NH Food Bank and NH Department of Health and Human Services lead joint initiative to encourage residents to apply for federal food assistance statewide
Manchester, N.H. – The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, is teaming up with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment across the state. The New Hampshire Food Bank and DHHS are working together to increase awareness of SNAP, a federal program designed to fight food insecurity by providing lower income families and households with funds to use toward food purchases.
Nearly 40,000 New Hampshire households are enrolled in SNAP but the New Hampshire Food Bank estimates that about seven percent of New Hampshire residents experience food insecurity, underscoring the reality that the need is much greater.
As part of the outreach process, the New Hampshire Food Bank and DHHS are working to combat common misconceptions regarding SNAP benefits. For example, the Food Bank often hears that individuals believe SNAP benefits are only available to families or that SNAP benefits are only available to people who are not working or are unable to work. SNAP benefits are available to anyone who is eligible, regardless of their employment status or whether they are applying as a family or as an individual.
“We are pleased to partner with DHHS to increase SNAP enrollment to ensure families and individuals statewide have the resources they need,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. “Eliminating hunger in New Hampshire is our central mission, and beyond distributing nutritious food to households in need across the state through our network of more than 400 partner agencies, our approach is to tackle the root causes of hunger. We are working directly with DHHS to create and implement a strategic outreach plan to raise awareness for SNAP in all corners of the state.”
Working directly with DHHS, the New Hampshire Food Bank will educate residents on SNAP benefits and how to apply, with an emphasis on reaching individuals in rural areas. In addition to developing an array of educational materials, the New Hampshire Food Bank will work with community partners and stakeholders, including family practitioners, health care clinics, veteran service providers, community action agencies, housing authorities and other local service providers and leaders, to raise awareness for SNAP and to direct individuals and families accordingly.
“Access to healthy food is critical to good health, and we are thrilled to partner with the New Hampshire Food Bank to address food insecurity across the state,” said DHHS Commissioner Lori Weaver. “We encourage any resident who is struggling to put food on their table to apply for SNAP, even if they think they won’t be eligible. The best way to find out is to apply.”
The New Hampshire Food Bank is creating posters, social media and website content, rack cards, advertising and other collateral materials to help raise awareness for SNAP.
“We’re leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to reach those in need,” Liponis continued. “We are calling on individuals, advocates, community health workers, social service staff and food system advocates across the state to help spread awareness and to encourage eligible individuals to apply.”
The New Hampshire Food Bank distributes nutritious food and resources to New Hampshire residents in need. In 2022, as the state’s only Food Bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank procured and provided more than 16 million pounds of non-perishable food items, fresh produce, and meats to more than 400 nonprofit food agencies in all corners of New Hampshire.
With an ongoing emphasis on fighting the root causes of hunger, the New Hampshire Food Bank not only distributes food statewide, but also provides a wide array of programing and education to help support those in need. The Food Bank’s Recipe for Success – Culinary Job Training Program is a no-cost, eight-week program, for people seeking employment or to improve their skills in the food service industry. The Food Bank also operates a production garden, growing fresh produce for use in its Culinary Job Training Program, and hosts mobile food pantries across the state, bringing nutritious food directly into local communities for those in need. Learn more about the New Hampshire Food Bank’s programming and services at www.nhfoodbank.org.
About the New Hampshire Food Bank
The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, has been working to relieve hunger in the Granite State since 1984. In 2022, as the state’s only Food Bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank efficiently procured and distributed more than 16 million pounds of food to people in need through more than 400 non-profit registered agencies. Agencies include food pantries, neighborhood centers, low-income housing sites, senior nutrition centers, family crisis centers, hospices, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs and day care centers. For more information about the New Hampshire Food Bank, please visit www.nhfoodbank.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.