by Louise Hyneman
This past week I continued to work on the SNAP grant to increase the number of eligible seniors who apply for SNAP. One of my responsibilities was ordering the prizes for the events. The prizes had previously been chosen by seniors during a focus group. One of the items cost more than we’d prefer to spend so we swapped it out for something else. The grant is currently functioning below budget, but we wanted to leave room for unexpected costs later in the grant. This week we also met with the marketing team at the Saint Louis Area Foodbank to go over how we want to advertise the events and what we want our printed educational materials to look like. The marketing team was able to understand what we wanted and begin the process of designing materials with the continent I put together. We also had the opportunity to meet with Illinois site and schedule the BINGO event for East Saint Louis Seniors.
This week I was excited for the opportunities I had to interact with the seniors the foodbank serves at outreach events. The picture is the table we had set up at the resource fair. One of the events was a community resource fair at a government subsidized housing community. My role there was to assist with SNAP applications. There were multiple people who thought they were above the income guidelines for SNAP, and it was great being able to help those people apply for a service they so desperately needed but didn’t think they could get. The application process with me only takes about 15 minutes compared to hours spent waiting in a government office, so the foodbank’s services are able to alleviate the burdens of time and frustration of waiting at a government office. It’s so amazing how such small acts can make a huge difference in someone’s life. It was also great to see all the different resources that were present to help these people, like childcare, healthcare, and job assistance programs.