Seniors are extremely reluctant to use SNAP, partly because of myths surrounding SNAP.
SNAP Myth #1:
Why apply for SNAP? It’s not worth the hassle. I may not even get much $$$.
SNAP Reality #1:
Most people get more than just a few dollars. Some families receive over $100. But, whatever you get – it all adds up, Over time, you’re going to receive several hundred dollars annually. This $ is yours.
Whether it’s $16 or $160 is not the issue here. This is $$$ that you paid taxes with all these years.
Look at it this way: If you get $16 in SNAP benefits, you can buy eggs, milk, bread, butter. Every penny counts.
Whatever the amount, you are going to be eating better – staying healthier – and using tax dollars that you paid all these years.
SNAP Myth #2:
If I get SNAP, I’ll be taking away food benefits from others who may need them more such as young families with children.
SNAP Reality #2:
There are funds set aside for everyone who qualifies. The funds are federal. No one participating in the SNAP program will be taking away anything from anyone. On the contrary, by using SNAP funds, you will be bringing dollars into your community. You will be helping your town.
Many seniors qualify for SNAP and are not even aware of this benefit.
SNAP Myth #3:
I’ll have to have a face-to-face interview to get on the SNAP roster.
SNAP Reality #3:
Any senior who is ill, has transportation difficulties, has hardships due to living in a rural area, is experiencing prolonged severe weather, or is under the care of another household member does not need to have a face-to-face interview.
In New York State, seniors can be interviewed by phone or with a scheduled home visit.
Basically, the issue here is trust. Seniors sometimes do not trust the process and are afraid of it. Filling out the application can be very challenging for those of us who have cognitive or physical limitations.
A further barrier is language. Many seniors simply do not have the English language skills to apply for SNAP – and they know it. There is another category here: the senior who feels s/he lacks the skills and does not realize that there are professionals who speak the language who can help with the application process.
Hunger among seniors is at an epidemic level…especially in New York State. SNAP offers access to a healthy diet which is extremely important for the overall health of seniors.
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