January 24, 2014 — (Wilmington, DE) — Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington is one of 33 Catholic Charities agencies receiving funding from Catholic Charities USA [CCUSA] to conduct Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment activities. Catholic Charities was awarded $50,000 to assist households who qualify learn about and enroll in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This support will be provided to clients in the Diocese of Wilmington, which includes the entire State of Delaware and the nine counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
CCUSA received the funding from the Walmart Foundation. The Walmart donation will support outreach and enrollment assistance activities by Catholic Charities to help households who are eligible for SNAP [formerly known as Food Stamps] but are not yet receiving benefits, to enroll. In Delaware, potential beneficiaries can request assistance to enroll online during an appointment with the Basic Needs program. In Maryland, online enrollment is not available, but Catholic Charities staff will help potential beneficiaries complete the paper enrollment form.
“We are thrilled to receive the support of Catholic Charities USA through the Walmart Foundation for this vital work throughout the Diocese of Wilmington,” said Richelle A. Vible, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. “Many residents in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland are struggling financially and have difficulty affording nutritious food for their families. Resources to help meet these needs are drying up, but need continues to increase. Hunger endangers all families, but especially young children and seniors, putting them at risk for poor school performance, poor work performance, and poor physical and emotional health. With this support, we will be able to outreach to over 15,000 families, and hopefully prevent negative outcomes for the most vulnerable in our communities.”
To ask for assistance, contact the local Catholic Charities office nearest you. In New Castle County, call 302-655-9624; in Kent County, call 302-674-1600; in Sussex County, call 302-856-9578; and in Somerset County, MD, call 410-651-9608.
To support Catholic Charities Food Assistance or Basic Needs Programs, you can make an online donation at www.cdow.org/ccdonation.html, or send a check to Catholic Charities, 2601 W 4th Street, Wilmington DE 19805.
According to Feeding America, food insecurity, defined as a lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate food for an active healthy life for all household members, is growing. Feeding America reports that in Somerset County, Maryland, where Catholic Charities operates Seton Center, a multipurpose community center, close to 18% of residents experience food insecurity and 64% live on incomes below 200% of poverty. In Delaware, 13% of residents experience food insecurity and 54% live on incomes below 200% of poverty. The Delaware county with the highest food insecurity rate in Delaware is Kent, followed by New Castle and Sussex.
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. In a report issued earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP participation leads to improved food security, particularly among low-income children.
The Walmart Foundation has identified SNAP enrollment as a significant priority. Helping households enroll in SNAP shows great benefit. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates $9.00 in total community spending. The FY 2011 average monthly SNAP benefit was about $276.50 per household, which is spent in local food stores.
Catholic Charities, the charitable arm of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, has been serving those in need for over 180 years, offering a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
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Contact: Paula Savini