We bridge the SNAP gap through community education. Our Community Educator strategizes and implements the Coalition's efforts to reach more low-income individuals and connect them with public benefits.
We table at community events, conduct outreach to senior centers and faith-based organizations to educate the public about SNAP, and help eligible individuals sign up for SNAP benefits. We also provide SNAP enrollment and case management trainings to partner organizations.
Also, feel free to distribute our outreach materials at your organization or event. If there are materials you would like to distribute but don't see on our website, please email Alison Volz, our Community Educator.
Our Hunger Simulations are designed to help people recognize and understand the many barriers, challenges, and frustrations of food insecurity that 16% of Philadelphians face every day. Participants are first given a Food Insecurity 101 training, where we discuss the prevalence of food insecurity, its causes, and the impact it has on one’s life, before participating in the hunger simulation.
During the simulation, participants are assigned pre-made profiles with defined incomes, expenses, and unique situations based off of real situations we have seen on our SNAP Hotline. They must then try to obtain food to feed their household for a week by visiting three distinct mock stations:
- A County Assistance Office where they can apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps) if they believe they are eligible
- A corner store where they can purchase food items with their SNAP benefits (if they have them) and any income they have after taking into account their expenses
- A free food pantry
This interactive experience is a terrific tool to demonstrate the various challenges people face and difficult decisions they must make while experiencing food insecurity. The activity is wrapped up with an in-depth discussion focused on participant experiences, changes in perspective, and ideas of how they can better connect people to local food resources. If you’re interested in hosting a hunger simulation for your volunteers, staff, or students, reach out to our Community Educator Alison Volz (email@example.com).