Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Arlington Kicks Off Its “Closing the SNAP Gap” Campaign
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that it kicked off its “Closing the Arlington SNAP Gap” campaign this week.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, more than two dozen community partners came together for breakfast at the Arlington Town Hall to mark the beginning of the campaign.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal food assistance program that provides direct financial assistance to low income residents to buy healthy, nutritious food, as well as economic benefits to communities. The “SNAP gap” is the number of residents who are eligible to receive SNAP benefits, but are not enrolled in the program.
“The SNAP application process can be cumbersome for some so by establishing Arlington as a site to complete applications, we hope to eliminate any barriers that may exist,” said Christine Bongiorno, Director of Health and Human Services.
According to the Greater Boston Food Bank, there are 3,550 residents living in Arlington that are food insecure, which means they have limited or inconsistent access to adequate food. Of that number, more than 2,500 Arlington residents fall into the SNAP gap.
“Arlington is a desirable community with a booming real estate market and exceptional schools, but there is an undercurrent of poverty that exists and we must continue to work every day to help these people survive,” said Bongiorno. “There are a number of resources that can assist Arlington residents with accessing food, but by closing the SNAP gap, we can provide an extra resource to those community members who need it.”
One demographic that has been particularly affected by the SNAP gap is Arlington’s senior population. The Arlington Department of Health and Human Services has received a grant through the Council on Aging that will allow the department to conduct outreach and enroll residents in the SNAP program.
In addition to providing financial resources to residents, SNAP also provides economic benefits to communities. By enrolling all eligible residents in the program, Arlington stands to gain roughly $3.8 million dollars in federal funding to benefit local food stores.