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Food Stamp Participation Project: Addressing barriers to access

Faith Hill, BS, MDiv, Research, Education, Advocacy, Maternity Care Coalition, 2000 Hamilton Street, Suite 205, Philadelphia, PA 19130 and Natalie S. Sondheimer, MSS, Maternity Care Coalition, 2000 Hamilton Street, Suite 205, Philadelphia, PA 19130, 215-972-0700, natalie@momobile.org.

In October of 2002, Maternity Care Coalition incorporated the Food Stamp Participation Project into our existing MOMobile health education and family support program. The objective of this project is to assist low-income families throughout Delaware and Montgomery Counties to access the federal Food Stamp Program, thereby decreasing food insecurity among low-income pregnant women, families with children, elderly, disabled persons, and qualified immigrants. The project’s central research question is: “What does it takes to get eligible non-participants to enroll in the Food Stamp Program?” Project staff has developed a range of outreach strategies to identify persons who are potentially eligible, but not receiving food stamps. Trained community health workers, known as Food Stamp Advocates, reach out to clients using a three-tier model of intervention. This model includes education about the Food Stamp Program, prescreening for eligibility, and application assistance. Barriers to participation are identified and documented during the intervention. Focus Groups have also helped us to understand and develop strategies for overcoming barriers to participation. Strategies include client advocacy as well as advocacy at the county, state and federal levels. The presentation will describe the project design and its integration into the MOMobile program, explain the three-tier intervention research model, discuss advocacy issues related to food insecurity, and examine the progress made in overcoming barriers to access. Collaborative efforts with community partners and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare will be described. Project outcomes and their analysis will be reviewed in depth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning Objectives

    Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Community Outreach

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Food Insecurity: Access, Federal Food Program Participation and Health

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA