Reforming SNAP Can Help Increase Food Access for People with Disabilities – Food Tank

To increase access for disabled communities to nutritious and affordable food, New York State is considering reforming the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

A recent report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that in the United States, people with disabilities are almost twice as likely to experience food insecurity during a pandemic than people without disabilities.

The New York Temporary Disability Assistance Authority (NY OTDA) is working to improve the SNAP application process in response to the pandemic. Improvements such as narrowing the registration application to one of his and extending the eligibility period will “reduce the time and effort” for people with disabilities to apply for or recertify for his SNAP, the NY OTDA said. His publicist, Anthony Farmer, told his Food. tank.

Michel Nischan, founder of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that advocates for nutrition policy, told Food Tank: Nischan can help remove barriers to food access for people with disabilities by providing nutrition information and coaching through programs such as Foodsmart and increasing Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT) for his online grocery shopping. I point out that you can.

Nischan notes the importance of SNAP recipients taking advantage of benefits to buy and deliver food online. Prior to the pandemic, his SNAP in many states did not allow recipients to purchase food online using benefits. As a result, families and caregivers of people with disabilities have no choice but to buy groceries directly, increasing their risk of contracting COVID-19. “The pandemic was initially devastating for people with disabilities,” Nischan tells his Food Tank.

In April 2019, New York was the first state to launch a SNAP online purchase pilot with grocery retailers. All 50 states are now participating in her SNAP online purchase pilot. NY OTDA’s SNAP-Ed nutrition education program, in addition to increasing access to food for disabled communities, teaches people how to buy healthy ingredients and cook healthy meals on a budget. I’m here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a disability as a physical or mental condition that makes it more difficult for a person to interact with the world around them. Under its umbrella, the CDC estimates that 26% of her U.S. adults, or 1 in 4 of her, live with a disability.

Long COVID, a symptom of COVID-19, is classified as a disability under Sections 504 and 1557 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that up to 23 million Americans are suffering from long-term COVID.

GAO also estimates that one million people have lost their jobs due to the long-term symptoms of COVID. This phenomenon contributes to the pressure to increase access to nutritious foods for communities with disabilities.

Bonnielyn K. Swener, Ph.D., founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Food Tank that people with disabilities “take almost 30 years to achieve the same standard of living as people without disabilities.” We need % more income.” SNAP registration can be “difficult to access and cumbersome”, limiting access to nutritious foods for people with disabilities, he adds Swenor.

To understand the barriers to SNAP enrollment, Swenor and Dr. Laura Samuel of the Johns Hopkins Center for Disability Health Research created the SNAP Data Dashboard. This data dashboard examines the disability inclusiveness of all 50 states in her SNAP enrollment process.

This data evaluates the flexibility of SNAP registration options, the efficiency of SNAP registration, and the accessibility of the SNAP website for the disabled community. According to Swenor, the data shows that “there is variation from state to state, and there is room for improvement in most programs.”

Nationally, this data shows that only two states offer efficient SNAP enrollment options for people with disabilities. In the other 48 states, the SNAP website landing page did not include credentials, a link to a registration form, his PDF registration in large print, or a customer support phone number.

New York is also developing programs to increase access to dining options for disabled communities. Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation allowing her SNAP recipients, seniors and those with disabilities, to take advantage of benefits and purchase hot food that was previously not allowed. This law requires OTDA to apply to the USDA for approval of the program.

“SNAP is one of the most important tools we need to reduce food insecurity,” Farmer tells Food Tank

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Photo credit: Eduardo Soares, Unsplash

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