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Philadelphia, August 16, 2018 – Benefits Data Trust (BDT) has received a $4 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to reduce hunger by streamlining enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and enrolling 45,000 seniors, children, and adults struggling to make ends meet. These enrollments will provide an estimated 27 million meals, thereby improving health and increasing children’s educational attainment.
“We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for its generous support so we can continue to help improve people’s health and financial security through better access to SNAP,” said Ginger Zielinskie, BDT’s President & CEO. “This grant will enable us to enroll thousands of families in SNAP over the next two years, streamline SNAP enrollment in states across the nation, and partner with leading healthcare payers to improve health and reduce healthcare costs through SNAP participation.”
With support from the foundation, BDT will expand its targeted, proactive SNAP outreach and enrollment assistance and work with states to leverage policy options to streamline SNAP enrollment. Nationally, millions of eligible families and individuals, including more than five million seniors, are not enrolled in SNAP, often because they do not know they are eligible or are unable to navigate the process. Streamlining a state’s enrollment process increases access to SNAP not just for those BDT assists, but for everyone needing assistance in that state. BDT currently provides outreach and enrollment assistance in Colorado, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are working toward a goal of providing access to 4 billion meals to people in need over five years,” said Karrie Denniston, Senior Director of Sustainability at the Walmart Foundation. “By supporting this type of unique service delivery model that uses data and technology to make it easier for families to connect to resources, BDT is helping to increase access to critical federal nutrition programs.”
Because multiple studies have shown that SNAP enrollment significantly improves health and reduces healthcare costs, the new grant provides support for BDT to engage leading healthcare payers in addressing the social determinants of health through increased SNAP participation.
With support from the foundation, BDT has enrolled more than 29,000 older Americans in Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, and South Carolina in SNAP since 2014, reducing hunger, increasing health and independence, and stimulating more than $100 million in local economic activity.
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national nonprofit that helps people live healthier, more independent lives by creating smarter ways to access essential benefits and services. Each year, BDT helps tens of thousands of people receive critical supports using data, technology, targeted outreach, and policy change. Since inception in 2005, BDT has submitted over 800,000 applications – more than any other single entity in the country – securing over $7 billion in benefits and services. BDT employs more than 170 people and provides enrollment assistance to individuals in six states, and policy assistance to states nationwide. For more information, visit bdtrust.org.