By Debbie Manina, SNAP Outreach Coordinator
Self doubt, unstable, unsecured, shaky, unsteady, weak, frail, fragile.
What do all these words have in common? They are words that describe insecurity.
As one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s SNAP Outreach Coordinators, I have seen firsthand the economic devastation that COVID-19 has caused so many families. Since the pandemic started, SNAP application assistance has moved from in person to over the phone. I have spoken to so many who feel hopeless and uncertain about the future.
So many people are living day to day not knowing if their jobs are going to be there tomorrow or next week. Our neighbors are facing furloughs, reduced hours, and unemployment.
SNAP Outreach is so crucial to ensuring that families’ most basic food needs are met. Many people I have spoken to say they have never applied for government assistance before. They feel lost and ashamed. Some even felt that only people who are “lazy” and do not want to work or only want to work the system apply for such benefits. Their viewpoint on the program has changed now that they are in need of help themselves.
I have heard these statements so many times since March – “I never thought I would be doing this” or “it’s just until I can get on my feet or my job starts giving me more hours.” Hearing the utter defeat in their voices, we try to encourage them and let them know that we are all in the same boat and there isn’t any shame or judgement involved. Hunger does not discriminate. People from all walks of life apply for benefits – senior citizens, adults with college educations, single-parent families, working families and others.
During these difficult times, it’s so important for us to all stick together and help one another out. SNAP exists for times of crisis like the one we are experiencing now. For those in need of food help, please don’t be embarrassed. Contact us today and we will walk you through the process.
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