The Chattanooga Area Food Bank was awarded a $51,700 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help fight hunger in their 20-county service area in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) education and outreach.
"SNAP is the largest federal assistance program working to fight hunger in America. More than 70 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with children. Yet, 17 percent of Americans eligible for SNAP currently do not receive this benefit, and only 41 percent of eligible seniors are enrolled," officials said. "With this grant, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank hopes to scale access to SNAP among eligible households, with particular emphasis on reaching seniors, families with children and other vulnerable populations.
According to Feeding America, hunger in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia affects 1 in 4 children and 1 in 6 adults. SNAP outreach and enrollment is key to increasing a household’s access to healthy and affordable food."
“Food is a basic necessity like air and water and no one should have to worry about where they will find their next meal. Every day, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank distributes food to people who struggle with hunger. But we can’t fight hunger alone. Federal programs like SNAP help to fill a critical gap for people in need, and the program actually shrinks as the economy improves,” said Gina Crumbliss, president and CEO for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
"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. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service Report, SNAP is critical to moving families into long-term food security," officials said.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks. Locally, the Walmart Foundation has awarded nearly $800,000 in monetary support to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank since 2002, and last year alone, they provided 3,143,440 meals to the local communities in our 20-county service region.