The Food Bank of Delaware announced on Oct. 12 a $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help fight hunger in Delaware through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program education and outreach.

SNAP is a federal program dedicated to providing aid to low-income individuals and families in food insecure communities. Yet, 17 percent of Americans eligible for SNAP currently do not receive this benefit, and 42 percent of eligible seniors are enrolled, according to an Oct. 12 press release.

“One in six children in Delaware have limited or no access to nutritious food; food that is essential in their educational and social development. At the Food Bank of Delaware, we work tirelessly to help fill this need, but programs like SNAP can boost the supply of nutritious food in a child’s household, something our community really needs,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe.

With this grant, the Food Bank of Delaware is hoping to scale access to SNAP among eligible households, with particular emphasis on reaching seniors, families with children and other vulnerable populations. Funding will support the Food Bank’s efforts to implement the Hunger Vital Signs food insecurity screening at health care providers.

The Food Bank will offer training and assistance to health care staff at community-based centers on implementing food insecurity screening and providing referral resources for food insecure clients including SNAP and other publicly available resources to help promote health and nutrition literacy among food insecure clients. Upon receiving a referral, a Food Bank of Delaware SNAP Outreach team member will contact the client to screen them for SNAP eligibility and schedule an application appointment.

SNAP provides more than nutrition assistance; it helps improve families’ overall well-being. With lower grocery bills, people are better able to pay for other basic necessities — rent or mortgages, medical expenses, utilities and transportation. SNAP is critical to moving families into long-term food security, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service Report.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks. Locally, Walmart delivered close to 600,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Delaware in 2017 and, since 2016, donated close to $500,000.

For more, visit fbd.org.