Critical grant funding Improves Access to Healthful Foods.
At Catholic Charities, we believe that having access to nutritious foods is foundational to living a healthy life and building a healthy community. And we are fortunate to work with so many partners that also believe in this vision.
For more than six years, we have partnered with the Walmart Foundation to ensure our neighbors have access to healthful foods. We have received critical grant funding from the Walmart Foundation—provided through Catholic Charities USA—that enables our outreach workers to educate families in Hennepin and Ramsey counties about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and provide eligible families with enrollment assistance.
Walmart Foundation Supports SNAP Outreach.
SNAP is a critical piece of ending hunger in our region. It provides many people with the ability to provide nutritious and healthful meals for their families. In addition, our team works with the SNAP Employment and Training Program to support clients in their job searches, often resulting in new and better-paying jobs for those clients. We have found that a large number of people who are eligible for this benefit are not aware of this critical resource. Support from the Walmart Foundation helps Catholic Charities to close this gap through outreach and enrollment assistance.
SNAP also directly benefits our community in other ways: the benefits provided through SNAP are invested in local businesses—strengthening our economy and enriching our community.
We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for their support of SNAP.
SNAP has had a real impact on Arthur, a former master sergeant in the U.S. Army who had completed three deployments. When our SNAP Coordinator first met Arthur a couple of years ago, he had been experiencing homelessness for three years—and he said he was just barely surviving. Arthur was suffering from severe back pain from years of untreated spinal injuries in addition to untreated mental health diagnoses, complicated by a challenging family situation and serious addictions. The decision to apply for benefits started a roller coaster of positive change: in addition to receiving proper nutrition for the first time in a long time, Arthur reported that he was able to think more clearly and sought medical and mental health care. He says, “Food is now one less thing for me to worry about, I don’t have to worry what or if I’m going to be able to eat today. It makes it so much easier to focus on my physical and mental health. And I can be confident the food I’m eating is healthy.” Arthur now lives on his own, has reconnected with his family, and joined and is active in his church. He also decided to start giving back, and volunteers at our Opportunity Center helping to serve lunch a few days a week. Arthur says that for the first time in as long as he can remember he feels happy, confident, self-sufficient, and hopeful about his future.