunteers from the community who could become better organized by a local entity to respond to farmersâ€&#x; requests or offers to allow gleaning, as those opportunities arise.

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Hunger Abatement Plan – Logic Models Goal 1: Ensure the implementation of the Hunger Abatement Plan Objective 1: Establish the „Alachua County Association of Nutrition Assistance Providers‟ (ACANAP) Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Solicit volunteers from among co-chairs and/or members of Hunger Abatement Committees to become the Board of Directors of a coalition of food and nutrition assistance service providers. Possible name: Alachua County Association of Nutrition Assistance Providers (ACANAP)

Co-Chairs of Six Hunger Abatement Plan Committees establish Board and Bylaws for coalition of agencies and individuals

2. Seek and acquire additional funding (such as grants from government, foundations & corporations, or donations from individuals and other sources) for local nutrition assistance agencies to build capacity and expand/improve service delivery

ACANAP, individual or partnering nutrition assistance agencies

Estimated expense Staff time of agency reps to attend monthly 1.5 hour meetings

TBD

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Time frame

Desired Outcome

By August 30, 2009

Oversight of implementation of HAP, forum for information sharing, identify new missions/projects for resource utilization, more effective and efficient use of existing resources, development of new resources/capacity building, serve as media focus point, coordinate recruitment and use of volunteers, improvements in food acquisition & distribution systems

By May 30, 2010

ACANAP and the member agencies it serves, will build capacity, and expand quality, quantity, and timeliness of services delivered.


Goal 2: Increase the utilization of government programs Objective 1: Florida government and DCF will improve the intake and eligibility determination systems, and enrollment status maintenance systems, now in place, by implementing actions (including providing additional funding) which address known barriers to enrolling and maintaining enrollment of eligible residents in the program. Strategies 1. Florida should pursue its application to USDA to restore the waiver that allowed for passive interviews for recertification of applications following the approval of initial application for benefits.

2. Florida should request that federal legislation increase the monthly benefit amounts. This applies especially to the minimum amount of $16 per month, to which elder citizens who are receiving retirement benefits, are often entitled. Minimum monthly amount should be $30.

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense DCF, Florida State Existing staff or Legislature, Governor other resources of Florida no additional expense (This would actually be a cost saving development.)

US Congress and TBD by federal President, DCF, USDA Florida State Legislature, Governor of Florida

Time frame

Desired Outcome

Ongoing until achieved

DCF staff will be able to focus on tasks associated with intake of new applications instead of twice yearly recertification processes. Food Stamp benefits recipients will avoid another hurdle involving potential loss of benefits due to lack of or untimely communication with DCF staff twice per year.

ASAP

Elders will be motivated to engage with the federal and state bureaucracy of the program. Individuals and families will receive a more realistic amount of support, while still using Food Stamps/SNAP as „supplementalâ€&#x; to other food & nutrition resources. Individuals and families will need to depend less on local charities, churches, etc. to get through the month.

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3. After appropriate training, “Partner agencies” of the DCF ACCESS program should be allowed to conduct intake interviews (performed after an application has been received by DCF but prior to full determination by DCF regarding eligibility. Currently only DCF employees conduct intake interviews.

Food & Nutrition assistance “Partner” agencies, DCF, State of Florida

Likely Cost savings

ASAP

Staff at local agencies already partnering with DCF through the ACCESS program would be able to perform work to assist the initiation of new cases. This would allow DCF to redirect the efforts of state employees to accomplish functions which only state employees can perform in conformance with federal regulations.

4. Physically consolidate the 2 separate locations even „online „applicants must visit. (One Stop Career Center – for nonparenting able bodied adults; and Child Support Enforcement offices – for parenting adults) Many must visit both.

DCF, Dept. of Revenue, FloridaWorks, State of Florida

TBD

July 1, 2010

The barrier created by the mandated face to face interviews at separate locations about 12 miles apart will be removed. The transportation barrier will be mitigated.

5. Allow DCF local offices and District Administrations to engage in marketing the Food Stamp program using advertisements, special events, billboards, etc.

DCF

TBD, but USDA would share 50% of costs

July 1, 2009

Lifting the current DCF (Tallahassee) administrative policy prohibiting marketing the Food Stamp program to eligible residents would increase the percentage of eligible residents who apply for and receive Food Stamp benefits. Numerous „best practices‟ examples in other states demonstrate the effectiveness of this strategy in overcoming stigma, misinformation, and other barriers to receiving Food Stamp benefits.

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6. Establish compatible and up to date IT systems for data recording and data exchange (communication) among DCF, Child Support Enforcement, and Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). Current archaic and incompatible systems allow erroneous decisions, actions, sanctions, etc. being applied to Food Stamp applicants and recipients

DCF, AWI, CSE, State of Florida

TDB but USDA would pay 50% of costs

7. All written communications with Food Stamp applicants and recipients should be written in clear, simple and logical language so as to be understood. DCF, CSE, and AWI should complete its review and editing of standard letters, forms and other communications regularly being sent to applicants and recipients.

DCF, AWI, CSE

Minimal, Existing September 30, staff or other 2009 resources - no additional expense

Food Stamp applicants and recipients will be able to understand written directions, rules, procedures, etc. and thus be able to avoid terminations, sanctions, and other adverse actions unnecessarily disrupting the receipt of Food Stamp benefits.

8. Data on total dollar amounts flowing into local economies on a monthly basis through use of Food Stamp benefits, and the economic impact of such expenditures, should be transmitted to local Chambers of Commerce and local elected officials, news media, etc.

DCF

Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

Local business interests will become much more supportive of the Food Stamp program and efforts to enroll eligible applicants when they understand the impact on the „bottom lineâ€&#x;. This support will be considered by DCF and state elected officials as they make decisions regarding how best to facilitate access to the Food Stamp program by eligible residents.

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July 1, 2010

July 1, 2009

Applications could be processed with less delay, with fewer errors, and fewer consequent erroneous sanctions and other adverse actions and consequences for applicants and recipients .


9. The State of Florida should change its calculations associated with determining SNAP benefits level to use 4.0 times the average weekly pay instead of the 4.3 times average weekly pay, as is the current practice.

DCF

None, as SNAP benefits are 100% USDA funded

ASAP

This measure would potentially increase the benefits of an average SNAP recipient by $16 to $20 per month

Objective 2: Local nutrition assistance agencies and other state programs will become partners with the DCF ACCESS program and collaborate with both their customers and DCF to encourage and facilitate submission of applications from likely eligible customers. Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. DCF and Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC), School District, and other USDA funded programs will collaborate to inform, encourage and facilitate submission of applications from their customers to other existing federal, state and locally available programs and resources

USDA Food & nutrition Services (FNS) funded agencies (DCF, WIC, SBAC, Commodities Program, Sr. Farmers Market Program) Senior Meals Programs

2. Local nutrition assistance programs and agencies will collaborate with DCF Access program and all other USDA funded food assistance programs to encourage and facilitate participation

All local nutrition assistance agencies

Estimated expense Minimal

Minimal

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Time frame

Desired Outcome

July 1, 2009

When “federal assistance eligible� individuals and families are better able to address nutritional needs by way of participation in the various programs, they will be less dependent on local resources, and the community will more fully and comprehensively address the nutritional needs of elders, children, individuals with disabilities, working poor, and other needy residents.

September 1, 2009

Local agencies will assist their customers gain access to available federal resources, taking pressure off local resources that can be better used to assist individuals and families in need, but who are not eligible for federal assistance.


Objective 3: Additional USDA financial and programmatic resources available to USDA funded agencies and local nutrition assistance agencies will be identified and pursued. Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. USDA Food Stamp “Outreach” and “Participation” grants will be secured by coalitions of nutrition assistance agencies such as DCF, faith based organizations, non-profit agencies, etc.

DCF, other USDA funded programs, local nutrition assistance agencies

2. The State of Florida should allocate sufficient funding to establish the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program in Alachua County to educate recipients about the most effective use of assistance; where to purchase low cost nutritious food; food preparation; basic home economics including household budgeting; and other self sufficiency promoting subject matter.

State of Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension/IFAS, DCF

Estimated expense Grant funded costs TBD

$8.50 per Food Stamp recipient per year is the national average. Florida spends $1.50. USDA matches state costs 50/50. At current level of support ($1.50 per participant) State would spend approx. $33,000 in Ala. Co.

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Time frame

Desired Outcome

July 1, 2010

Many local organizations want to assist their customers gain access to federal programs, and funding from USDA for this purpose is available for successful applicants. Successful programs would increase the percentage of eligible residents who receive Food Stamp benefits. A positive economic development impact, better nourished healthier citizens, and more productive work force are among the benefits of these programs.

July 1, 2010

The program (now operated in only 22 of 67 counties in Florida) would assist Food Stamp recipients make best use of available resources, reduce the need for local agencies to rescue Food Stamp recipients toward the end of each month when Food Stamp benefits have most often been exhausted, and promote self sufficiency among assistance recipients.


3. The State of Florida should contract with local restaurants that agree to participate with the SNAP to provide hot meals to homeless individuals, as allowed under federal legislation

DCF, local restaurants, Alachua County Coalition for Homeless & Hungry, local agencies that serve homeless individuals

TBD, but likely 100% SNAP benefits cost covered by USDA

By October 1, 2009

Local homeless individuals would be able to obtain hot meals at local restaurants. Local restaurants could increase their sales.

Objective 4: Mitigate the barriers to receiving Food Stamps/SNAP benefits created by the online application process implemented by the State of Florida. Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. DCF and USDA funded nutrition assistance programs, as well as all other local nutrition assistance programs, should hand out more paper applications to potential applicants who cannot or (for a variety of reasons) do not use the online application process.

DCF, USDA funded programs, local nutrition assistance programs

2. More local nutrition assistance agencies need to enter into partnership with the DCF ACCESS program to be trained how to assist with the paper application process

Local nutrition assistance agencies

Estimated expense Minimal

Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

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Time frame

Desired Outcome

July 1, 2009

Previously discouraged or frustrated Food Stamp/SNAP eligible residents will begin the application process and receive the assistance required to complete the application and intake processes. For example, elderly grandparents who have custody of grandchildren, and are not „internet ableâ€&#x;, would have option to use paper application.

July 1, 2009

Assistance to local residents would be available from multiple agencies which have regular contact with nutritionally needy who have not applied for Food Stamp benefits because of real or perceived barriers associated with the online application process.


Objective 5: Facilitate access to federal food & nutrition assistance programs to improve food security for the community. Strategies 1. All Food & Nutrition Assistance providers should encourage customers to apply for Food Stamps/SNAP and other federal programs customers may be eligible for, such as WIC, School Meals, Senior Farmers market, etc.

Responsible Parties Food & Nutrition Assistance Organizations operating in Alachua County

Estimated expense Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

Time frame Immediately

Desired Outcome Reduce burden on non-USDA , Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) local agencies, increase participation in federal programs, improve overall community food security

Objective 6: Expand DCF ACCESS program participation among local nutrition assistance providers Strategies 1. All Food & Nutrition Assistance providers should become partner agencies with DCF ACCESS Program

Responsible Parties Food & Nutrition Assistance Organizations operating in Alachua County

Estimated expense Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

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Time frame Immediately

Desired Outcome Increased access to DCF economic services (Food Stamps/SNAP and Medicaid) Improved food security for community


Objective 7: Establish Alachua County Nutrition Assistance Map Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Create on the County WEB site a GIS based mapping service that identifies locations and other information to increase access to services

Alachua County Department of Growth Management

Estimated expense Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

Time frame By August 1, 2009

Desired Outcome The public, service providers, and news media will be able to access comprehensive information regarding existing systems and agents of food and nutrition service delivery

Objective 8: Provide up-to-date information on service availability to citizens receiving nutrition assistance Strategies 1. Local nutrition assistance agencies should distribute (along with non-perishable food) flyers, brochures or other promotional and informational materials regarding area nutrition services, especially WIC information to pregnant women and families with young children.

Responsible Parties Local nutrition assistance agencies, ACANAP

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame By July 1, 2009

Desired Outcome More eligible residents will become aware of the community programs. Increased participation in WIC will increase overall community food and nutrition resources. Increased WIC participation (above the 62% of eligible residents now participating) in federally funded programs will reduce the need for local non-federal programs to provide assistance, enabling them to focus on needs of other „food insecureâ€&#x; residents. Better nourished fetuses and young children will be healthier and avoid nutrition deficiency based problems such as subnormal pre natal development and poor post natal development. We will reverse the situation wherein Alachua County, over the past 15 years, has lagged about 10% below the statewide average of eligible citizens who participate in the WIC.

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Objective 9: Overcome transportation barriers and enable easier access to services by rural residents in need of assistance Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Bring services closer to those in need by physically locating (at least periodically) a presence within rural communities

Local service provider agencies plus state and federal programs

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame By September30, 2009

Desired Outcome Increased access to resources, at least equivalent to access available in Gainesville Metropolitan Area

Objective 10: WIC participation will increase to 65% of the potentially eligible Alachua County population by July 2010. Strategies

1. Use Government Access Channel 12 and other communications tools of the City of Gainesville and Alachua County to disseminate information about the program, application process, benefits to fetuses and young children, etc.

2. Develop a radio PSA for use

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

More eligible residents will become aware of the program and its benefits. Pregnant women will have the advantage of nutrition counseling and supplemental food throughout their pregnancy. Good counseling will increase the number of women who breastfeed their infants resulting in better nourished children.

WIC, City of Gainesville, Alachua County

Minimal

By August 30, 2009

WIC

Minimal

By Aug 30th, 2008

on stations with a high percentage of WIC eligible listeners. Example KISS105

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3. Meet semi-annually with local OB/GYN and Pediatric practioners and their staff to increase knowledge about eligibility criteria, emphasize benefits of early participation, and request assistance in promoting enrollment in the program, even before medical care begins.

4. Provide marketing and referral

Appropriate Alachua County Medical Society members , WIC

Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

By December 1, 2009

Increased participation, increased early participation, more acceptance and support from the medical community to promote participation and consequent benefits.

WIC

Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

By July 1,2009

Increased participation, increased early participation, more acceptance and support from the pregnancy and birthing community to promote participation and consequent benefits

WIC, Healthy Start, Healthy Families

Minimal

By August 1, 2009

Multiple points of marketing and encouragement directed at eligible women will increase participation in WIC.

WIC, Action Network, Black Ministerial Alliance, other ministers associations

minimal

August 1, 2009

This forum would be an opportunity to reach out to eligible participants.

information annually to pregnancy centers and other sites that provide pregnancy tests and/or pregnancy services.

5. Increase collaboration among WIC, Healthy Start, and Healthy Families programs to encourage women to enroll all eligible family members in WIC, emphasize importance of keeping appointment, and otherwise support and market the WIC program

6. Initiate regular communications with area faith based organizations, especially ministerial groups, and Action Network to promote enrollment in WIC of eligible women and children

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7. Local offices of OB/GYN, Pediatrics practitioners, and other health care providers should distribute marketing materials for the WIC program

Clinics, Doctors offices, Hospitals, and other health care providers serving pregnant and parenting patients

WIC has sufficient funding to provide brochures and other marketing materials

By August 1, 2009

More eligible residents will become aware of the program and its benefits. Increased participation in WIC will increase overall community food and nutrition resources. Increased participation (above the 62% of eligible residents now participating) will reduce the need for local non-federal programs to provide assistance, enabling them to focus on needs of other „food insecure‟ residents. Better nourished fetuses and young children will be healthier and avoid nutrition deficiency based problems such as subnormal pre natal development and poor post natal development.

8. To overcome the stigma (among both health care professionals and eligible residents) of WIC being a „welfare‟ program, WIC should develop new marketing materials that visually and in written format emphasize benefits to fetuses and children, while de-emphasizing the „low income‟ federal program funding and identity.

WIC

WIC has sufficient funding to provide brochures and other marketing materials

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By December 30, 2009

Medical practitioners will be more enthusiastic about distributing materials in their offices if they do not appear to be associated with government funded assistance to low income families. Eligible residents will be more enthusiastic about receiving nutrition assistance for their fetuses and children once the „stigma factor‟ is removed not working as a barrier to participation.


9. As stated in the Food Stamp Program recommendations, both Food Stamps/SNAP and WIC offices should be cross referring customers who are possibly eligible for the programs. Both WIC and Food Stamp office should also be cross referring customers to local nutrition assistance programs.

WIC, Food Stamp, Local nutrition assistance agencies

Minimal costs

By August 1, 2009

More eligible residents will become aware of the program and its benefits. Increased participation in WIC will increase overall community food and nutrition resources. Increased participation (above the 62% of eligible residents now participating) will reduce the need for local non-federal programs to provide assistance, enabling them to focus on needs of other „food insecureâ€&#x; residents. Better nourished fetuses and young children will be healthier and avoid nutrition deficiency based problems such as subnormal pre natal development and poor post natal development.

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Objective 11: Improve the percentage of WIC participants who enter the program during the first trimester of pregnancy. Early (first trimester) participation is a major goal of the national program. Strategies

1. WIC will review the overall application, intake, certification and enrollment process now in place to try to determine whether the marketing (stigma factor), application (long waiting time for first appointment), and/or intake procedures (high caseloads for staff and high no–show rates for appointments) are creating barriers to early enrollment.

Responsible Parties ACANAP, WIC, Alachua County Health Department

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame

By June 30, 2010

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Desired Outcome

Shands (which operates the WIC program in Alachua County) and interested parties will be able to have a better idea about the causes of low early participation in WIC, and develop strategies to address those causes locally, as well as make any appropriate recommendations to the State and/or federal agencies which would facilitate earlier participation.


Objective 12: Improve retention of children in the WIC program by reducing the frequency of re-certifications needed to keep children enrolled, and by convincing women enrolled that when they only use WIC for infant formula, they are wasting the opportunity for nutrition assistance until the child reaches 5 years old. Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. When WIC is being considered WIC, ACANAP, for reauthorization by Congress and the President, the ACANAP and other supporters of WIC should visit, write to or otherwise contact elected officials to encourage reducing frequency of recertification.

2. WIC program will implement

Estimated expense

Desired Outcome

TBD

WIC Reauthorization time frame???

Retention in the WIC program and associated benefits therefrom.

TBD

By June 30, 2010

Children in need of nutritional support and who are eligible for WIC (which is based on much higher income allowance – 185% of Federal Poverty level compared to Food Stamp Program) will be retained in the program and will benefit from supplemental nutrition assistance.

local interested parties

WIC, ACANAP

Time frame

„best practices‟, marketing strategies, etc. promoted by USDA and other organizations to consider actions that may encourage, reward, incentivize, or otherwise promote retention of children, beyond infancy, in the program

35


Objective 13: Local government, nutrition assistance agencies, and the general public should contact federal elected officials and use any organizational resources available (such as lobbying consultant firms) to educate Congress about the benefits of the WIC Farmers Market and Senior Farmers Market programs and the need to expand funding to better serve the target populations. Strategies

1. Alachua County and City of Gainesville will use their lobbying consultant to: promote reauthorization of the WIC Farmers Market and Senior Farmers Market programs; increase funding; make the programs „entitlement‟ programs.

2. Local nutrition assistance agencies will contact Congress, and encourage their supporters and the general population, and especially the programs‟ target population to: promote reauthorization of both programs; increase funding; make the programs „entitlement‟ programs.

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

Both programs will be reauthorized, additional funding will be provided to improve program performance (such as improved outreach and participation), and both program will become entitlement programs to establish administrative and programmatic stability and enable farmers to consistently rely on their ability to participate in providing produce for the programs.

Alachua County BOCC, City of Gainesville Commission

Minimal

By July 1, 2009

Nutrition assistance agencies, ACANAP

Minimal

July 1, 2009

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Objective 14: Mitigate barriers to participation in the WIC Farmers Market program among WIC enrolled mothers, who tend to be young, are often not well educated about cooking and food preparation, and are unfamiliar with many of the foods available from farmers markets. Strategies

1. Access to WIC Farmers

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense TBD

By September 1, 2009

WIC participants will be able to shop locally at convenient sites close to their homes/neighborhoods. The WIC Farmers Market retailing „environment‟ will be more familiar and comfortable to WIC participants.

Farmers, WIC

TBD

By September 1, 2009

WIC participants will have amply quality produce to choose from (food will not „run out‟ or be of low quality/eye appeal) and will be able to purchase familiar foods they know how to prepare and serve.

ACANAP, WIC, FDACS

Existing staff or other resources no additional expense

October 1, 2009

Review of sites will remove those sites that are not providing enough opportunities for use of WIC coupons and will add new sites that offer more value and availability of locally grown fresh produce

that are more familiar and acceptable to WIC program participants, and ensure that sufficient supplies of produce are available at sales locations and times advertised.

3. ACANAP will work with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to review farmers market sites for appropriateness regarding value of products, amount of produce available and times/places of these sites

Desired Outcome

WIC, Food Retailers

Market program produce will be improved by expanding the number of locations convenient to WIC participants

2. Farmers will produce foods

Time frame

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Objective 15: The School Board of Alachua County Food and Nutrition Department will expand current meal delivery models to additional schools, and will further address the issue of stigma which causes children to avoid participation in the meals programs. Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Expand breakfast programs to include in classroom programs in low-income areas

2. Expand grab and go breakfast in secondary schools

3. Develop methods/techniques to eliminate /reduce the stigma attached to free & reduced food service program to increase participation in secondary schools

4. The food backpack program operating at Alachua Elementary School that provides a backpack full of food for children to carry home on Friday afternoons should be expanded to more schools.

Estimated expense

Time frame

Alachua County School Board, Food and Nutrition Services Dept., Principals and Teachers

TBD

Ongoing

Increase in-classroom breakfast program participation

Alachua County School Board, Food and Nutrition Services Dept., Principals and Teachers

TBD

Ongoing

Increase in-classroom breakfast program participation

Alachua County School Board, Food and Nutrition Services Dept., Principals and Teachers

TBD

Fall 2009

Increase participation in secondary schools

Local nutrition assistance agencies, ACANAP, SBAC, faith based organizations

TBD

By September 1, 2009

Children of low income families will be able to carry home food for meals over the weekend, since school meals are not available on Saturday and Sunday. The program could expand beyond its fairly small scope a present. Children will return the empty backpacks on Mondays to the school, and program operators will fill packs again for the following Friday.

38

Desired Outcome


Objective 16: Participation will be improved by coordination of marketing between the programs operated by Alachua County School Board Food and Nutrition Department and Bread of the Mighty Food bank (BOTM), and by local nutrition assistance agencies assisting with marketing the programs. The barrier created by lack of transportation available to feeding sites is recognized and will be addressed by further planning efforts of local nutrition assistance agencies. Strategies

1. Develop a brochure/flier identifying available summer sites and contact information

2. Distribute flier to appropriate contacts, i.e. Churches, food banks and schools

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense Minimal

June 2009

Awareness and participation of summer feeding programs

School Board of Alachua County Food and Nutrition Services and Kids CafĂŠ

Minimal

June-July 2009

Awareness and participation of summer feeding programs

Minimal

May-June Awareness and participation of summer 2009 and 2010 feeding programs

Transportation Costs TBD

Ongoing

summer feeding programs related to summer feeding and develop potential plan

Desired Outcome

School Board of Alachua County Food and Nutrition Services and Kids CafĂŠ

3. Contact media for stories about BOTM, SBAC, 4. Research transportation issues

Time frame

BOTM, SBAC, ACANAP

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Increased capacity to get to and participate at summer feeding program sites


Objective 17: Local government and nutrition assistance agencies will use their administrative and/or lobbying resources to encourage Congress and USDA to amend program recordkeeping/paperwork requirements and provide funding to address transportation barriers that limit participation in the summer youth food programs. Strategies

1. Contact federal elected officials and USDA regarding need to streamline federal paperwork requirements

2. Support (and promote public support) for increased federal and state funding for transportation/access to feeding sites, especially in rural areas

Responsible Parties BOTM, SBAC, Alachua County, City of Gainesville, rural municipalities in Alachua County

Estimated expense Minimal

BOTM, SBAC, Alachua County, City of Gainesville, rural municipalities in Alachua County, ACANAP

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Time frame

Desired Outcome

By Dec. 1, 2009

Reduction in paperwork and administrative expenses

Ongoing

Federal & state financial support for transportation


Objective 18: Local governments and nutrition assistance agencies, and the general public, will contact federal elected officials and USDA FNS administrators in support of easing eligibility criteria and access to Free and Reduced Meals programs. Local governments and nutrition assistance agencies, and the general public, will contact federal elected officials and USDA FNS administrators in support of reducing administrative costs of operating Free and Reduced Meals programs. Strategies

1. Free meal eligibility should be expanded in the upcoming Free and Reduced Meals reauthorization by Congress, so that children from households with incomes up to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level can receive meals at no charge

2. Increase federal meal reimbursement rates to accommodate the provision of quality school breakfast(and lunch) that keep pace with the high cost of fresh produce, grains and dairy (10 point plan)

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

Alachua County School Board, ACANAP, Alachua County, City of Gainesville

Minimal

Ongoing

Combine the „reduced price‟ category with the „free‟ category in order to increase participation, reduce administrative costs and paperwork, and increase assistance for needy families.

Alachua County School Board, ACANAP, Alachua County, City of Gainesville

Minimal

Ongoing

The reimbursement rate will cover the real cost of nutritious food and actual expenses involved in producing a meal. Higher quality meals and more attractive meals will be served to youth in need of nutrition assistance.

TBD

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3. Establish federal reauthorization of Free and Reduced Meals programs, funding for breakfast commodities, which is currently available only to the school lunch program

4. Lobby for nutrition education funding through the congressional reauthorization process for all child nutrition programs. This will provide children at all stages of growth and development with the skills necessary to make lifelong healthy choices

Alachua County School Board, ACANAP, Alachua County, City of Gainesville

Minimal

Ongoing

More nutritious and attractive breakfast meals will be eaten by more eligible children.

Local Elected Officials, Alachua County School Board, ACANAP, Alachua County, City of Gainesville, Congressional Delegation

Minimal

Ongoing

Promote and teach healthy eating as an essential tool to decrease childhood obesity and other diet-related health programs

Objective 20: Improve access to Food Stamps/SNAP through dispelling misconceptions Strategies

1. Conduct further analysis regarding the reasons why some seniors do not utilize SNAP

2. Develop a 1-page flyer that lists myths and facts, focusing specifically on seniors who do not apply for benefits

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

DCF, ElderCare of Alachua County

TBD

3 – 4 months

Determine issues that need to be addressed for use in developing educational material

DCF, ElderCare of Alachua County, Elder Options, IFAS

TBD

1 week – after item 2 complete

More people will apply for benefits once they realize the process is not the same as it used to be or as they imagined it to be.

42


3. Combat the commonly held belief that itâ€&#x;s not worth the time or the hassle to apply

4. Initiate a long range goal of

DCF, ElderCare of Alachua County, Elder Options, IFAS

TBD

Ongoing

ACANAP

TBD

Ongoing

consolidating process for multiple food related federal, state, and local programs and standardizing the eligibility criteria to the extent possible.

Objective 21: Educate the General Public on Available Assistance Strategies

1. Coordinate with ACCESS to conduct training/assistance for applicants, potential applicants, and community partners who will help applicants and potential applicants

2. Place trained people at places/events seniors gather/attend in order to educate and sign people up for SNAP benefits

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

DCF, current ACCESS partners, potential ACCESS partners

TBD

Ongoing

Facilitate the ability of people to apply for benefits and further promote the understanding of the program requirements in the community

DCF, current ACCESS partners, potential ACCESS partners

TBD

Ongoing

Facilitate the ability of people to apply for benefits and further promote the understanding of the program requirements in the community

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Objective 22: Increasing Available Transportation Options for Food Related Trips Strategies

1. Research volunteer options for taking seniors on grocery shopping trips, doing grocery shopping for seniors, etc.

Responsible Parties ACANAP, in conjunction with other area partners

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame

Ongoing

Desired Outcome

Provide increased access to food and food related activities

Objective 23: Florida government and DCF will improve the intake and eligibility determination systems, and enrollment status maintenance systems, now in place, by implementing actions (including providing additional funding) which address known barriers to enrolling and maintaining enrollment of eligible residents in the program. Strategies 1. Florida should use the $5.4 million Food Stamp Programs „productivity bonusâ€&#x; awarded to the state during 2008 by USDA to supplement, not supplant, program appropriations.

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense DCF, Florida State Existing staff or Legislature, Governor other resources of Florida no additional expense

44

Time frame By October 1, 2009

Desired Outcome Supplemental funding will allow additional staff to be hired, improvements in the call center operations, and technical improvements in the online application processes.


2. Establish in local DCF district administration budget additional funding to support “Food Stamp Hotlines� such as the one temporarily funded by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in 2009

State of Florida, DCF

$30,000/year

August 1, 2009

Local residents who do not succeed in reaching the state call center (due to understaffing and under funding of the centers) will be able to contact DCF to: initiate the Food Stamp application process; receive information about local partner agencies that will assist them in applying for Food Stamps/SNAP; and receive services regarding existing Food Stamp cases. Readily available information on existing cases will help prevent disruption of receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP because of simple errors, miscommunications, etc.

3. DCF Call Centers should receive additional funding for staff and technological resources. Current funding levels are directly responsible for inadequate capacity of the 3 statewide call centers to address the volume of calls being attempted daily.

State of Florida, DCF

TBD but half of the costs for operating call centers is paid by USDA

45

ASAP

Increased capacity will increase the number of eligible applicants who can initiate receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP and improve the retention of eligible recipients within the system, avoiding erroneous or unnecessary terminations of cases.


Objective 24: Increase the number of DCF eligibility workers (Economic Self Sufficiency Specialist I) by 300 statewide Strategies 1. Increase the number of Department of Children & Families (DCF) eligibility workers (Economic Self Sufficiency Specialist I)

Responsible Parties DCF, Florida State Legislature, Governor of Florida

Estimated expense $7,971,600 total ($3,985,800 – half the expense would be paid by federal USDA)

Time frame By May 30, 2010

Desired Outcome Barriers to applying for and maintaining access to Food Stamp benefits that have been created by understaffing of local DCF Food Stamp offices, and understaffing of statewide call centers, will be addressed. The return on investment from increased access by eligible residents of Florida and Alachua County includes $1.84 in economic development activity for each $1 Food Stamp benefit spent. More of the (60 percent of Food Stamp „eligible‟ but un-enrolled) residents of Alachua County will receive nutrition assistance for themselves and families. Local nutrition assistance agencies will experience reduced „demands for service‟ as those recipients of local assistance who obtain Food Stamp benefits shift some or all of their need to receive nutrition support from local to federal sources.

Objective 25: Expand DCF ACCESS program participation among local nutrition assistance providers Strategies 1. Increase staffing for DCF ACCESS Program Community Partner Liaisons and increase support offered to local partner agencies

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

State of Florida

Time frame By July 1, 2009

46

Desired Outcome Improved and expanded collaborations, communications, and partnerships with local organizations serving residents eligible for Food Stamp and other federal nutrition assistance programs


Objective 26: Improving DCF Documentation Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Develop an official large font

DCF

Estimated expense TBD by DCF

Time frame

Desired Outcome

TBD by DCF

Increased ease in applying for benefits by producing by providing a larger font size and larger space for answers, as well as, language that is easier for the average applicant to understand

versions of the Request for Assistance form with revised language for improved understandability

Objective 27: Extending Time Frame of Senior Farmerâ€&#x;s Market Program Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Advocate to extend the coupon expiration date to October 31 of each year

st

ElderCare of Alachua County, Dept. of Elder Affairs, Farmerâ€&#x;s Market representatives, Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, other area partners

Estimated expense TBD

47

Time frame

Desired Outcome

Ongoing until changed or determined impossible

Coupon expiration extended to October 31 will allow for a wider variety of foods and will reduce the sense of urgency many seniors feel to use their coupons in a short period of time


Objective 28: Increase the flexibility of using the funding from the Older Americans Act to increase access to nutrition. Strategies

1. Advocate for the blending of Older Americans Act Title IIIC1 (Congregate Meals) and Title IIIC2 (Home Delivered Meals) into a single funding source

2. Advocate for flexibility of funding from the Older Americans Act Title IIIC1 (Congregate Meals) to allow a portion of the funds allotted to be spent on transportation of participants to the meal site

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

ACANAP, Elder Care of Alachua County, Dept. of Elder Affairs, other area partners

TBD

Ongoing until changed or determined impossible

Allows for meals to be provided where the need presents itself. When a surplus of funding exists in congregate meals budget, funding could be used for expenses associated with home delivered meals, which never has enough funding to meet demands.

ACANAP, in conjunction with other area partners

TBD

Ongoing until changed or determined impossible

Allow more seniors to attend senior meal sites where a nutritious lunch time meal can be eaten

48


Objective 29: Increasing Availability of Fresh and Healthy Options at Neighborhood Convenience Stores Strategies

1. Investigate possibility of project to encourage and assist convenience stores to carry nutritious food suitable for seniors and to accept Food Stamps/SNAP for payment

Responsible Parties ACANAP, DCF, Chamber of Commerce, Dept. of Elder Affairs, UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame

March 2010

49

Desired Outcome

Increased proximity of healthy foods will increase the purchase and consumption of these foods rather than of less healthy foods


Goal 3: Expand the customer service capabilities of emergency food programs Objective 1: Access low cost fuel and vehicle maintenance services by collaboration with Alachua County Public Works for Local Nutrition Assistance Providers Strategies

Responsible Parties

Local Nutrition Assistance providers will contract with Providers, Alachua County Alachua County to purchase low-cost fuel and repair/maintenance services from the county

1. Local nutrition assistance

Estimated expense Cost Savings

Time frame

ASAP

Desired Outcome

Nutrition assistance providers will be able to apply funds saved from less expensive fuel and vehicle maintenance to service delivery.

Objective 2: Reduce food waste of restaurants, caterers, and other food institutions and increase availability of food for those in need of assistance Strategies 1. Develop greater physical infrastructure capacity (refrigerated space) available for short term storage (usually overnight) of donated perishable food

Responsible Parties Local nutrition assistance agencies

Estimated expense TBD

50

Time frame By June 30, 2010

Desired Outcome More perishable food will be safely used by those in need instead of going to the landfill


2. Develop a larger organized system of volunteers who will collect perishable food donations from restaurants, caterers, etc.

Local nutrition assistance agencies

TBD

By June 30 , 2010

More perishable food will be safely used by those in need instead of going to the landfill

3. Develop a larger organized system of volunteers who will deliver perishable food donations from restaurants, caterers, etc. to appropriate sites and systems

Local nutrition assistance agencies

TBD

By June 30, 2010

More perishable food will be safely used by those in need instead of going to the landfill

4. Vastly increase the number of restaurants, caterers, and other institutions that will donate perishable food

Local nutrition assistance agencies

TBD

By June 30, 2010

More perishable food will be safely used by those in need instead of going to the landfill. Reduce waste disposal costs for donating entities.

Objective 3: Expand and intensify capacities of local agencies by utilizing energy, intelligence, transportation and other resources available from college student and other volunteers Strategies 1. Develop an organized and managed system of volunteer recruitment, volunteer training and subsequent referral to agencies based on agency needs and individual volunteer availability and capacity

Responsible Parties ACANAP, Cooperative Extension/IFAS, United Way of NCF, UF, SFC

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame By June30, 2010

Desired Outcome Under-utilized resources at local colleges will assist agencies serve their customers needs, and develop philanthropic capacities of students The nutrition assistance agencies will receive referrals of volunteers who have been screened according to established criteria and oriented to the needs and functions of the various agencies. Agencies will be better able to expand and improve quality of services by way of more effective volunteer assistance.

51


Objective 4: Establish a weekend referral program to serve those needing immediate food/meals and to coordinate collection of perishable food items available by way of donations Strategies 1. In order to address immediate needs that arise on weekends, volunteers and/or staff of local nutrition assistance agencies should be available by way of the United Way 211 system or other coordinated information and referral system(s).

Responsible Parties ACANAP, United Way of North Central Florida, area nutrition assistance agencies

Estimated expense TBD

Time frame August 30, 2009

Desired Outcome Residents in immediate need on weekends and holidays will be referred to available resources by the 211 system, ACANAP, voice mail referral (from phone systems of ACANAP members, and other referral systems. Donations offered by restaurants, caterers, and other institutions will be collected, and stored or distributed on weekends, to better use available resources and reduce landfill waste.

Objective 5: Local agencies will become better able to accomplish their organization‟s goals by way of professional development of Boards of Directors, administrators, staff and volunteers Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Establish or locate locally available Board training services and/or Board training materials and establish regularly scheduled training events

ACANAP, Cooperative Extension/IFAS, UF NonProfit Management Courses

2. Plan and implement “Best Practices” workshops and training events for administrators and staff of local nutrition assistance agencies

ACANAP, Cooperative Extension, UF, SFC, ACMS

Estimated expense TBD

TBD

52

Time frame

Desired Outcome

By May 30, 2010

Organizations will receive more effective policy development, and administrative, financial and programmatic oversight and guidance from their Boards of Directors

By May 30, 2010

Organizations will expand and improve quality of services through ongoing efforts to excel in achieving their missions by learning from each other and exemplary models outside of Alachua County


Objective 6: Improve the percentage of WIC participants who enter the program during the first trimester of pregnancy. Early (first trimester) participation is a major goal of the national program. Strategies

1. WIC will hire and train

Responsible Parties

WIC

Estimated expense TBD

additional staff.

53

Time frame

By June 30, 2010

Desired Outcome

Additional staff will reduce wait times for appointments and thereby increase the percentage of original appointments kept.


Goal 4: Expand knowledge of economical food acquisition, nutritious and safe food preparation and storage, and general self-sufficiency actions among nutrition assistance recipients Objective 1: Improve knowledge among nutrition assistance providers regarding food safety and customer self sufficiency training. Strategies

Responsible Parties

1. Provide technical assistance and training to nutrition assistance providers regarding food safety topics, including expiration date best practices, meal preparation, meal service, food storage, etc.

Cooperative Extension/IFAS

2. Provide “Train the Trainer” training to service providers regarding topics related to increasing self sufficiency of the agencies‟ customers

Cooperative Extension/IFAS, Local Nutrition Assistance Providers

Estimated expense Existing staff or other resources - no additional expense

Existing staff or other resources - no additional expense

54

Time frame

Desired Outcome

By August 30, 2009

Safe, nutritious, economical, and effective use of donated food

By August 30, 2009

Service providers will be able to train their customers about best practices to enable self sufficiency. Classes in basic „home economics‟ (cooking „best practices‟ about how to economically acquire nutritious food, prepare appetizing meals, plan meals, avoid dependence on fast food, household budgeting, avoiding exploitation based businesses, etc.)


3. Create DVD presentations and other training materials and tools for use by local nutrition assistance providers

Cooperative Extension/IFAS and County Communications Office, City Communications Office, Volunteer Video Production Companies

4. Provide more prepared and Nutrition Assistance targeted information such as Provider agencies DVDs, printed materials, etc. to agency customers, along with food.

TBD

December 30, 2009

Service providers will have access to professionally produced training materials and tools to reduce dependency and facilitate self sufficiency

Staff time devoted to training classes

By August 30, 2009

Customers will obtain and use: recipes for nutritious, economical meals; food safety information to avoid food caused illnesses; budgeting information about wise use of their resources;

Objective 2: Mitigate barriers to participation among WIC enrolled mothers, who tend to be young, are often not well educated about cooking and food preparation, and are unfamiliar with many of the foods available from farmers markets. Strategies

1. Cooperative Extension/IFAS will employ a „train the trainerâ€&#x; approach to train WIC program staff and area nutrition assistance agencies to train assistance recipients in the arts of fresh produce preparation, cooking, and preservation.

Responsible Parties

Cooperative Extension/IFAS, local nutrition assistance agencies

Estimated expense TBD

55

Time frame

Desired Outcome

By September 1, 2009

WIC participants & other assistance recipients will expand their participation in the WIC & regular farmers market programs, gain access to fresh produce, and enjoy with their families the benefits of improved nutrition, increased self sufficiency, and consequent confidence, self respect, etc.


Goal 5: Increase the amount of healthy food available for distribution in the nutrition assistance system Objective 1: Increasing Funding for the Senior Farmer‟s Market Program Strategies

1. Schedule a meeting to discuss and determine the elements involved and how to progress with the plan of increasing funding for the Senior Farmer‟s Market Program

2. If Strategy 1 determines that the problem is related to the funding allocation process, advocate for an equitable allocation of funds, based on need and capacity to use the funds, across the states that receive this funding

Responsible Parties

Estimated expense

Time frame

Desired Outcome

ACANAP, Elder Care of Alachua County, Dept. of Elder Affairs, Farmer‟s Market representatives, Department of Agriculture, other area partners

TBD

2 – 6 months

Determine if and how additional funds can be obtained for this program. Learn how funding is determined (formula, history, number of active or participating markets, etc.)

ACANAP, Elder Care of Alachua County, Dept. of Elder Affairs, Farmer‟s Market representatives, Department of Agriculture, other area partners

TBD

Ongoing until changed or determined impossible

Secure more funding for the seniors in Alachua County to access fresh fruit and vegetables

56


Objective 2: Gleaning of produce available from local area farms will be increased by use of inmate labor available from the Alachua County Jail. Strategies

1. The Alachua County Jail

Responsible Parties

ASO, ACANAP

Estimated expense TBD

will develop plans to harvest and cut and package locally grown fresh produce and package it at the Jailâ€&#x;s certified kitchen. The prepared produce will be made available to schools, meal sites, BOTM and other nutrition assistance providers.

2. This gleaned produce will be available for sale to food programs locally such as schools who purchase fresh food products

Time frame

By February 1, 2010

Desired Outcome

Fresh produce will be made available. Fresh produce that is eaten by residents in need of assistance rather than being plowed under or rotting in the fields will increase the effective use of available local resources. Inmates will experience the healthy satisfaction of honest labor that benefits residents in need of assistance. Fresh produce that is gleaned and processed and sold will create earned income that will subsidize future activities.

ACNAP, Alachua County School District, others

TBD

57

February 1, 2010


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58


Appendices I. II. III. IV.

Acknowledgements HAP Committee Memberships Local nutrition assistance resources (use United Way I&R listings) Survey Results A. 304 food/meal assistance recipients in April 2008 B. 114 Elder Care meal recipients April 2008 C. 49 nutrition assistance agencies and organizations V. Reports, Studies, Tables, Charts, Data VI. Model Programs VII. Glossary

59


Appendix I: Acknowledgements The Gainesville – Alachua County Hunger Abatement Plan (HAP) was developed under the sponsorship of the City of Gainesville Commission, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, the Alachua County Medical Society, the Florida Department of Children & Families, the School Board of Alachua County and the United Way of North Central Florida. We deeply appreciate their initiative and support of these sponsors, and look forward to working with each to implement the plan‟s recommendations. The HAP was developed over a period of nine months through the tireless work of public servants, both paid and volunteer. About 60 individuals devoted time and energy to the meetings of six committees that met once or twice a month for nine months. The committee reviewing matters related to the SNAP program, conducted a site visit to the Department of Children & Families (DCF) Jacksonville, Florida Call Center, and the administrators of the Call Center devoted half a day to explaining the system operations, even letting the committee members listen in to real calls for assistance. While we are grateful to the DCF staff in Jacksonville, we are especially grateful to the DCF staff and administration based in Gainesville. The DCF ACCESS program staff and the District Administration staff lent invaluable detailed knowledge about SNAP operations to the committees throughout the process of plan development. The successful work of the six committees was enabled by the support of numerous state and federally funded programs including Elder Options and Elder Care of Alachua County; DCF; Agency for Workforce Innovation/FloridaWorks; UF Food Science & Human Nutrition Department; Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program; Florida Department of Health; and Alachua County Cooperative Extension/IFAS. Local agencies that contributed mightily to the successful plan development include Gainesville Community Ministries, Alachua County Social Services, Catholic Charities, School Board of Alachua County Food and Nutrition Services, UF Campus Kitchens, the Farmers Market Coalition, Arbor House, Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, Gainesville City Commission, Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, Salvation Army of Gainesville, United Way of North Central Florida, Fire of God Ministries, the Home Van, Children‟s Home Society, Alachua County Senior Services, Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program, Gainesville Harvest, and the Alachua County Sheriff‟s Office/Alachua County Jail. Numerous citizen volunteers served on the committees and added real life experiences and pointed questions for consideration, as the causes and potential solutions to the 60


growing problem of hunger were identified and analyzed. The citizens never failed to „keep it real‟ for the program staffers and administrators on the committees. And finally, much credit is due to the Board of County Commissioners and the Alachua County Department of Community Support Services, which authorized the county‟s Poverty Reduction Program to devote staff time, materials and financial support to the overall process, beginning with the Hunger Summit I in September, 2008, through the Hunger Summit II in June, 2009, and beyond. A list of membership of the six committees and the co-chairs of those committees is available in APPENDIX II.

61


Appendix II: HAP Committee Memberships

Adult & Aging Food Program Committee Anthony Clarizio, Co-Chair

John Skelly

Elder Care

Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Janet Kreischer, Co-Chair

Linda Gardner

Elder Options

Catholic Charities

David Huckabee

Mary Ann Lee

Elder Options

Citizen

Frankie Scott

Peggy Henderson

Citizen

Department of Children & Families

Godfrey Adams

Rebecca Falmlen

30 Day Reentry Assistance

Alachua County Senior Services

Jeff Lee

Sharon Yeago

Elder Care

Farmers Market Coalition

Jessica Johnson Florida Institute for Workforce

Food Banks & Pantries Committee Jim Hencin, Co-Chair

Ginny McDaniel

Citizen

Food4Kids-Alachua

Karen Slevin, Co-Chair

Godfrey Adams

Catholic Charities

30 Day Reentry Assistance

Charlie Shaw

John Skelly

UF Campus Kitchens

Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Cheryl Twombly

Kent Vann

Department of Children & Families

St. Francis House

Commissioner Rodney Long

Kristy Alsip

Alachua County Board of County Commissioners

United Way/Publix

Deborah Talbot

Rick LeFave

Bread of the Mighty

Gainesville Community Ministries

Denniese Bennett

Sandy Kolb

Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Gainesville Harvest

Dorothy Grubbs

Scot Kellar

Salvation Army

Alachua County Choices

Frances Leslie

Tonya James

Gainesville Harvest

Alachua County Choices

Gary Matthews Citizen

62


Food Stamp Program Committee Peggy Exum, Co-Chair

Godfrey Adams

Department of Health, Poverty Reduction Advisory Board

30 Day Reentry Assistance

Tom Barnes, Co-Chair

Jennifer Anchors

United Way

Children's Home Society

Alexis Williams

John Skelly

Citizen

Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Amy Butler

Julie Dayvault

Department of Children & Families

United Way

Candie Nixon

Robert Goetz

Alachua County Social Services

Citizen

Frankie Scott

Rose Quinn

Citizen

Department of Health

School Based/Summer Youth Meals Programs Committee Maria Eunice, Co-Chair

Cornelia Odom

School Board of Alachua County

Gainesville Community Ministries

Pam McMahon, Co-Chair

Eileen Roy

UF/Food Science & Human Nutrition Department

School Board of Alachua County

Alice Primack

Eunshil McKenna

Poverty Reduction Advisory Board

School Board of Alachua County/Food & Nutrition Services

Amanda Cole

Joe Monasco

Poverty Reduction Advisory Board

Bread of the Mighty

Charlie Shaw

John Skelly

UF Campus Kitchens

Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Christy Oliver Catholic Charities

USDA Food & Nutrition Services Committee Janet Allen, Co-Chair

John Skelly

Women, Infants & Children

Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

Sharon Yeago, Co-Chair

Eugene Morris

Farmers Market Coalition

Alachua County Jail

Carrie Tam

Madeline Travers

Florida Institute for Workplace

Department of Health

Dorothy Burnham

Miriam Elliot

Citizen

Arbor House

Frankie Scott

Mary Jane Deedrick

Citizen

Alachua County Veteran Services

Commissioner Jack Donovan City Commission City of Gainesville

63


Self-Sufficiency Tech Assistance Training Programs Committee Brenda Williams, Co-Chair IFAS/AC Coop. Ext.

Becky O'Brien Department of Children & Families

Cornelia Odom Gainesville Community Ministries

Kathy Kay Catholic Charities

Michelle Banfield Alachua County Social Services

Scot Kellar Alachua County Choices

John Skelly Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program

64


Appendix III: Local nutrition assistance resources

Local Nutrition Assistance Resources For up-to-date information/resources, contact United Way Information & Referral. Dial 2-1-1 or (352) 332-4636 from any telephone in Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy or Union County.

AGED/AGING * CONGREGATE MEALS * FOOD

Provider

Provider Phone

ELDERCARE OF ALACHUA COUNTY

(352) 265-9040

AGED/AGING * HOME DELIVERED MEALS * FOOD

Provider

Provider Phone

COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY

(352) 373-7667

ELDERCARE OF ALACHUA COUNTY

(352) 265-9040

SHARE PROGRAM * FOOD

Provider

Provider Phone

SHARE FLORIDA

(800) 536-3379

EMERGENCY * FOOD

Provider

Provider Phone

CATHOLIC CHARITIES BUREAU

(352) 372-0294

COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY

(352) 373-7667

GAINESVILLE COMMUNITY MINISTRY

(352) 372-8162

HIGH SPRINGS SOCIAL SERVICES

(386) 454-1000

SALVATION ARMY

(352) 376-1743

ST FRANCIS HOUSE

(352) 378-9079

Provider

Provider Phone

DCF-ECONOMIC SELF SUFFICIENCY

(866) 762-2237

FOOD * GOVERNMENT

65


FOOD COUPONS * WOMEN, INFANTS, CHILDREN (WIC)

Provider

Provider Phone

FEARNSIDE FAMILY SERVICES CTR

(352) 392-6911

WIC PROJECT

(352) 392-2757

Provider

Provider Phone

DCF-ECONOMIC SELF SUFFICIENCY

(866) 762-2237

FOOD STAMPS HOTLINE

(352) 955-5338

Provider

Provider Phone

ACORN CLINIC (Brooker)

(352) 485-1133

ALACHUA CO EXTENSION OFFICE

(352) 955-2402

FOOD STAMPS/SNAP

NUTRITION EDUCATION

66


Appendix IV: Survey Results Appendix IV-A: 304 food/meal assistance recipients in April 2008 Appendix IV-B: 114 Elder Care meal recipients April 2008 Appendix IV-C: 49 nutrition assistance agencies and organizations

67


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68


Appendix IV-A: Survey Results: 304 food/meal assistance recipients in April 2008

Poverty Reduction Advisory Board Education Committee Survey on Hunger in Alachua County April 2008 Sites where Hunger Surveys were conducted

Agency/Organization Name Elder Care of Alachua County Catholic Charities Gainesville Community Ministries Warriors for Christ Gainesville Area Aids Project Sister Hazel Saint Vincent de Paul Society Home Van Interfaith Hospitality Network

# Submitted 114 62 47 28 17 15 13 5 4

69

% of Total 37.4% 20.3% 15.4% 9.2% 5.6% 4.9% 4.3% 1.6% 1.3%


** Survey attached at end of Appendix IV-A Survey Completed With Those Seeking Emergency Food Sources During the Last Week of April 2008 in Alachua County 99.0% 300

100 n = 305 90

250

80 66.2%

# Surveyed

70

66.2% of those seeking food from pantries and meal sites do not currently receive Food Stamps.

60 50

150

% of Total

202 200

40 100 100

30 20

50 10 3 0

0 n

y

no answer

Question #1: Do you currently receive Food Stamps?

Survey of Those Seeking Emergency Food that are Not Currently on Food Stamps 200

100

93.1%

n = 202

90 80 140

69.3% 70

69.3% of those not receiving food stamps said they had not tried to apply in the last 6 months

100

60 50 40 30

48

50

20 14 0

10 0

n

y

did not answer

Question #3: Have you tried to apply for Food Stamps in the last 6 months?

70

% of Total

# Surveys

150


Survey of Those Seeking Emergency Food Sources that are Not Currently Receiving Food Stamps 200

n = 202

99.5%

97.5%

95.5%

100

91.6% 86.6%

90 80

70.3%

150

107

60

57.9% had not received Food Stamps in over 24 months, and 53% had NEVER received Food Stamps!

53.0%

100

50

% of Total

# surveys

70

40 30 50 35

20

33

10

8

10 4

4

1

12 to 18

18-24

yes 5 years ago

0

0 never

did not answer

<6

0

6 to 12

Question #5: How many months of Food Stamps have you received in the last 24 months?

Over half of those surveyed had never received Food Stamp benefits. On page 5 of this report is the summary of reasons given why the 202 are not applying for or receiving Food Stamps.

71


Survey of Those Seeking Emergency Food Sources that are Not Currently Receiving Food Stamps 200

100

93.1%

n = 202

90 80 150

107 100

53.0%

Of those currently not receiving food stamps, 53% were aware that they could apply on-line 81D

60 50

% of Total

# surveys

70

40 30

50 20 14 0

10 0

y

n

did not answer

Question #2: Did you know you can apply for Food Stamps On-line?

Over 50% are aware of the on-line application being available to them. 22.5% of this group that are not receiving Food Stamps stated they did not apply because of a lack of PC experience. We have an opportunity to educate this group of potential applicants that they have options. They can apply using a paper application, they can go to a community partner site that offers to assist with the web application, or they can go in and use computers at a local DCF office and receive help with the submission.

72


Question #4: If you did not apply for Food Stamps and are not currently receiving them, please check all that apply: The reasons given below explain why the 66.2% not receiving Food Stamps stated they are not receiving or not applying for the benefit.

o 22.5% (33) stated they have no PC experience. 

This may indicate a misperception that the only way the respondents believe they can apply is through the PC.

o 20.4% (30) stated they either don’t like government assistance or do not wish to apply for food stamps.  A factor attributing to this may be the stigma of being on assistance.

o 20.4% (30) stated they had transportation problems that made applying difficult.

o 19.7% (29) stated the benefits were too low. o 18.4% (27) stated they were currently ineligible either due to existing sanctions or income being too high.  Current sanction policies and other factors of eligibility may warrant review.

o 16.3% (24) stated DCF staff was rude to them or that they had had a bad experience in the past.  The local DCF office has a customer satisfaction survey that they ask each customer to complete to obtain feedback on services and suggestions for improvement.

o 10.2% (15) indicated that they had “other” reasons not to apply. Respondents in these percentages were among those stating they were not currently receiving food stamps (202). They were allowed to pick more than one reason why they had not applied or were receiving. 147 of the 202 indicated a reason that they were not receiving or applying for FS.

73


Among the â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? answers, their answers included I am not able to go pick FS up, I am not able, no ID, no permanent address, and did not think I was entitled. For those surveyed who DO NOT receive Food Stamps, we asked them to respond as to how much income they receive monthly. 52.97% of those seeking emergency food sources who do not receive Food Stamps have monthly income of less than $1000 a month. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 9 $2 50 0+

<$ 24 9

9 <$ 19 9

9 <$ 14 9

<$ 99 9

<$ 49 9

$0

no

an sw

er

Series1

It is important to note that the gross income limit for 1 person for the Food Stamp program is $1107 per month (effective 10-01-07), and the survey respondent households averaged 1.5 individuals each.

For those who DO receive Food Stamps, we asked them to respond as to how much income they receive monthly.

63% of respondents who currently receive Food Stamps but are in need of additional food sources reported having monthly income of less than $1000 per month.

74


50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 9 $2 50 0+

<$ 24 9

9 <$ 19 9

9 <$ 14 9

<$ 99 9

<$ 49 9

$0

no

an sw

er

Series1

Those completing question 8 were allowed to answer more than one reason they found the application process difficult. There were 304 surveys used for this question (one survey in the 305 total had a data entry error). Question #8: Were there parts of the application process that you found to be difficult? Of all those surveyed, 48% (147) said they did not find the application process difficult. 28 % (86) did not answer the question. Of the 24% (71) who stated parts of the application were difficult:

o 32.4% (23) stated that they could not get through by phone or could not get the help they needed by phone.

o 28.2% (20) stated â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? caused difficulties. o 26.8% (19) stated submitting an application was difficult. o 19.7% (14) stated returning verification needed by DCF was difficult. o 18.3% (13) stated attending the interview was difficult.

75


o 11.3% (8) stated meeting Workforce requirements was difficult. o 2.8% (2) stated lack of transportation caused them problems getting through the application process.

o 2.8% (2) stated meeting Child Support Enforcement cooperation was difficult. While the total response numbers are small, they may represent the same issues facing non-participating residents in the larger population of Alachua County. Those completing question 7 were allowed to answer more than one denial reason. Of the 202 respondents not on Food Stamps, 101 answered the question with a reason they were denied. 84 gave no answer

o 14 stated they had never applied o 3 had just applied for the first time and were waiting a decision Question #7: If you applied for Food Stamps and were denied, or tried to apply for Food Stamps and did not complete the process, what reason/s caused you to be unable to receive the benefits?

o o o o o

21.8% (22) stated â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;?. 20.8% (21) stated the application process was too difficult for them. 19.8% (20) stated they were denied due to having a prior sanction. 19.8% (20) stated they could not complete the required interview. 13.9% (14) stated they were over the allowed income limit for food stamps.

o 12.9% (13) stated they had a difficult time returning the required verifications.

o 2.97% (3) stated transportation problems contributed to their denial. Of the 202 who do not currently receive Food Stamps, we asked them to explain where they are getting their food. They were allowed to answer more than one source. Based on the survey, it was evident that many had to seek help from several sources to try and supplement their monthly food needs. 76


Question 9: In the last 60 days, please indicate where your food came from?

o 51.5% (86) stated they use their personal income to buy their monthly food.

o 37.1% (62) stated they used community meal programs to supplement their monthly food needs.

o 35.3% (59) stated they supplement their monthly food needs by going to food pantries/food banks.

o 29.3% (49) stated they received help from local churches. o 26.4% (44) stated friend or family helped them supplement their monthly food needs.

o 5.4% (9) stated they used other government programs or â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;?. o 1.8% (3) stated they ate from dumpsters. o .6% (1) stated they grew a garden to help meet their food needs. Of the 202 surveys who do not receive Food Stamps, 167 responses were used for question 9.

o 32 of the 202 had given no response o 3 invalid data entries were also not used Those surveyed were allowed to answer question 10 with more than one answer. Question 10: Why do you need food from the pantry today?

o 52% (115) stated they had insufficient income to buy their food. o 39% (87) stated that their food stamps did not last the month. o 31% (69) stated that health issues caused them to need food from the emergency sources.

o 22 % (49) said transportation costs contributed to their need to rely on emergency food sources.

o 16% (36) indicated that high shelter costs caused them to need emergency food sources.

o 14% (32) indicated that they had inadequate kitchen facilities to use to prepare their own meals.

o 11% (25) indicated that they shared their food with others and needed to use the emergency food sources to get through the month. 77


o 3% (7) stated they were homeless and/or hungry. o 3% (6) indicated child care expenses contributed to their need to seek help.

o 1 % (3) stated they were using the emergency food because they either did not want Food Stamps or had not yet applied.

Of the 305 total surveys, 222 gave an answer for question 10. The other 83 either gave no answer or indicated a non-specific â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;?. Survey of Those Seeking Emergency Food Sources in Alachua County (both receiving and not receiving Food Stamps) 99.3% 99.6%

250

98.9%

98.2%

96.8%

n = 283 in top 10 answers. 305 total surveys

100

92.2% 90 82.0% 80

# Surveys

70

Only 4.6% reported that they had heard about the Food Stamp program from other agencies. 27.2% are hearing about the program from friends, which can mean the information being shared is inaccurate.

63.3%

150

103 36.4% 100 76

60 50 40 30

53

20

50 29

10

13 4

2

1

1

1

DCF, friend

friend, media

DCF, other

agency, media

DCF, family

0

0 DCF

friend

did not answer

media

agency

Question #6: Where did you first hear about the Food Stamp Program?

Only 4.6% of respondents to Question #6 indicated that their first information about the Food Stamp program came from local agencies. Local agencies in active partnership with DCF have the opportunity to dramatically assist expanding access to the program by vigorous efforts to inform their customers. Successful public information efforts would benefit the customer and help local agencies conserve valuable and scarce local resources.

78

% of Total

200


Survey of Food Pantry Participants

The Poverty Reduction Advisory Board is collecting data to help us understand how we can reduce poverty in Alachua County. Please complete this survey about your sources of food. Your insights are vital to help create an accurate assessment of the need in our area.

What foods are you receiving this week from all charities? o Pantry Items ( canned foods, boxed foods) o Breads, bakery items, dairy and/or produce (perishables o Prepared Meals About Your Household: Number of Adults (age18+):_________

Number of Children (age 0-17):_________

Monthly EARNED Income (pay checks from jobs): o o o o o o

$0-499 $500-999 $1000-1499 $1500-1999 $2000-2499 $2500 or more

Monthly UNEARNED Income (Benefits like Social Security, Disability, TANF, Unemployment, Child Support, Adoption Subsidy, Foster Care checks, Food Stamps, etc.) o o o o o o

$0-499 $500-999 $1000-1499 $1500-1999 $2000-2499 $2500 or more

79


Survey Questions: 1.

Do you currently receive Food Stamps?

o Yes o No 2. Are you aware that the application for Food Stamps is available on-line and can be accessed through computers at libraries and other community partner sites?

o o 3.

Yes No

If you do not receive Food Stamps, have you tried to apply in the past 6 months?

o Yes o No 4.

If you did NOT apply for Food Stamps and are NOT currently receiving them, please check all that apply:

o o o o o o o o 5.

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like government assistance I had a bad experience in the past Some case workers treat people badly I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use computers well I did not have transportation The benefits are too low I have a sanction from the last time I received Food Stamps Other_____________________________________________________

In the past 2 years, I have received _________ months of Food Stamps

o o o o o

Less than 6 months 6-12 months 12-18 months 18-24 months Never Received

80


6.

I first heard about the Food Stamp program from_______

o o o o o 7.

Department of Children and Families office Representative at a local community agency Friend or family member told me about the program Public announcement or media information Other______________________________________________________

If you applied for Food Stamps and were denied, or tried to apply for Food Stamps and did not complete the process, what reason(s) caused you to be unable to receive the benefits?

o The application submission process was difficult (circle either Web o o o o 8.

application or paper application) Was unable to complete the required interview Was unable to return the required verifications Had a sanction that caused the application to be denied Other______________________________________________________

Were there parts of the Food Stamp application process that you found to be difficult?

o No o Yes (check all that apply:) o Submitting the application o Attending the interview o I could not get through on the phone o Returning needed verifications o Completing Child Support cooperation requirements o Completing Florida Works activities o Other________________________________________________ 9.

In the last 60 days, please indicate where your food supply came from (may indicate more than one source)

o o o o o o o

Food Stamps Food Pantry/Food Bank Churches Community meal program (example-St. Francis House, Salvation Army, etc) Purchased food with personal income sources Friends/Family provided Other______________________________________________________

81


10.

Why do you need food from the pantry today? (Check all that apply)

o Health problem of someone in household (funds were needed for healthcare o o o o o o o o 11.

or someone missed work due to health or care-giving) Transportation problem (vehicle needed repairs or someone could not work due to lack of transportation or gasoline costs cut into food budget) Inadequate kitchen (do not have functional refrigerator, stove, and/or storage place to store or prepare food so family must purchase prepared foods or small quantities at a time) Childcare (childcare costs use up too much of the family budget or lack of childcare means adult cannot go to work) Home Costs (repairing or replacing something in the home cut into food budget or due to inadequate housing or homelessness, adults were unable to work) Food Stamps do not cover full monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food costs Insufficient income to purchase all food required by household (even if no one gets sick and nothing breaks, there is just not enough income to cover all food costs) Shared food with others (assisted family or friends) Other_____________________________________________________

Please indicate any suggestions you have for improving/simplifying the Food Stamp application process: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your comments and insights are appreciated. Date_________________________ Survey completed at (agency/organization) _____________________________________

82


Help is Available: If you would like assistance in the following areas, please check appropriate circles and fill in your contact information below: o Applying for Food Stamps o Applying for food subsidies for pregnant women, and babies & children under age 5 (WIC) o Applying for food subsidies for children (School & Summer Lunches) o Healthcare programs for adults o Healthcare programs for children o Obtaining Social Security or Disability Benefits o Veterans Services o Securing Employment o Training for a Career o Applying for Vocational Rehabilitation services o Employment for Low-Income Seniors (age 55+) o Accessing Unemployment Benefits Name:__________________________________________________________________

Address:_______________________________________________________________

City & Zip Code:________________________________________________________

Telephone:______________________________________________________________

Email Address:__________________________________________________________

83


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84


Appendix IV-B: Survey Results: 114 Elder Care meal recipients April 2008

Poverty Reduction Advisory Board Education Committee Survey on Hunger in Alachua County April 2008

Survey Results from the 114 surveys completed by those seeking food assistance through Elder Care

85


** Survey attached at the end of Appendix IV-A Survey of Those Seeking Food Assistance Through Elder Care in Alachua County 97.4%

100

n = 114 90

100

80

70

58

60

50.9%

50.9% of those seeking food assistance through Elder Care DO NOT receive Food Stamps 53

60

50

% of Total

# Surveys

80

40 40 30

20

20

10 3 0

0 n

y

no answer

Question #1: Do you Currently Receive Food Stamp benefits?

Survey of Those Seeking Food Assistance Through Elder Care who DO NOT Receive Food Stamps 98.3%

100

n = 58 50

49

90

84.5%

80 70

40

30

50 40

20 30 20

10

8 10 1

0

0 n

y

did not answer

Question# 3 : Have you tried to apply for Food Stamps in the last 6 months?

86

% of Total

# surveys

60

84.5% stated they HAVE NOT tried to apply for Food Stamps in the past 6 months.


Survey of Those Seeking Food Through Elder Care who Do Not Receive Food Stamps 96.6%

100

93.1%

n = 58

89.7% 90

50 80 67.2%

39

70

70.7% had not received Food Stamps in the last 24 months, and 67.2% had NEVER received Food Stamps.

30

60 50

% of Total

# Surveys

40

40 20 30 13 20

10

10 2

2

2

0

6-12 months

did not answer

0

0 never

<6

Question #5: Haw many months of Food Stamps have you received in the last 24 months?

There is an outreach opportunity available within this group. For those not receiving Food Stamps currently, over 67% have never participated in the Food Stamp program.

87


Survey of Those Seeking Food Assistance Through Elder Care who DO NOT Receive Food Stamps 98.3%

100

n = 58 90 50 80

40

50% of those not currently receiving Food Stamps DID NOT know that they can apply on-line.

70

30

29

28

50

% of Total

# surveys

60 50.0%

40 20 30 20

10

10 1 0

0 n

y

did not answer

Question #2: Did you know that you can apply for Food Stamps On-line?

Just over 50% were not aware of the on-line application being available to them. An opportunity we have is to educate this group of potential applicants that they do have options. They can apply using a paper application, they can go to a community partner site that offers to assist with the web application, or they can go in and use computers at a local DCF office and receive help with the submission. Question #4: If you did not apply for Food Stamps and are not currently receiving them, please check all that apply:

88


The reasons given below explain why the 50.9% not receiving Food Stamps stated they are not receiving or not applying for the benefit.

o 32.6% (15) indicated they have no PC experience. o 23.9% (11) indicated they either donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like government assistance or do not wish to apply for food stamps.

o 19.6% (9) indicated they had transportation problems that made applying difficult.

o 17.4% (8) stated they were currently ineligible either due to existing sanctions or income being too high.

o 15.2% (7) indicated the benefits were too low. o 15.2% (7) indicated DCF staff was rude to them or that they had had a bad experience in the past.

o 13.0% (6) indicated that they had â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? reasons not to apply. Respondents in these percentages were among those stating they were not currently receiving food stamps (58). They were allowed to pick more than one reason why they had not applied or were receiving. 12 surveys did not indicate a reason that they were not receiving/applying for FS. Many elderly and/or disabled potential recipients may not be aware that there are simplified procedures in place to help make the application process easier.

89


For those surveyed who DO NOT receive Food Stamps, we asked them to respond as to how much income they receive monthly. 53.5% of those seeking emergency food sources have monthly income of less than $1000 a month.

30 25 20 15 10 5 0

<$ 49 9 <$ 99 9 <$ 14 99 <$ 19 ov 99 er no $20 00 re sp on se

$0

Series1

It is important to note that the gross income limit for 1 person for the Food Stamp program is $1107 per month (effective 10-01-07) For those who DO receive Food Stamps, we asked them to respond as to how much income they receive monthly. 62.3% of respondents who currently receive Food Stamps but are in need of additional food sources reported having monthly income of less than $1000 per month.

25 20 15 10 5 0

<$ 49 9 <$ 99 9 <$ 14 99 <$ 19 ov 99 er no $20 00 re sp on se

$0

Series1

90


Those completing question 8 were allowed to answer more than one reason they found the application process difficult. There were 83 surveys used for this question (83 of the 114 surveys indicated a response for this question). Question #8: Were there parts of the application process that you found to be difficult? Of all those surveyed, 49% said they did not find the application process difficult. 27% did not answer the question. Of the 24% who stated parts of the application were difficult:

o 33.3% stated “other” caused difficulties o 25.9% stated that they could not get through by phone or could not get the help they needed by phone.

o 22.2% stated submitting an application was difficult o 18.5% stated attending the interview was difficult o 11.1% stated returning verification needed by DCF was difficult Question #7: If you applied for Food Stamps and were denied, or tried to apply for Food Stamps and did not complete the process, What reason/s caused you to be unable to receive the benefits? o 19.2% stated the application process was too difficult for them o 26.9% stated “other” o 19.2% stated they could not complete the required interview. o 15.4% stated they have not applied o 13.5% stated they had a difficult time returning the required verifications o 7.7% stated they were denied due to having a prior sanction or ineligible due to income o 3.8% stated that they have an application in process

91


Those completing the survey were allowed to answer more than one reason. 62 of the 114 gave no answer for this question. Those surveyed were allowed to answer this question with more than one answer. Question 10: Why do you need food from the pantry today? o 48.9% indicated they had insufficient income to buy their food. o 41.5% indicated that their food stamps did not last the month. o 34.0% indicated that health issues caused them to need food from the emergency sources. o 20.2% said transportation issues contributed to their need to rely on emergency food sources. o 15.9% indicated that high shelter costs caused them to need emergency food sources. o 11.7% indicated that they had inadequate kitchen facilities to use to prepare their own meals. o 10.6% indicated that they shared their food with others and needed to use the emergency food sources to get through the month. o 5.3% indicated child care expenses contributed to their need to seek help. o 1% stated they were homeless and/or hungry

Question 9: For those not receiving Food Stamps, where is their food coming from? o 55.6% stated they use their personal income to buy their monthly food o 51.1% stated they used community meal programs to meet their monthly food needs o 28.9% stated they received help from local churches

92


o 24.4% stated they met their monthly food needs by going to food pantries/food banks o 24.4% stated friend or family helped them meet their monthly food needs o 4.4% stated they ate from dumpsters Those completing surveys were allowed to pick more than one selection that they were using to meet their monthly food needs. Survey of Those Seeking Food Assistance through Elder Care n = 114 100

8.8% of those surveyed stated they heard about the FS program from other agencies.

# Surveys

80

17.5% of those surveyed base their Food Stamp program knowledge on information from friends or their prior personal knowledge.

60 48

40 28 17

20

10

7 2

1

1

0 DCF

media

friend

agency

other

other-common other-welfare did not answer knowledge days

Question # 6 : Where did you hear about the Food Stamp program?

42.1% receive their information about the Food Stamp program from DCF. The fact that only 8.8% of those surveyed stated that other agencies are providing them information about the Food Stamp program is another area of opportunity. If all social service agencies and organizations have some basic knowledge about the Food Stamp program and application process, they can share this information with those experiencing hardships meeting their monthly food needs. This networking could have a very positive impact on Food Stamp participation rates in Alachua County. 93


Appendix IV-C: Survey Results: 49 nutrition assistance agencies and organizations January 2009 Gainesville/ Alachua County Food Bank and Pantries Committee Survey of Area Food Assistance Providers January 2009 1. What services does your agency provide?

Assistance Provided 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 od Fo

S

m ta

ps

n No

od Fo

ls rra e f Re

m Ite

rN fo

on

s od Fo

Ite

d s s d ts a ls it e er oo ce is i oo f e i h S v v F r M le d e uc Se ab ble ed ste Vo om r a h n o h a No s p ri tp g tio is h re er pe ou ca r in P t P u u n a d Ed ed n No st. at ve Di i n G Do od d o Fo Fo

ms

r we s An

51 Providers submitted a survey. Each was allowed to circle more than one service being provided. 3 did not provide an answer to this question. 62.5% provide non-perishable food items (30 of 48 responses) 43.8% provide prepared meals (21 of 48 responses) 41.7% provide donated perishable foods (20 of 48 responses) 18.8% provide educational programs about food preparation and nutrition (9 of 48 responses) 16.7% provide food distributions at locations outside of their main site (8 of 48)

94


6.3% provide vouchers to refer people to get food (3 of 48) 2.1% provide non food items (1 of 48) 2.1% provide food stamps (1 of 48) 2. When are these services provided?

Days Food is Available

un da y Fr id a Tu y es d Th ay ur sd N ay o A ns w er M o W nd e d ay ne sd a 7 da y ys /w k S at ur da y

S

M

-F

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

Of the 17 sites that provide food Monday through Friday, 4 do so by referral only. 4 sites indicate they have food available 7 days per week. For those sites who offer food on selected days per week, Friday and Sunday each have 8 sites providing food. Saturday (3 sites) offered the least amount of service.

95


3. Do you have multiple locations? Sites that Indicate Having Multiple Locations 50

100

94.1%

n = 51

90 80

40

30

29

56.9%

60 50 19

20

40 30 20

10

3 0

10 0

No

Yes

No Answer

Do you have multiple locations?

4. Based on a recent month, please estimate the total number of people

96

% of Total

Responses

70


who have received assistance from your organization. Total Number of People Fed in October 2008 98.4%

96.4%

100

n = 287142 90 250000 224454

78.2%

80 70 60

150000

50

% of Total

Number of individuals

200000

40 100000 30 52448

20

50000

10 5717

4523

Elderly

Homeless

0

0 Children

Adults

How many people did your organization feed in October 2008?

These numbers include children fed through the Alachua County School system. Total served was 287,142. Food Stamps were issued to 21,657 individuals in Alachua County during the month of October 2008. These totals are included in the Adults total, were actually a combination of adults and children. 715 individuals were turned away without food assistance during the surveyed month. These turned away were from sites other than the school lunch programs and Food Stamp totals.

97


5. Have those providing food seen an increase in the levels of requested service in the last 12 months? Food Pantry and Meal Sites who state there has been an increase in food assistance requests. 98.0% 50

100

n = 51 90 80

40

70

64.7%

60

30

50 40

20

17 30 20

10

10 1 0

0 yes

did not answer

no

Have you seen increases in requests for food at your site?

65% of the total reported an increase. If you take out those who did not answer, 97.6%(33 of 34) that answered reported an increase.

98

% of Total

Frequency

33


6. Where does each site obtain the food they distribute? Where does the food you distribute come from? 96.0% n = 149

140

100

89.3% 90 79.9%

120

80 69.8%

Frequency

56.4%

60

80 50 39.6% 60

40 30

40

30

20.1%

29

25

20

20

15

20

14

10

6

sw An No

ra ta u Re s

er

nt s

s er ar m Lo ca lF

de ra

lP

re s er y ro c

US DA /F e

St o

rc he s G

at e Pr iv

Ch u

Do no

nk s Ba Fo od

gm

0

rs

0

10

Food Sources for Donations

Most of the food being distributed is coming from the Food Bank or private donations. Churches also provide a high percent of these donations. Restaurant donations only account for 22.2% (10 of 45) of the total donations for those who answered this question. Donations from local farmers only attributed to 31.1%(14 of 45) of the total donation sources.

99

% of Total

70

100


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100


Appendix V: Reports, Studies, Tables, Charts, Data Feeding Florida 2007: Responses to Hunger in the Sunshine State USDA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; FNS Data The Economic Cost of Domestic Hunger: Estimated Annual Burden to the United States Feeding America: Hunger and Poverty Statistics, Child Hunger Facts, Hunger in the Suburbs, Rural Hunger, Senior Hunger, Working Poor, Low Income Families, Implication of Food Insecurity for Children, Estimated Average Percent of Children Under 5 Years of Age Food Insecure 2005-2007, Estimated Average Rate of Children Under 18 Food Insecure 2005-2007 Cost of Low Participation Rates (School Breakfast Program) Definitions Food Security in the United States: Definitions of Hunger and Food Security Food Stamps and Obesity: What We Know and What It Means

101


102


103


104


105


106


USDA – FNS Data

107


108


USDA – FNS Data

109


110


111


112


113


114


115


116


117


118


119


120


121


122


123


124


125


126


127


128


129


130


131


132


133


134


135


136


137


138


139


140


141


142


143


144


145


146


147


148


149


150


151


152


153


154


155


156


157


158


159


160


161


162


163


164


165


166


167


168


http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/June08/Features/FoodStampsObesity.htm

169


170


171


172


173


174


Appendix VI: Model Programs Promising Practices of Food Stamp Outreach in the United States Provided through the USDA Arizona The Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA), a recipient of a food stamp outreach grant in FY 2007, provides outreach materials and makes presentations to Spanish-speaking groups to encourage use of a website that pre-screens for 19 local, State and Federal social service programs. Pre-screening is available in English or Spanish and many of the program applications are available online. Because it is vital to address language barriers and trust issues when working with those who fear accessing the social services network, ACAA partners with trusted individuals in the community. The success of this strategy was demonstrated recently at an elementary school where ACAA talked with Hispanic mothers of school-aged children who are homeless or doubling up with friends or relatives. The Homeless School Liaison who works with the parents on a daily basis served as an interpreter. The mothers present were extremely engaged and asked a lot of important questions. For more information, contact: Katie Kahle, Program Manager, Arizona Community Action Association, 2700 N. 3rd Street, Suite 3040, Phoenix AZ, 602-604-0640. The EBT at Farmers Market Project provides wireless Point of Sale (POS) terminals to 14 Farmers‟ Markets throughout Arizona so that Food Stamp customers have the opportunity to utilize their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) or QUEST cards at these markets. This project is a collaborative effort to improve client access to healthy foods while building community and economic assets through local food production and distribution. Partners include Arizona Community Action Association, Association of Arizona Food Banks, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Community Food Connections, USDA, local farmers and farmers‟ markets. In five months, the program showed a 111 percent increase in participation over the same time period in 2003-2004. For more information, contact: Cindy Gentry, Executive Director, Community Food Connections, P.O. Box 22216, Phoenix, AZ 85028, 602-493-5231, cgentry@foodconnect.org. In Yavapai County, Food Stamp Program outreach is conducted with food distribution by the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Food Plus (CSFP) participants, while waiting in line, are asked if they are participating in the Food Stamp Program. If not, they are referred to the Food Assistance and Nutrition for Seniors (FANS) representative, located in each of the towns in the County, to get more information and schedule an appointment. All participants are given phone numbers for the local FANS representative and the local office of the AZ Department of Economic Security. WIC participants are referred to the Food Stamp Program and given an application and the local phone number to call for an appointment. This continues to be a valuable outreach practice in Yavapai County. For more information, contact: Peter Schlichting, Nutrition Director, Yavapai County Community Health Services, 1090 Commerce Drive, Prescott AZ 86305, 928-771-3138, peter.schlichting@co.yavapai.az.us.

Arkansas Southern Good Faith Fund (SGFF) developed a “Senior Discount Card” which they distributed to local businesses in an effort to reach older adult patrons with information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The card, the size of a business card, contains information about SNAP as well as SGFF contact information on one side. The flip side was attached or laminated to the back of senior discount cards that local merchants distribute. For the merchants that

175


use “one time only” coupons, the card was stapled to the coupon so the older patron could receive SNAP information and still be able to redeem the coupon. SGFF was awarded a SNAP Outreach Grant in FY 2006, For more information, contact Angela Duran, President, Southern Good Faith Fund, 2304 West 29th Avenue, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71603, 870-535-6233, ext. 40. Department of Human Services currently operates under a semi-annual reporting waiver. Requirements for reporting changes every six months instead of monthly, makes the Food Stamp Program certification process more client-friendly and reduces the heavy caseload burden on certification workers. For more information, contact: Anne Snell, FNS Southwest Regional office, snell.a@fns.usda.gov, 214-290-9900.

California The Monterey County Department of Social and Employment Services (DSES) brings comprehensive services to limited-access populations by going out to them. MC-CHOICE staff bring WiFi enabled laptops and printers to complete as much of the application process as possible off-site and each outreach worker is assigned their own fully resourced van to ensure they can function as a mini-office. The many government and non-profit partners they have developed provide a multiplicity of venues to reach the geographically, ethnically, and socially isolated communities in the County – WIC clinics, Town Halls, health clinics, food banks Laundromats, and churches among them. In 2007, MC-CHOICE outreach staff worked at 632 sites providing enrollment information and assistance to 47,019 people. During the same time, the number of food stamp households increased 7.5 percent over the previous year. They credit their success to the presence and credibility of their outreach staff which in turn has drawn committed county and state funding to continue MC-CHOICE throughout the next fiscal year. Monterey County DSES is a recipient of the 2008 Hunger Champion Award. For more information, contact Star Howard, MCCHOICE Coordinator, Monterey County DSES, 1000 S. Main Street, Salinas, CA, howardsm@co.monterey.ca.us, 831-784-5619. In partnership with the Food Bank, Alameda County Social Services facilitates periodic Food Stamp Program trainings for organizations interested in helping their own clients apply for FSP benefits. Participants receive a training manual complete with tools and resources to help them get started in their own Food Stamp Program eligibility pre-screening efforts. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Gomez, Outreach Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 24590, Oakland, CA 94623, egomez@accfb.org 510-834-3663. Alameda County Food Bank bi-lingual staff makes 20 minute presentations to community groups designed to share information about WIC, Summer Food Service Program, food bank distributions and Food Stamp Program benefits. They also participate in health fairs and school events to make these presentations. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Gomez, Outreach Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 24590, Oakland, CA 94623, egomez@accfb.org 510-834-3663. Alameda County Food Bank offers Food Stamp Program Enrollment Clinics for community-based organizations and their clients. Bi-lingual staff screens clients for eligibility and assists them in completing the application. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Gomez, Outreach Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 24590, Oakland, CA 94623, egomez@accfb.org 510-834-3663. Alameda County material is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese and Vietnamese and could be available in additional languages:

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1. 2. 3. 4.

Free Food Within Your Reach, a food resource guide for Alameda County residents. Free Food Within Your Reach, a short video highlighting real families receiving benefits. Food Stamps for Working Families, a color leaflet to help dispel myths with facts. What‟s New With Food Stamps? –a flyer announcing newest changes to Food Stamp Program

For more information, contact: Elizabeth Gomez, Outreach Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 24590, Oakland, CA 94623, egomez@accfb.org 510-8343663. Alameda County Food Bank operates a Food Helpline where callers can get emergency food referrals as well as free over-the-phone eligibility pre-screening for Food Stamp Program benefits. Callers can speak to a bi-lingual operator who will also mail them an application and provide assistance throughout the application process. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Gomez, Outreach Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 24590, Oakland, CA 94623, egomez@accfb.org 510-834-3663. Alameda County Social Services and the Food Bank facilitate meetings to identify barriers and find solutions to help increase participation in the Food Stamp Program. Meeting participants include staff members from various community, county and federal agencies. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Gomez, Outreach Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 24590, Oakland, CA 94623, egomez@accfb.org 510-834-3663. Cardenas Market had Spanish speaking volunteers at their Food Stamp Program eligibility prescreening events in stores in underserved areas. For more information, contact Madeline Viens at Madeline.Viens@fns.usda.gov. Orange County Social Services partners with the Community Action Partnership to provide Food Stamps in Four Hours. In this “relay team” operation, potentially eligible persons are identified at food distribution centers, pre-screened, offered bus transportation to a workshop location to receive assistance in completing applications, and then offered transportation to the Social Services Agency where the application process is completed. For more information, contact: Jerry Sanders, Commodity Supplemental Food Program Manager, Community Action Partnership of Orange County, 12640 Knott Street, Garden Grove, CA 92841, jsanders@capoc.org, 714-897-6670. Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties Food Bank aired television ads aimed at marketing Food Stamp Program benefits as a nutrition and health solution. They also completed a five-minute video in English and Spanish, which answers 12 commonly-asked questions about Food Stamp Program benefits. The video is being distributed to health and social service agencies on California‟s central coast. For more information, contact: Lee Mercer, Director of Education and Outreach, Food Bank of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, P.O. Box 990, Watsonville, CA 95077, lee@thefoodbank.org, 831-722-7110 ext. 220. Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties Food Bank offers FSP eligibility screening through their Food Hotline. Callers interested in applying are assisted with the application over the phone, invited to come in to the food bank for assistance, or transferred directly via CENTREX line to the County Food Stamp Program office. For more information, contact: Lee Mercer, Director of Education and Outreach, Food Bank of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, P.O. Box 990, Watsonville, CA 95077, lee@thefoodbank.org, 831-722-7110 ext. 220.

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From September 2004 to February 2005, The Community Food Bank of Fresno and FoodLink for Tulare County partnered with the Food and Nutrition Service Western Regional Office and the Congressional Hunger Center to build county food stamp outreach networks, deliver a media campaign, and seek program delivery practices that increase access. The Congressional Hunger Center assigned two Emerson National Hunger Fellows to the food banks for six months, during which time the Fellows developed two county food stamp access task forces that provided outreach training and resources to community partners and created partnerships with county social services agencies to deliver timely processing of outreach-generated applications. The Fellows designed and implemented a media campaign through transit advertisement and earned media spots in local and statewide newspapers and radio. They also arranged for proclamations to increase food stamp access and food security by county Boards of Supervisors and worked closely with county social services staff to test practices to increase access. The success of the work was marked by the development of commitment and common vision among all partners. For more information, contact: Brooke Wentworth, Special Projects Coordinator, FoodLink for Tulare County, 7427 W. Sunnyview, Visalia CA 93291, brookew@foodlinkTC.org, 559-651-3663; Dayatra Latin, Programs and Services Manager, Community Food Bank of Fresno, 210 N. Thorne Avenue, Fresno CA 93706, programs@communityfoodbank.net, 559-237-3663. The Food and Nutrition Service Western Regional Office, in partnership with the California Department of Social Services has formed a working group with a small number of key California counties to pursue changes in application and processing policies to increase Food Stamp Program access and increase participation. The group will pursue obtaining waivers of Federal and State policy procedures where needed in order to implement their proposals. The effort is marked by the commitment of county partners to provide good service to their clients and a good working environment for their staff. For more information, contact: Dave Bailey, FNS Western Region, 550 Kearney St., Rm. 400, San Francisco, CA 94108-2518, dave.bailey@fns.usda.gov

Connecticut Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries, a recipient of a food stamp outreach grant in FY 2006, works exclusively with low wage Hispanic immigrants in their community. They attribute some success to the fact that their offices are in a church which is perceived as safe ground, but the primary factor is the high quality of their outreach worker. “Word spread fast in the community that she would help them. They do not come here for our emergency food pantry; they come to see our FSP outreach worker. For successful outreach, one has to be available to the target population. Because they work during the day, one has to be flexible enough to meet with them at their community gatherings, usually a church event; and one has to live by one‟s word.” For more information, contact: Susan Pronovost, Food Stamp Grant Project Director, Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries, 16 Church Street, Waterbury, CT 06702, susan.pronovost@snet.net. The Hispanic Health Council of Hartford and the Connecticut Department of Social Services collaborated to produce a fotonovela titled "In Times of Need, Food Stamps Are Here to Help." Written in a culturally appropriate format at a sixth grade reading level, the fotonovela educates the reader about food stamps and the health benefits that may result from participating in the program. For more information, contact: Richard Burt, Connecticut Department of Social Services, Hartford, CT, 860-424-5384, richard.burt@po.state.ct.us. The Department of Social Services does special mailings to soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters encouraging them to make available Food Stamp Program applications and information to their customers. For more information, contact: Mary E. Parizo, Mary.Parizo@po.state.ct.us.

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Florida The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has contracted with a private, non-profit organization, Florida Impact Education Fund, Inc. (Impact), to operate a toll-free help line, prescreen potential clients, and send information on the Food Stamp Program to low income residents. During the FY 2005, Impact also included information regarding Earned Income Tax Credit in their mail-outs to potential clients. For more information, contact: Debra A. Susie, Ph.D., Executive Director, Florida Impact Education Fund, Inc., 345 W. Magnolia Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301, 850309-1488, dsusie@flimpact.org.

Illinois The Lake County Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) depends upon collaboration with other government and community organizations in order to effectively conduct outreach. “Our most successful outreach strategy is hosting a monthly Quality Council meeting with community organizations where information is shared and partnerships are developed to meet the needs of the community.” As a result of their collaboration, township offices throughout the county accept and forward applications from potential clients, job centers provide office space for eligibility workers to be on site four hours a week, community organizations help clients meet the work requirement by providing community service, and a local college teaches GED and ESL classes at the local office which creates opportunities for potential clients and staff to help one another as well as build trust. FCRC is a recipient of the 2008 Hunger Champion Award. For more information, contact: Victoria Kanellis, Local Office Administrator, Lake County Family Community Resource Center, 3235 Belvidere Road, Park City, IL, victoria.kanellis@illinois.gov, 847-366-8961. The Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with community organizations and the Food and Nutrition Service, organized two events between October 2004 and April 2005 called “Link Days” referring to the name of the Food Stamp Program EBT card in Illinois. Targeted to specific low income neighborhoods in Cook County, the events took place on a weekday morning. Publicity appeared in neighborhood newspapers and was posted by neighborhood businesses. On the day of each event, guests were welcomed by community, DHS, and FNS dignitaries, were given printed materials about the Food Stamp Program in their language, had their questions answered in their language by DHS interpreters, and were able to sit down with either a caseworker and interpreter or a bi-lingual caseworker who took their applications. Of the 95 people who attended the first event sponsored by the Chinese American Service League, 24 applications were taken in Chinatown. The second event sponsored by the Indo-American Center was attended by 85 people and 34 applications were received. FSP participation has increased beyond these numbers in these neighborhoods due to the presence of interpreters at the events. The bilingual speakers let non-English speakers know they may qualify for benefits and assured them that applying will not be detrimental to their citizenship status. In addition, active participation of the community organizations was essential to the success of the event. There are plans to hold additional events throughout the state. For more information, contact: Greg Diephouse, Project Manager, Illinois Department of Human Services, Chicago IL 60607, DHSE073@dhs.state.il.us, 312-793-8634.

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State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and El Centro Hispano publish Food Stamp Program information in other languages. For more information, contact Robin Masters at Robin.Masters@fns.usda.gov. A local Food Stamp Program worker at the Allen County office in Fort Wayne took the initiative to devise a way to make communicating with non-English speaking applicants much easier. He had basic interview questions translated into the five languages most commonly spoken in the area â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bosnian, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Burmese. The questions were then transferred to cue cards and secured by a key ring. Applicants can search for the language they understand. This has reduced frustration, reduced processing time, and served as a useful tool for workers to find the right translator when needed for an expedited application interview. For more information, contact: Karen Snodgrass, Division of Family and Children, 210 East Rudisill Blvd, Suite 100, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46806, 260-458-6301. Monroe County Office of Family and Children (OFC) participates in outreach efforts monthly at the Shalom Community Center, a faith-based initiative providing food, clothing, diapers and other services to low income clients. On days that the Center distributes free lunches and bagged food, OFC staff is present to answer questions about the Food Stamp Program and to assist with Emergency Food Stamp Program applications. For more information, contact: Lisa Chaplin, 812336-6351.

Iowa The Des Moines County office participated in Service Excellence training for all Income Maintenance and Support staff in 2004. As part of the training, staff participated in a poverty simulation that enlightened them about how customers feel when they need to apply for assistance. This training has been of value in increasing customer service and it is knowledge that can be passed on to other community agencies through presentations made as part of their outreach effort. The emphasis on customer service reportedly contributed to the 15.9 percent increase in Food Assistance caseloads during the same year. For more information, contact: Cathy Taylor, IM Administrator, Davenport Service Area, Iowa Department of Human Services, 563-326-8794. During October and November of 2004, the Department of Human Services conducted Food Stamp Program outreach in northwestern counties of the State through a partnership with Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. who in turn worked in conjunction with the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) and the Lyons County local Food Stamp Program office. Outreach activities consisted of providing information on how and where to apply, general program guidelines, and the benefits of participating. Assistance was provided in completing applications, gathering necessary documentation and in following up on the initial application. Seven outreach staff spent four hours a week on these efforts for 8 weeks. Most of those assisted were elderly households. Participation did increase. Final results will be determined at the end of FY 2005. For more information, contact: Linda Mount, Executive Officer, Iowa Department of Human Services, Des Moines IA 50317, 515-281-8259, lmount@dhs.state.ia.us.

Kansas Since early 2003, the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has had an on-line assessment and application process which allows potential clients to assess their eligibility for the Food Stamp Program as well as other programs. In addition, application can be made 24-7 on-line in English or Spanish at https://srits004.sr.state.ks.us/. A completed application is sent automatically to the service center in the area where the applicant lives, unless the applicant chooses to have it sent to

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another service center. For more information, contact: Alice Womack, Assistant Director, Capacity and Resource Development, Kansas DSRS, DSOB, 915 S.W. Harrison, 681W, Topeka KS 66612, 785-291-3314, acw@srskansas.org. The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has worked with local community partners statewide to develop over 300 Access Points where consumers may go to obtain information about programs, pick up an application form, apply online if the site has a computer available, and in some instances receive assistance in completing and filing an application. A map and complete list of Access Points is available by city and county at: http://www.srskansas.org/locations.htm. In many instances, the Access Point is conveniently located at an agency that the consumer regularly uses for other services or activities. For more information, contact: Alice Womack, Assistant Director, Capacity and Resource Development, Kansas DSRS, DSOB, 915 S.W. Harrison, 681W, Topeka KS 66612, 785-291-3314, acw@srskansas.org. The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services publishes articles biannually in Family Matters, an informational magazine produced by Kansas Public Radio Network that is targeted to teens and their families and is widely distributed throughout the State. In addition to the articles, 30 radio spots on Kansas Public Radio are available annually for agency announcements and dissemination of educational information about agency services. For more information, contact: Alice Womack, Assistant Director, Capacity and Resource Development, Kansas DSRS, DSOB, 915 S.W. Harrison, 681W, Topeka KS 66612, 785-291-3314, acw@srskansas.org. The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has established a partnership to fight hunger with Dillon‟s (80 grocery stores statewide) and the Kansas Food Bank. The kickoff event was held at the Dillon‟s Store in Hutchinson in June, 2004 to coincide with National Hunger Awareness Day. Nineteen organizations sponsored booths and approximately 500 Food Stamp applications and informational packets were distributed to attendees. Another 900 applications and informational brochures were provided to Dillon‟s for distribution at nine of their stores in the surrounding area. Ongoing outreach is being provided at all Dillon‟s stores. Food Assistance (Food Stamps) and Kansas Food Bank information as well as a pre-screening tool and applications are available at Dillon‟s customer service desks. Outreach messages are also included in Dillon‟s advertisements to the public. For more information, contact: Alice Womack, Assistant Director, Capacity and Resource Development, Kansas DSRS, DSOB, 915 S.W. Harrison, 681W, Topeka KS 66612, 785-291-3314, acw@srskansas.org. Governor Kathleen Sebelius created a Hunger Reduction Team in 2004 to implement strategies to reduce food insecurity and hunger. This interagency team has been working to link at-risk populations to food assistance services and has implemented several strategies to raise the awareness of hunger in Kansas. It has successfully engaged State agencies and local communities to look at ways to streamline services and provide access to a larger number of consumers. For more information, contact: Alice Womack, Assistant Director, Capacity and Resource Development, Kansas DSRS, DSOB, 915 S.W. Harrison, 681W, Topeka KS 66612, 785-291-3314, acw@srskansas.org. Staff of the Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services played an active role in the planning of the Kansas Immigration Access Forum held in October 2004. Topics included Immigration Access to the Harvest of Opportunity, Immigration Civil Rights, Breaking Down Cultural Barriers, Education-Kansas Immigrant Student Tuition Bill and Department of Education Outreach Initiatives, Immigration Rental and Housing Rights, Domestic Violence, Healthcare, Food Assistance, Land of Opportunity, Sharing the Harvest, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and Racial and Ethic Health Disparities. Over 200 people attended the event. This forum initiated the plan to hold such forums in Kansas on an annual basis. The Mexican Consulate of Kansas City, FNS

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dignitaries, the National Immigration Law Center; and the Kansas Hispanic and Latin American Affairs Commission, located in the office of the Governor, participated in the forum. State agency staff served as speakers for several of the sessions and used their contacts to retain speakers for other sessions. For more information, contact: Alice Womack, Assistant Director, Capacity and Resource Development, Kansas DSS, Topeka KS 66612, 785-291-3314, acw@srskansas.org.

Kentucky Residents of Jefferson County may apply for benefits at the main office of Family Support and also at eight other sites around the county. In a county with a relatively large geographic area, the eight “satellite” sites provide outreach to populations of restricted transportation means. Each of the outstationed offices are called Neighborhood Places and include an opportunity to apply for the Food Stamp Program, KTAP or Medicaid, as well as to attend WIC clinics, consult with staff of the Health Department or Workforce Development or local agencies such as “Dare to Care” who are available to assist to meet the needs of low income residents. For more information, contact: Janet L. Washington, Jefferson County Family Support Services, 502-595-5212. Boone and Kenton Counties provide outreach to Hispanic and Latino communities at the annual Feria de Salud (Health Fair) which attracts over 300 participants. Their booth is staffed by Spanish speaking professionals and stocked with a variety of brochures about the Food Stamp Program in Spanish. Working with other community agencies has made it possible to reach low income families who are hampered by poor language skills. At the same time, the quality of outreach conducted by these Family Support Offices has earned the admiration of their partners. For more information, contact: Sarah Hughes, RN, Special Projects Coordinator, North Central Area Health Education Center, 859-384-2209. Boone, Grant, and Kenton Counties Family Support workers set up outreach booths at back-toschool events helping families fill out applications for Food Stamp Program benefits. They also participate on the advisory councils of the school-based Family Resource and Youth Service Centers, interacting with parents, school officials, and community representatives to meet the needs of children. Their experience demonstrates this is a good strategy to meet parents in a neutral setting and provide all with information about the Food Stamp Program. For more information, contact: Carol Leggett, Region 4 Manager for Family Resource and Youth, 859-525-6783 Counties in the Kentucky River region offer extended hours in the morning and evening, use a prescreening form, and hold orientations to discuss eligibility requirements for various assistance programs. Two workers from each county visit senior citizen groups and group homes for the elderly on a regular basis to educate them about Food Stamp Program requirements and the use of the EBT card. In addition, eligibility workers partner with community and church organizations as well as other State program staff (Employment and Training, Comp Care) to help identify low income families that may need assistance. Also, FSP staff creates a friendly presence in communities by actively participating in events such as preparing food boxes, preparing holiday presents for children, preparing food for holiday dinners, and by participating in an annual Beef Stew Drive to stock shelters and homeless meal providers in the region. For more information, contact: Division of Policy Development, Policy Support Section 502-564-7536.

Maine Due to several paper mill closures in 2004 in the area formerly employing thousands, workers from the Bangor DHHS Office went to affected areas to assist these families in applying for the Food Stamp Program, MaineCare and TANF. Through their outreach efforts they were able to enroll

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hundreds of families for the Food Stamp Program as well as other types of assistance. For more information, contact: Bethany Hamm, Supervisor, Bangor Office, 207-561-4318. The Portland, Bangor and Sanford DHHS Offices demonstrate a commitment to excellence in customer service by maintaining a policy of seeing clients within 20 minutes. Signs are posted that tell applicants/recipients to let the receptionist know if the time limit has passed but most clients are seen immediately. The Portland office has an average of 230 walk-ins daily, yet the 20-minute wait policy is maintained. Maine has one of the highest Food Stamp Program participation rates in the nation. For more information, contact: Bethany Hamm, Supervisor, Bangor Office, 207-561-4318; Jeanne Mahoney, Supervisor, Sanford Office, 207-490-5405; Don Comeau, Program Administrator, Portland Office, 207-822-2072. The Portland DHHS office serves a substantial number of refugees, asylees, and secondary migrants from a wide range of cultures covering over 40 different languages. They access interpreters through their own staff who speak 12 different languages or through Language Line Services, a local interpreter service. For more information, contact: Don Comeau, Program Administrator, Portland DHHS office, 207-822-2072.

Maryland Baltimore City residents learn about a myriad of assistance programs while awaiting the receipt of fresh produce from the Maryland Food Bank. At the produce give-away/outreach day events held monthly by the Maryland Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Outreach Workgroup, the participants, mostly seniors, are provided information on supplemental nutrition assistance, energy and tax assistance programs and others. Convenience is key when providing services. For example, through the SNAP pre-screening tool provided on-site, the workgroup can identify and enroll qualified individuals right on the spot. Among the members of the workgroup are representatives from the Maryland Food Bank, Towson Field Office of the Food and Nutrition Service, Maryland Department of Human Resources and EarnBenefits, Baltimore. For more information contact: Deborah Flateman, CEO, Maryland Food Bank, www.mdfoodbank.org, 410-737-8282. The Howard County Department of Social Services (DSS) addressed transportation barriers in the southern part of the county by joining with eight community partners to provide service at the North Laurel-Savage Multi-Service Center. Eligibility specialists offer information, answer questions, take applications, conduct interviews and make referrals to other DSS programs on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. DSS staff says the multi-service center provides a great service to the community, particularly to those who are unable to travel to the local office, because it is located closer to their homes. An added benefit is the co-location of benefits ranging from family and child services to language interpretation and legal assistance. For more information, contact: Charlene Gallion, Howard County Department of Social Services, 410-872-8260 or Gail Johnson, Howard County Department of Social Services, gjohnson@dhr.state.md.us, 410-872-8260. Save-A-Lot grocery chain, in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank, hosted two cooking demonstrations in their Baltimore stores. The nutritionist from the Food Bank prepared a healthy meal, and was on hand to answer questions and hand out samples. As Save-A-Lot moves forward with FSP outreach activities, they hope to combine these healthy food demonstrations and the prescreening events held at other stores into one format. They are working with FNS to identify local partners to work with them in hosting these events at stores across the country. For more information, contact: Jennifer Adach, Project Manager, Government Programs and Community Relations, Save-A-Lot, Earth City MO, Jennifer.adach@save-a-lot.com , 202-352-2178.

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Somerset County Family Investment Administration office has had promising results in their FSP outreach work by dedicating staff to specific populations. In 2005 one staff person assists the elderly by going to their home and helping them fill out the application. Another staff person is dedicated to the college campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). For more information, contact: Kevin McGuire, Executive Director, kmcguire@dhr.state.md.us, 410-767-7338.

Massachusetts The Department of Transitional Assistance (Food Stamp Program) designed an index card with a toll-free number for Food Stamp Program assistance that can be posted at grocery store check out counters. For more information, contact Denise Thomas at Denise.Thomas@fns.usda.gov The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and the Department of Mental Health (DMR) identified obstacles to group home participation in the FSP and developed a simplified process to increase enrollment among this population. DMR staff has been trained to act as authorized representatives for their clients throughout the State. For more information, contact: Lauren Arms, FSP Outreach and Participation Director, 617-348-5452, Lauren.arms@state.ma.us.

Michigan The Center for Civil Justice (CCJ) operates a toll-free statewide Food and Nutrition Program Helpline in partnership with the Michigan Department of Human Services and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE). Michigan residents may call the Helpline for a confidential eligibility pre-screening, counseling about the application process, and information on various food, nutrition, and educational resources. Callers are encouraged to call back if they encounter any barriers. For more information, contact: Center for Civil Justice, 436 S. Saginaw St. Ste.504, Flint, MI 48502, info@ccj-mi.org, 810-244-8044. The Center for Civil Justice (CCJ) offers a self-screening eligibility tool called the Food Stamp Calculator which is accessed via the web at www.foodstamphelp.org. Callers who desire additional advocacy services are helped by CCJ staff using non-federal funding. CCJ has advertised the Helpline through emergency food providers, faith-based organizations, community agencies, information and referral services, and the press. Demographic data is collected on the callers. Through an agreement with DHS and USDA, the Helpline number is now being provided to people who contact USDA‟s national toll-free number. For more information, contact: Center for Civil Justice, 436 S. Saginaw St. Ste.504, Flint, MI 48502, info@ccj-mi.org 810-244-8044. Since its inception in 2002, Michigan‟s Coordinated Access to Food for the Elderly (MiCAFE) has assisted over 2,500 seniors in applying for food stamps and other public benefits. As of May 2007, approximately 74 percent of households assisted have been eligible for benefits that average $70 a month. MiCAFE uses an internet-based application, visits senior and community centers, and trains volunteers to help seniors in 10 counties. Key partners are the Michigan Department of Human Services and the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging. For more information, contact: Kate White, Executive Director, Elder Law of Michigan, Inc., 3815 W. Saint Joseph St., Suite C-200, Lansing, MI 48917, kwhite@elderslaw.org 517-853-2368. The Family Independence Agency (FIA) designed a new and improved self-screening tool called MARS which is connected through Michigan‟s State agency web pages. For more information, contact: FIA Program Coordination and Support, 517-241-7040.

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Kent County Family Independence Agency (FIA) developed a pilot program in partnership with ACCESS (All County Churches Emergency Support System) to place Food Stamp Program outreach workers at various food pantry locations throughout the county, at low income schools and at businesses where low wage workers were employed. From October 2000 to March 2002, the outreach workers enrolled an average of 20 families a month in the Food Stamp Program with an average monthly benefit of $200 per family. Continuing the outreach effort beyond March 2002 was stymied by a sudden increase in caseloads which required reassignment of the outreach workers to the FIA office full-time. ACCESS then attempted to carry on by training their Pantry Directors to complete initial assessments and referrals, but the reality of the demands of their jobs and the level of expertise needed to effectively make referrals hampered success. ACCESS then sought private funding for staff to carry on the outreach program. Currently, the outreach effort is operative through funding from MAZON and Michigan State University. Also, ACCESS contributes a portion of their current success to being able to hire a retired Family Independence Agency caseworker with an interest in client advocacy who processes applications and serves as a liaison between clients and FIA. For more information, contact: Marsha De Hollander, ACCESS, Grand Rapids MI, 616-774-2175, ext. 103.

Minnesota In Washington County, the Stillwater local Food Stamp Program office has made an extra effort to provide prompt customer service since the beginning of 2002 by the use of pagers among eligibility staff. Receptionists call staff on pagers when their client arrives in the waiting room. The practice was implemented because the local staff constantly struggled to be available and the reception staff often had difficulty tracking down the eligibility worker who may have been on the phone, making a home visit, in a meeting, or talking with the supervisor. The practice is operated with a clear expectation that the worker will respond within 10 minutes of being paged. The initial investment of $10,000 to $15,000 seemed high; however, the pager system has improved the timeliness of customer service. In turn, the clients are more cooperative knowing that their needs and their emergencies are being taken seriously and addressed promptly. For more information, contact: Kim Carolan, Washington County Community Services, 8180 Belden Blvd, Suite 155, Cottage Grove, Minnesota 55016, 651-430-4160, kim.carolan@co.washington.mn.us. De Hollander, ACCESS, Grand Rapids MI, 616-774-2175, extension 103.

Missouri During the 2005 tax season, H&R Block tax preparation offices in Missouri in cooperation with the Department of Social Services, provided clients with Food Stamp Program applications, local contact information, and brief instructions on filing an application. H&R Block staff identified a clientâ&#x20AC;&#x;s potential eligibility for the Food Stamp Program through the tax preparation program. Along with a Food Stamp Program application, clients received Missouriâ&#x20AC;&#x;s web link to information on the FSP, www.dss.mo.gov, and a Block Advantage advice one-page summary of the Food Stamp Program that has brief instructions on beginning the application process. For more information, contact: Rachel Morris, Food Stamp Unit Manager, Department of Social Services, Jefferson City MO 65102, 573751-3381. Rachel.E.Morris@dss.mo.gov.

Montana To help farm workers, the Food Stamp Program is brought quite literally to the field by the Lake County Office of Public Assistance in Polson. Under tents and awnings in a field adjacent to the

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packing warehouse, the local office staff have been issuing timely, accurate benefits to more than 400 seasonal farm worker households during a two-week period each July since 1995. For most households, there was no one who could go to the local office to do the paperwork, so the local office and the growers worked together to find a way to help farm workers without taking them out of the field during the most critical hours of the day. For more information, contact: Marilyn Becker, Director, Lake County Office of Public Assistance, 406-883-7830, mbecker@mt.gov. The Department of Public Health and Human Services - Food Stamp Unit partners with local food banks, food pantries and other social service organizations throughout the State to provide Food Stamp Program outreach. Local food bank leaders recruit volunteers who are then trained by Food Stamp Unit staff. The volunteers are then able to assist individuals in completing food stamp applications. Many volunteers are professionals working in the local health departments, schools, senior centers and homeless shelters. Applications are made available at these facilities as well as in some grocery stores, and many locations have access to the online assessment tool. The Missoula Food Bank, contractor for the State, is considered to have an exemplary outreach program. For more information, contact: Yvette Barnier, Program Officer, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Helena MT 59601, 406-444-7483, ybarnier@mt.gov. The Department of Public Health and Human Services - Food Stamp Unit has organized an Outreach Committee which meets monthly consisting of representation from the Food Stamp Unit, Food Banks, Food Bank Coalition, faith-based organizations, Legal Services, and the local staff from Food and Nutrition Service. Community resources involvement in the outreach effort has been received very well. For example, the Department of Civic Engagement at the University of Montana did a mass informational campaign in their county; radio stations throughout the state were provided with Food Stamp Program public service announcements which are being aired; posters and pamphlets were supplied to all community resources; persons on Social Security Insurance were not enrolled for Food Stamp Program benefits were automatically sent an informational letter about food stamps. For more information, contact: Yvette Barnier, Program Officer, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Helena MT 59601, 406-444-7483, ybarnier@mt.gov.

Nebraska Staff of the Health and Human Services System hold Outreach meetings with community agencies to present their publication A Guide for Applying for Food Stamps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; How to Apply for Food Stamps in a Nutshell! They also provide the agencies with Food Stamp Program applications for distribution. They believe community agencies provide low income families greater support in filling out the Food Stamp Program applications (two parts, many pages). For more information, contact: Kate High, Payment Accuracy Specialist, Nebraska HHSS, 402-471-8840, date.high@hhss.ne.gov.

Nevada The State has long used a multi-program assistance application so clients could apply for any or all of the programs offered by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, but this 17-page application has deterred many clients from applying for Food Stamp Program benefits. Through a two-year Food Stamp Program Outreach grant project funded in FY 2005, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada worked with the State to create an outreach application to be used by those who only want to apply for food stamps. The special 5-page application is much easier to complete and takes only 10 to 15 minutes. Elderly and single clients especially have been more willing to follow through the process with the shortened application. For more information, contact: Nikki Firpo, Outreach Coordinator, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, 994 Packer Way, Sparks, NV 89431, 775331-3663, foodstamps@fbnn.org.

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New Jersey The Essex County Division of Welfare, thinking about how they wanted to provide good service to seniors and people with disabilities, decided to use their USDA performance bonus money to purchase a bus. The Mobile Citizen Services Center is large enough to accommodate three family service workers, a driver and a receptionist. It is equipped with laptop computers, a wireless connection, a copier, cell phones, traditional office supplies, brochures, posters and much more. The bus also is outfitted with tables and an awning to provide shade and additional space during warm weather months. More importantly, it is completely compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information, contact: Marc Pilchman, Essex County Division of Welfare, mpilchma@oel.state.nj.us, 973-733-3306. In Atlantic County, many households potentially eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program live quite a distance from the closest local office. Convinced that more could be done to reach these households, the county established six outstation sites where individuals can obtain supplemental nutrition assistance. In addition, because the local agency knew a barrier for working families involved their inability to come to an office during normal business hours, the outstation sites are open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on a couple of days a week. One of the sites in the rural part of the county serves a large population of Spanish-speaking people, many of whom labor seasonally at the farms and fruit orchards. Other sites are located at community centers and assisted living centers. In the first three months of operation they processed 278 supplemental nutrition assistance cases through their outreach efforts. For more information, contact Charles Bell, Atlantic County Department of Family and Community Development, bell_charles@aclink.org, 609-485-0052, ext. 236. The Essex County Outreach Unit takes Food Stamp Program applications off-site, provides training to community groups and conducts in-home visits. They started by targeting food pantries, and now include schools, job and health fairs, post-TANF outreach expos that target former TANF/Food Stamp Program customers, and family violence meetings. For more information, contact: Bruce Nigro, Essex County Division of Welfare, bnigro@oel.state.nj.us, 973-733-3315. The Department of Human Services implemented a number of projects in 2003 in an effort to develop more customer-friendly services and thereby increase participation in the Food Stamp Program. Four of these projects have proven especially beneficial to date; 1) a voice response system that provides food stamp information 24-7 and reminds customers of their scheduled certification interview; 2) a project to increase participation by the elderly in which an outreach worker prescreens at 20 sites and the screenings are tracked to determine whether applications were completed; 3) an on-line pre-screening and application tool; and 4) a large-scale campaign that advertised the program through ads on buses and radio stations and in newspapers. For more information, contact: Marybeth Schaedel, Coordinator of GA/Food Stamp Programs, mary.schaedel@dhs.state.nj.us, 609588-2197. The Bergen County Board of Social Services in the northern part of the state is keeping kids busy during Food Stamp Program interviews. The agency gives the youngsters crayons and a colorful, double-sided, 11â&#x20AC;? x 17â&#x20AC;? nutrition activity sheet, designed and printed by the agency. Children love the materials, they stay entertained, and the interview proceeds faster because there are fewer distractions. If others decide to design their own activity sheet, it is helpful to involve staff volunteers in the project and to keep in mind the ages of the target group. For more information, contact: Patricia Bogert, Training Supervisor, pbogert@bcbss.com, 201-368-7677.

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New Mexico At the Socorro Income Support Division Office, each worker is trained in all programs to act as a resource to the community and the individual. Some of the initiatives in place to accomplish this are their use of a 1-800 number to accommodate rural clients, the use of phone interviews for clients who travel four or more hours for benefits, and the use of community partnerships – food banks, churches, other local organizations - for effective referral and application process. Through a focus on caring customer service and outreach assistance from community partners, the Socorro office serves a high per capita number of recipients in the State, and at the same time, has a high quality control accuracy rate. For more information, contact: Joseph Mascarena, County Office Manager, Socorro New Mexico Human Services Department, 505-835-0342, extension 23. FNS has participated as an active partner with the Human Services Department in the “Together We Can Initiative” since 2003. This initiative brought together representatives from throughout the State from all sectors, including government and business, to help end hunger. Part of “Together We Can” for 2004 is the collaboration between DHS and the New Mexico Association of Food Banks. For more information, contact Anne Snell, FNS Southwestern Regional office, 214-290-9900, snell.a@fns.usda.gov.

New York The Hunger Action Network of New York State, a recipient of a food stamp outreach grant in FY 2007, found that the biggest challenge in reaching low income Hispanic residents in rural areas of Hudson Valley is a lack of awareness that the Food Stamp Program exists. To overcome this barrier, they designed Food Stamp outreach brochures in Spanish with tear-off tabs containing their outreach hotline number. These were posted on bulletin boards in places frequented by low income families in the area, such as bodegas, libraries and coin-operated laundry facilities. In addition, they partnered with churches, food pantries and Head Start programs to distribute brochures to parishioners and clients. For more information, contact: Veda Myers, Food Stamp Program Outreach Coordinator, Hunger Action Network of New York State, 260 W. 36th Street, Suite 504, New York, New York 10018, 212-741-8192, ext. 2#, vmyers@hungeractionnys.org. FoodChange developed a one-stop recipe book titled Quick! Delicious! Healthy Recipes on a Budget! demonstrating how Food Stamp Program benefits can help households improve their nutrition with food that is both affordable and healthy. Culturally accessible recipes are accompanied by nutritional composition and estimated cost per serving (based on seasonal produce prices at a local Bronx supermarket). Also included are food stamp eligibility and application guidelines, and information on Medicaid, WIC, Headstart, school meals, and advantages to buying local produce, buying tips, and the value of farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture shares. Cooking demonstrations and distribution of the book at New York City Pathmark grocery stores complement the success of FoodChange‟s pre-screening operations at these sites. For more information, contact: Nicole Christensen, Assistant Director, Food Access at FoodChange, 39 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10006, 212-894-8055, nchristensen@foodchange.org. The Korean Grocers Association in New York City publishes Food Stamp Program information in Korean. For more information, contact Denise Thomas at Denise.Thomas@fns.usda.gov Erie County Department of Social Services explored the extension of business hours and the placement of eligibility specialists in off-site locations, but found that conducting more interviews by telephone was the best choice for its customers in the county seat of Buffalo and surrounding rural

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areas where public transportation is inadequate. For more information, contact: Judy Tutuska, Erie County Department of Social Services, 716-858-6839, jtutus@dss1.co.erie.ny.us . Outreach for the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) is conducted state-wide by a contractor, Nutrition Consortium of New York State, and the Consortium‟s 46 subcontractors who implement outreach campaigns at the local level. Consortium staff has a proficient knowledge of FSP regulations, barriers to participation, and effective outreach strategies. The NOEP model combines media outreach to promote a positive perception of the Food Stamp Program with targeted outreach to potentially eligible persons including on-site community work, eligibility pre-screening and application assistance for clients. In 2004, more than 47,600 individuals inquired about the Food Stamp Program, 36,419 households were pre-screened for benefits, and at least 18,228 households applied for and received Food Stamp Program benefits as a direct result of Consortium NOEP subcontractor work. They believe their success is due to the community-based model which uses agencies adept at connecting with low-income households in their service areas and combines the outreach work with pre-screening and application assistance. For more information, contact: E. Yvette James, Executive Director of Outreach/Education, Nutrition Consortium of New York State, 235 Lark Street, Albany, NY 12210, 518-436-8757, extension 15, hungernoep@aol.com.

North Carolina To encourage outreach, the Department of Health and Human Services designed and distributed a participation assessment worksheet to each local county Food Stamp Program office. The worksheet is used to identify potential barriers to access and participation as well as to note current activities and best practices for Food Stamp Program outreach. A website is also available to counties which provide county-specific information to identify underserved groups by demographic characteristics to enable them to focus new outreach efforts to targeted populations. For more information, contact: Jane Schwartz, Chief, Economic Services, Division of Social Services, 325 N. Salisbury Street, 2420 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699, 919-733-7831, jane.schwartz@ncmail.net.

North Dakota The Department of Social Services developed an on-line eligibility self-screening tool for the Food Stamp Program which has been available since 2000. Go to www.state.nd.us/humanservices and then click on Financial Help. From the listing of financial programs, click on Food Stamp Program. This website provides information about the Food Stamp Program, with a direct link to the Food Stamp Calculator. The website also contains links to Food Stamp Program-related frequently asked questions, publications, the application for assistance, and list of county social service offices. There are also links to USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs, USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Food USA. For more information, contact: Darlene A. Faber, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Food Stamp Program, Department of Human Services, 600 E. Boulevard Ave. Dept. 325, Bismarck ND 58505, 701-328-1832, sofabd@state.nd.us. Since October 2004, the Department of Social Services has been providing grassroots and community agencies state-wide with Outreach packets containing an application for assistance, civil rights brochures, Food Stamp Program brochure, 10 Steps to Help You Fill Your Grocery Bag through the Food Stamp Program, and several posters from the USDA Food Stamps Make America Stronger series. These posters incorporate the name, address and phone number of the local county social service office. Also included is a sheet describing Food Stamp Program eligibility requirements including asset and income limits, allowable deductions, a sample eligibility test, and a description of how the benefit is calculated. This material is also coordinated with USDA‟s „white envelope‟ titled

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Documents You Will Need for a Food Stamp Application. For more information, contact: Darlene A. Faber, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Food Stamp Program, Department of Human Services, 600 E. Boulevard Ave. Dept. 325, Bismarck ND 58505, 701-328-1832, sofabd@state.nd.us.

Ohio The Department of Job and Family Services adopted a web-accessible data management system called the Business Intelligent Channel (BIC), and in partnership with the Local Government Administration and Rural Development (ILGARD) trained county staff on how BIC could be used to identify underserved populations. In addition, workshops included a marketing tool kit for increasing Food Stamp Program participation. In just the first two months of this system, Washington County experienced a 2.9 percent increase in participation. For more information, contact: Ronda Kinnamon, Outcome Management Administrator, Office of Family Stability, 145 Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, 614-995-5622. The egg industry offered to print free of charge Food Stamp Program information on the egg cartons distributed through Ohio food banks to low-income Ohioans in 2002 and 2003. A Food Stamp Program outreach message was printed on the outside of the carton and the FSP eligibility requirements were printed inside the carton. The eggs were purchased as part of a State-funded market clearing initiative called the Ohio Agricultural Surplus Production Alliance. For more information, contact: Marilyn Braun, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 30 East Broad Street, 31st Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43266, 614-466-6814. Montgomery County employs specialized case managers to help applicants and participants meet needs for services that the county office does not offer. About 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 20 specialized case managers are contracted from Goodwill Industries. Through their in-depth knowledge of other community-based resources, they assist clients in obtaining needed services from these other agencies and organizations. These specialists also actively seek services available in the community that may be needed by Food Stamp Program clients. For more information, contact: Bill Imes, Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services, 1111 S. Edwin C. Moses, Dayton, Ohio 45422, 937496-6700. One-stop shopping is offered in Montgomery County with over 40 different programs and services for the public located in one large industrial building converted to office space. The collaborative effort was initiated in mid-1980 by the local agency in partnership with Dayton City officials. The building, now known as the Job Center, houses Food Stamp Program staff, TANF staff, State employment staff, clothing banks, childcare and support services, a wide variety of employment services and various educational programs. The purpose is to reduce dependency and strengthen the quality of life for low income residents For more information, contact: Bill Imes, Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services, 111, S. Edwin C. Moses, Dayton OH 45422, 937496-6700. MIS and data analysts from county agencies attend a monthly meeting (open to any county) hosted by the Trumbull County Office of Job and Family Services. Located in the far northeastern part of the State, attendance from county office staff is as far away as Butler County in the southwestern part of Ohio. Those who attend share information, share solutions to IT problems, and provide referrals on products and contractors. Attendees are aware that this coordination makes the application process easier and faster for both the workers and the applicants, and therefore may well increase the number of individuals who follow-through on their application and actually receive benefits. For more information, contact: Darrin Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 330-675-2118.

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Oklahoma The Oklahoma Department of Human Services, in partnership with the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth and a coalition of other State agencies, developed the JOIN website questionnaire designed to determine appropriate government services and serve as a State-wide resource directory. This assists State Food Stamp Program agency staff in the search for appropriate help for clients. Go to http://www.join.ok.gov/. For more information, contact: Jim Struby, Programs Administrator, OKDHS Family Support Services, P.O. Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, 405-521-3078, jim.struby@okdhs.org or Richard Cook, Information Systems Planning Specialist, Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, 500 N. Broadway, Suite 300, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, 405-606-4920, Richard.Cook@occy.state.ok.us. In partnership with the Department of Human Services, the Tulsa Community Action Program developed an eligibility wizard, BESO, which screens for 25 different programs, provides information about required eligibility, and emails a request for services to the appropriate OKDHS office. For more information, contact: Jim Struby, Programs Administrator, OKDHS Family Support Services, P.O. Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, 405-521-3078, jim.struby@okdhs.org or Victoria Haws, BESO Program Manager, Tulsa CAP, 4606 S. Garnett Road, Tulsa, OK 74146, 918382-3374, vhaws@captc.org. The Department of Human Services has a policy of allowing clients in metropolitan areas, such as Oklahoma City, to be served in any office in the area which meets their personal and business needs. Rather than be bound by zip codes, clients in the metropolitan areas can apply for benefits at Food Stamp Program offices close to their work sites or child care centers. For more information, contact: Anne Snell, FNS Southwestern Regional office, 214-290-9900, snell.a@fns.usda.gov.

Oregon Beginning in 2000, the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force (OHRTF) held a series of focus groups with low-income participants to identify client-perceived barriers to accessing and using the Food Stamp Program, and included ongoing feedback on client barriers from community advocates and service provider partners. In 2004, the State Department of Human Services (DHS) formed the Food Stamp Outreach Steering Committee, comprised of agency and community organization members who problem-solved together with the identified barriers and helped implement successful solutions: a simplified application and the development and distribution of various educational outreach materials. In 2005, their on-going collective effort was published in a DHS report, Food Stamp Program Strategies of Accountability, which outlines specific responsibilities at each staff level throughout the State agency and provides a base point for both State agency staff and advocacy groups to measure access and customer service issues. The FSP Strategies are a work in progress, and are the latest example of the unique and successful collaboration between advocates and DHS. This has contributed to Oregonâ&#x20AC;&#x;s high ranking in increased participation. For more information, contact: Nancy Weed, Food Stamp Outreach Coordinator, Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force, 123 N.E. Third Avenue, Suite 475, Portland, Oregon 97232, 503-998-6194, nancy@oregonhunger.org.

Pennsylvania When Allegheny County experienced its first noticeable influx of Hispanic immigrants a couple of years ago, the Hunger Services Program of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh contacted the newly formed Hispanic Center of Pittsburgh to partner in coordinating and delivering services to low income households. Hunger Servicesâ&#x20AC;&#x; Food Stamp outreach program offers pre-screening and

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application assistance. They attribute their success with the Hispanic community to the availability of corollary services offered at the Urban League (employment, housing, and emergency food) through which they have been able to build the trust necessary to be effective at encouraging low income clients to apply for Federal nutrition assistance. For more information, contact: Jim Jackson, Hunger Services of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, 412-325-0745, jjackson@ulpgh.org Pathmark grocery stores in Philadelphia find underserved areas and hold Food Stamp Program eligibility pre-screening events in a store in that area. For more information, contact Jeanne Hutchins at Jeanne.Hutchins@fns.usda.gov . The Commonwealth, in partnership with The Food Trust in Philadelphia and Just Harvest in Pittsburgh, has established wireless Point of Sale (POS) terminals for Food Stamp Program electronic benefit transactions (EBT) at five Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x; Markets. The Commonwealth pays the operating expenses related to food stamp purchases. Various charitable organizations purchased the wireless POS devices. In neighborhoods where more than 50 percent of the population is eligible for the Food Stamp Program, this technology has allowed clients to resume purchasing fresh produce with their Food Stamp Program benefits, now by EBT instead of coupons. To date, over hundreds of dollars have been generated in EBT sales and there are plans to expand wireless POS to other markets. For more information, contact: Brian Lang, The Food Trust, blang@thefoodtrust.org . Save-A-Lot grocery stores partnered with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger to conduct a Food Stamp Program event in West Philadelphia in a neighborhood identified as one with a low income population. Save-A-Lot hosted a four-hour fair on a busy Saturday, complete with balloons, food, and face painting for the children. Volunteers from the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger staffed the tables, handed out information on the Food Stamp Program, and conducted eligibility pre-screenings with interested customers. About 67 percent were found to be potentially eligible for Food Stamp Program benefits. The event received a positive reaction from the community, and provided a much needed service in terms of educating low wage earners that FSP benefits may be available to low income wage earners. The outreach event will be repeated at this store, and Save-A-Lot is working with FNS to identify local partners to help host more prescreening events at stores across the country. For more information, contact: Jennifer Adach, Project Manager, Government Programs and Community Relations, Save-A-Lot, Earth City MO, Jennifer.adach@save-a-lot.com , 202-352-2178. When applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are received by mail at the York County Assistance Office, the eligibility staff checks to see whether the applicants are on other assistance programs. If not receiving Food Stamp Program benefits, the staff sends a letter that advises them of their potential eligibility for the program, along with a postage-paid envelope and web address for the State on-line application system called COMPASS. For the first half of 2005, the local office received 6,500 LIHEAP applications, mailed more than 1,200 food stamp applications and opened between 225 and 250 cases as a result of this activity. For more information, contact: Fred Landau, Executive Director, York County Assistance Office, 717-7711257, flandau@state,pa.us. The Department of Public Welfare was granted a two-year waiver by the Food and Nutrition Service allowing representatives of 19 faith- and community-based organizations to conduct the interview for initial certification for Food Stamp Program benefits. The waiver affects households composed of all elderly and/or disabled people who do not have earned income, and applies throughout the state. This initiative, approved to last until the end of November 2006, should benefit applicants both in time and money saved, and it should better utilize the time of eligibility staff. For more information, contact: Donna Roe, Supervisor, PDPW, 717-772-7906, drow@state.pa.us.

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Rhode Island The Department of Human Services developed a videotape to inform elderly people about the Food Stamp Program. Recorded in English and Spanish, the 30-minute tape presents information of eligibility, nutrition, EBT, and what customers can buy with benefits. The videotape, aired on cableTV and shown by staff in a variety of settings, such as senior housing sites and centers throughout the State, has helped elderly people better understand the program. DHS‟s philosophy is that onesize does not fit all when putting together a training tool and that it is important to remember the needs of the target audience. For more information, contact: Bob McDonough, Family and Adult Services Administrator, 401-462-6835, bmcdonough@dhs.ri.gov.

Texas The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank initiated a Social Services Outreach Program which operates as a one-stop shop. Application Completion Centers are set up around town at advertized times and at high traffic places such as grocery stores and churches to help people access various programs. The Outreach Coordinator, using a computer, scanner, and printer, assists with filling out the application, makes copies of necessary documents, and even delivers the completed applications to the correct Health and Human Services office. During November and December 2007, this outreach program served 50 people. The highest demand was for SNAP. Funding for this project is provided by state government through the Texas Food Bank Network. For more information, contact: Veronica Harvey, Social Services Outreach Program Coordinator, Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, 1230 Midwestern Parkway, Wichita Falls, Texas 76302, vharvey@wfafb.org, 940-636-8240. Outreach workers from Lone Star Legal Aid, conducting a one-year FY 2004 Food Stamp Program Outreach grant project that targeted seniors, realized they had difficulty keeping the attention of audiences at congregate meal sites and senior centers as these gatherings were important social functions. Instead of interrupting lunch with a speech, they created a presentation that would rotate slides automatically and run silently and continuously on the wall. This strategy dramatically improved the responses to their outreach. For more information, contact: Susanne Sere, Lone Star Legal Aid, 1415 Fannin St., Third Floor, Houston, TX 77002, ssere@lonestarlegal.org, 713-982-1968. The Department of Health and Human Services implemented a Food Stamp Education and Outreach Program lasting from January 2002 through August 2005. To date, over one million individuals have received information about the Food Stamp Program through direct intervention activities such as television ads, radio ads, and ads in print. Also as part of this effort, Texas HHS partnered with 18 food banks to arrange for distribution of Food Stamp Program outreach brochures with monthly commodity distribution packets. For more information, contact: Anne Snell, FNS Southwestern Regional office, snell.a@fns.usda.gov, 214-290-9900.

Vermont Partnering with Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger and Vermont Grocer‟s Association, the State Agency for Human Services – Division for Children and Families, held a press conference at a supermarket to announce changes in the FSP that made it easier to apply and be deemed eligible. For more information, contact: Renee W. Richardson, Food and Nutrition Program Chief, Agency for Human Services, Division of Children and Families, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671, 802-241-2820, reneer@ahs.state.vt.us.

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The Agency for Human Services supports 150 field workers in local agencies around the State, paid for through their Food Stamp Outreach Plan. They assert this community-based agency connection builds a safe bridge between a State-run program bureaucracy and people who are intimidated by applying for public assistance of any kind. For more information, contact: Renee W. Richardson, Food and Nutrition Program Chief, Agency for Human Services, Division of Children and Families, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671, 802-241-2820, reneer@ahs.state.vt.us. Partnering with Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, the Agency for Human Services developed a Food Stamp Outreach website pre-screening tool with a USDA research grant. For more information, contact: Renee W. Richardson, Food and Nutrition Program Chief, Agency for Human Services, Division of Children and Families, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671, 802-241-2820, reneer@ahs.state.vt.us. Roundtable discussions were organized by the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger including staff from USDA‟s Food and Nutrition Service, the Agency for Human Services Division of Children and Families, VTCECH, Vermont Law Line, Vermont‟s Congressional Delegation, and others. These roundtable discussions tapped ideas for no cost or low cost FSP Outreach. For more information, contact: Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, 180 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401, 802-865-0255.

Virginia Virginia State Information/Hotline Number: 1-800-552-3431 or 804-692-2198 in-state. Here is one of Education Program of Virginia the outreach projects available in Virginia. Smart Choices Nutrition 203 Wallace Annex, VPI&SU Blacksburg, VA 24061-0228 Ruby H. Cox State EFNEP/SCNEP Coordinator rubycox@vt.edu 540-231-9429 540-231-7576 fax

Washington Old Town Christian Ministries in Bellingham, a contractor for the State‟s Region 3 Basic Food Education and Outreach, says their car magnets are an excellent way to advertise the program while on the go. (The Basic Food Program is the name of the Food Stamp Program in Washington). “When you drive over 100 miles in a day to do outreach, it makes sense to advertise while you go.” The magnets attach on the outside of the car doors and are priced at $50 for two. For more information, contact: Patti Clark, DSHS Basic Food Education and Outreach Program Manager, 360-725-4613, clarkpj@dshs.wa.gov. In 2003, the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, which operates a State-wide, toll-free maternal and child health information and referral line, began providing callers with information about the Food Stamp Program. Their purpose is to raise awareness of Food Stamp Program benefits and connect vulnerable populations to resources to alleviate food insecurity. They offer income eligibility screenings, information about program benefits, and referrals to local outreach

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projects and community service offices. According to a 2004 survey, over 50 percent of those they referred had successfully applied for and received Food Stamp Program benefits. HMHB provides information on a wide variety of interconnected resources State-wide including FSP, WIC, Medicaid, SCHIP, maternity support services and free developmental screening for children. For more information, contact: Sharon Beaudoin, Nutrition Coordinator, Healthy Mother, Healthy Babies Coalition, sharonb@hmhbwa.org , 206-830-5166; Patti Clark, DSHS Basic Food Education and Outreach Program Manager, clarkpj@dshs.wa.gov, 360-725-4613. Since October 2004, King County has conducted Food Stamp Program outreach under contract with Hopelink, a non-profit service agency, and its seven subcontractors. When clients contact a worker at an agency affiliated with Hopelink - whether for emergency food or energy bills or another concern they also receive information on Food Stamp Program benefits, along with bi-lingual materials and assistance completing the application and the application process. In addition, workers go to nonagency locations in the county where they would be likely to talk with low-income clients, such as food banks, community health clinics, parent meetings for Head Start/ECEAP, congregate meal programs, and low-income housing complexes. From October through December of 2004, 46 percent of submitted applications resulted in clients receiving Food Stamp Program benefits. For more information, contact: Patti Clark, DSHS Basic Food Education and Outreach Program Manager, clarkpj@dshs.wa.gov, 360-725-4613. To reach a varied population of clients who were unaware of newer income guidelines for the Food Stamp Program, the Lower Columbia Community Action Council (LCCAC) contacted everyone registered with the Emergency Food Assistance Program/Commodities (TEFAP). When TEFAP cards came up for renewal, each client was asked if they were receiving Food Stamp Program benefits. Some took FSP applications with them after visiting the office; others received a direct mailing. LCCAC sent out 257 application packets with information brochures and procedures for making application. LCCAC contracts with the Washington DSHS to provide FSP outreach for several counties in the State‟s Region 6. Response to the mailing was described as “tremendous”. LCCAC is working with DSHS now to devise a method to track the number of FSP applications which result from their outreach efforts. For more information, contact: Colleen Dean, Basic Food Coordinator, LCCAC, Longview WA, 360-425-3430 extension 282, colleend@lccac.org. Old Town Christian Ministries (OTCM), an outreach contractor for DSHS in the State‟s Region 3, says one of their most successful media strategies has been to utilize Register Tape Advertising to print Food Stamp Program ads on grocery store receipts. Approximately 50 percent of the calls received by OTCM have come from people who saw their ad on receipts from six Albertson‟s/Food Pavilion Stores in the region. For more information, contact: Patti Clark, DSHS Basic Food Education and Outreach Program Manager, 360-725-4613, clarkpj@dshs.wa.gov. Old Town Christian Ministries, an outreach contractor for the DSHS in the State‟s Region 3, successfully conducts outreach events at stores of Grocery Outlet, an authorized Food Stamp Program retailer. They have found that the best method for convincing local store managers to allow outreach activities at the stores is by showing them that more people enrolling in the Food Stamp Program equals more revenue for the store. For more information, contact: Patti Clark, DSHS Basic Food Education and Outreach Program Manager, 360-725-4613, clarkpj@dshs.wa.gov. Rural Resources of Eastern Washington is the Food Stamp Program outreach contractor for the DSHS in Region 1 covering 13 counties. Rural Resources currently has 19 service delivery subcontractors for 2005 providing either direct services, or one-on-one client services. Each subcontractor is distinct with its service delivery approach, and may include any combination of the following: clients seeking services in a traditional office setting, food banks, outstations, in-home

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meal provisions, senior meal services at central locations, and/or clinics. To meet the growing needs of their multicultural and diverse populations, several facilities have bi-lingual staff. They attribute their success to timely and thorough communication with the local CSOs and to the management skills of the Outreach Program Manager at DSHS. For more information, contact: Leigh Ann Brooks, Basic Food Education and Outreach Coordinator, Rural Resources of Eastern Washington, 956 S. Main, Colville WA 99114, lbrooks@ruralresources.org, 800-776-3857. The Bellingham office of DSHS outstations staff at the Lummi Tribe, Blaine School District and Opportunity Council. These practices have been considered by the community to be valuable in terms of meeting the needs of potential Food Stamp Program applicants. For more information, contact: Bellingham DSHS, 360-714-4000; or Old Town Christian Ministries, 800-600-6494.

West Virginia In Fayette County, public transportation is sparse. Concern for the high older adult population, some of whom were paying friends and neighbors $10 or $15 for a ride to the local office, prompted the county to start â&#x20AC;&#x153;out stationingâ&#x20AC;? their staff and programs. By January 2008, eligibility specialists regularly staff four outlying locations in the county where they work during regular business hours because overtime pay is not available. Fayette County Department of Health and Human Resources provides funds to acquire connection to the internet and office space is donated by community centers, a city hall, and senior living facilities. A social worker at one senior living facility estimated that 50 percent of the residents would not be receiving these supplemental nutrition benefits without the outstation program. For more information, contact: Stacey Brown, Fayette County Department of Health and Human Resources, staceybrown@wvdhhr.org, 304-465-9613 . The Presbyterian Church of Richwood is a central part of the outstation program operated by the Nicholas County Department of Health and Human Resources. Since January 2000, the church has been providing office space and equipment at no cost, while the Richwood Food and Clothing Pantry, located down the hall, meets emergency needs and encourages clients to find out how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can help meet their ongoing food and nutrition needs. For more information, contact: Patty Martin, Nicholas County Department of Health and Human Resources, pmartin@wvdhhr.org, 304-822-0803, ext. 176. The Department of Health and Human Resources developed a Food Stamp Program eligibility prescreening tool and an on-line application. For more information, contact: Margaret Lovejoy, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, margaretlovejoy@wvdhhr.org, 304-348-0884. Fayette County Department of Health and Human Resources maintains two sites in outlying parts of the county to handle applications and reviews so customers in those areas do not have to drive so far to the County office. They are currently in the process of scheduling an additional day for outstation work and are working to upgrade all outstation sites so staff can connect laptop computers to process applications on site. For more information, contact: Skip Jennings, Community Services Manager, Fayette County DHHR, 304-465-9613.

Wisconsin Through a two-year Food Stamp Program Outreach grant project funded in FY 2005, the City of Milwaukee Housing Authority teamed with Milwaukee County and Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services to schedule stops of its Mobil Benefits Van at public housing sites. Interviewing clients on the spot using four work stations inside the van made it possible for elderly and disabled residents to be qualified for benefits without having to make a long and sometimes intimidating trek

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to the local office. Ninety-nine percent of those interviewed were able to provide the necessary documentation to qualify that day and receive their EBT card within two days. For more information, contact: Terence Ray, Housing Partnership Liaison, City of Milwaukee Housing Authority, 5011 W. Lisbon Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53210, 414-286-5663, tray@milwaukee.gov The Department of Health and Family Services developed an internet eligibility pre-screening tool for the Food Stamp Program and Medicaid. They are also developing electronic case file capacity and a web-based user interface for an automated eligibility determination system. For more information, contact: Cheryl McIlquham, Director, Bureau of Health Care Eligibility, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, 608-261-6877, mcilqcj@dhfs.state.wi.us. Since April, 2005, the Department of Health and Family Services has been operating with a new website called ACCESS to promote „Access to Eligibility Support Services for Health and Nutrition‟. The website is www.access.wisconsin.gov. It has a pre-screening tool and provides an analysis of whether the user might qualify for Foodshare (Food Stamp Program), Medicaid, BadgerCare, SeniorCare or prescription drug assistance programs, WIC, free or reduced price school meals, summer food service program, TEFAP, or tax credits. For more information, contact: Rick Zynda, Division of Health Care Financing, Department of Health and Family Services, zyndarl@dhfs.state.wi.us, 608-266-9812.

Wyoming To support Hunger Awareness Day on June 7, 2005, the State partnered with Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies and Cent$ible Nutrition, the State‟s Nutrition Education provider, to provide a learning experience for social services program staff, public health staff, community and faith-based organizations, and community members. The attendees were given phony paper money to purchase a $1.50 lunch, to demonstrate the challenge of purchasing a healthy diet on a very limited budget. Although attendance was limited to less than 100 people, the event received media exposure on a local television morning news show where the objectives of the event were discussed as raising awareness of the existence of hunger in Wyoming and demonstrating the nutrition benefits of the Food Stamp Program. For more information, contact: Alice Sullivan, Cent$ible Nutrition, Hathaway Building – Room 347, 2300 Capitol Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, 307-777-6076, asullivan@state.wy.us. The Department of Family Services staff were active participants in the 2005 Immigrant Access Forum held in Casper, Wyoming on July 21, 2005. There were many breakout sessions on various topics including TANF, Racial and Ethic Health Disparities, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Food Assistance, Housing, Breaking Down Cultural Barriers, Helping Hands Across Wyoming: Grassroots Initiative, and Immigration Access to Federal Programs. 138 registered participants attended the event. The event was a successful outreach event in that it brought the issue of immigration to the forefront for the State of Wyoming and initiated discussions on increasing access and conducting outreach targeted to immigrants. The local television news station filmed portions of the event, interviewed speakers such as the Consul General of Denver‟s Mexican Consulate, and aired it as their lead story on the evening news. For more information, contact: J. Terry Williams, Administrator, Economic Assistance Division, Department of Family Services, 2300 Capitol Avenue, Cheyenne WY 82002, 307-777-5357, twilli@state.wy.us.

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Appendix VII: Glossary Abatement: The act or state of abating or the state of being abated; reduction; decrease; alleviation; mitigation (dictionary.com). ACANAP: Alachua County Association of Nutrition Assistance Providers, a name that is used in this document for identifying the formal association of agencies recommended in the HAP. ACCESS: Automated Community Connection to Economic Self-Sufficiency, DCF program ACMS: Alachua County Medical Society AWI: Agency for Workforce Innovation BOCC: Board of County Commissioners BOTM: Bread of the Mighty Food Bank Commodities: Shorthand for â&#x20AC;&#x153;USDA Commoditiesâ&#x20AC;? which are distributed to people in need through programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). CSE: Child Support Enforcement DCF: Department of Children & Families FNS: Food & Nutrition Service, USDA program Food Bank: A charitable organization that solicits, receives, inventories, and stores donated food and grocery products according to grocery industry and appropriate regulatory standards. These products are distributed primarily to charitable human service agencies which, in turn, provide the products directly to needy clients through various programs. Food Insecurity: Hunger or not having access to enough food for active, healthy lives for all household members; hunger or risk of hunger (USDA Economic Research Service). Also defined as having limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways. Food Shelf: Similar to a small grocery store where clients or customers go to receive a shortterm supply of groceries at no cost. Food shelves are funded by grants and donations from their local communities. Food shelves can also acquire food items from their local food bank. SBAC: School Board of Alachua County SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps): A federal program that enables low-income people to buy nutritious food by using Electronic Benefits 198


Transfer (EBT) cards. Recipients spend their benefits to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores. HAP: Hunger Abatement Plan Healthy food: see “nutritious food” Hunger: A situation in which an individual involuntarily goes without food for an intermittent or extended period of time. This situation can be caused by external forces that limit the individual‟s resources or ability to obtain sufficient food and may result in detrimental physical and psychological consequences. (U.S. Government) IFAS: Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences Nutritious food: Food that meets the nutritional standards based on the USDA food pyramid which includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and proteins such as meats, fish, beans, and nuts. PRAB: Poverty Reduction Advisory Board, for the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. Reduced or free lunch or breakfast: A student qualifies for free school meals if household income is no greater than 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Reduced-price school meals (no more than 40 cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast) are available to a student if income is more than 130 percent but less than 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines. SFC: Santa Fe College The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): A federal program that provides food commodities at no cost to low-income individuals in need of short-term hunger relief. TEFAP serves the agricultural community by distributing surplus commodities purchased by the USDA from farmers and other producers. Commodity items range from fresh produce items to canned goods including vegetables, fruits, cooking oil, juice and meats. USDA: United States Department of Agriculture VA: Veterans Affairs WIC: Women, Infants & Children Program

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2009 Hunger Abatement Plan