Two-year award from No Kid Hungry will increase SNAP benefits access and advance equity
Washington, DC - Benefits Data Trust (BDT), a national nonprofit that harnesses the power of data, technology, and policy to connect those in need to critical benefits, has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1 million over two years from No Kid Hungry, a campaign of the national non-profit Share Our Strength. The grant will support BDT’s work to reduce hunger by creating smarter ways to access critical benefits and services so that people live healthier, more independent lives.
Through this generous funding from No Kid Hungry, BDT will:
- Submit 14,000 benefit applications on behalf of low-income Maryland residents for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other public benefit programs through phone-based application assistance
- Pursue a research agenda to advance equity for populations experiencing disproportionate rates of food security, particularly those who have been historically underserved
- Support additional states with direct benefit application assistance.
Even before the pandemic, 11 million children were living in food insecure households nationwide. SNAP, which provides eligible individuals an average of $1,500 in food support per year, is underutilized with only 70% of eligible individuals enrolled across the U.S., leaving millions of families hungry – and millions of dollars in food assistance unclaimed. The award will support BDT’s efforts to deepen existing outreach and benefits application assistance operations in Maryland.
“Benefits access is one of the big solvable challenges of which we can all be a part,” said Trooper Sanders, CEO of Benefits Data Trust. “We are so grateful for the award from Share Our Strength, which will help us address today’s crisis, and support the economic recovery and long-term mobility of individuals and families, all while advancing our work more broadly.”
BDT’s products and services can bridge the gap between public demand and government capacity in states across the country, and increase benefits access pathways that meet people where they are and support better health, education, and economic outcomes for children and families at scale.
“We know that SNAP is one of the most effective tools our nation has when it comes to feeding kids,” said Courtney Smith, managing director of No Kid Hungry’s Center for Best Practices. “But currently the program is underutilized. No Kid Hungry is pleased to partner with BDT to expand access to SNAP benefits, helping children grow up healthier, smarter and more likely to break the cycle of poverty.”
Currently, BDT provides policy assistance nationwide and application assistance in six states: Colorado, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. The grant will help the nonprofit to increase its reach and impact by offering assistance to additional states, including: policy and practice technical assistance; streamlined outreach and engagement solutions to raise awareness with likely eligible individuals; and/or full end-to-end benefit enrollment services meeting a range of food security, health care, and economic needs.
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.
About Benefits Data Trust
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) harnesses the power of data, technology, and policy to provide efficient and dignified access to assistance, improving people’s health and financial security. Together with a national network of government agencies and other partners, we streamline public benefits systems and directly connect eligible families and individuals to programs that help pay for food, healthcare, housing, and more. A nonprofit since 2005, BDT has secured more than $7.5 billion in benefits for households across the country, building pathways to economic mobility and a more equitable future. Learn more at: Bdtrust.org.