Walmart Foundation Awards
Grant to Holy Family Institute
for Hunger Relief
Holy Family Institute partners with Catholic Charities USA and Walmart Foundation to help residents of Western PA gain access to supplemental nutrition assistance.
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (July 11, 2018) – For the fourth year in a row, the Walmart Foundation has awarded Pittsburgh charity Holy Family Institute (HFI) a grant to recruit and enroll eligible families in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The $35,000 award is part of a larger national grant to Catholic Charities USA.
SNAP, formerly known as the food stamps program, is a federal program administered in Pennsylvania by the Department of Human Services. HFI will focus its grant resources on rural areas, including Aliquippa and Beaver Falls, through its client work with individuals in the Duquesne Light Universal Services Program. Last year, HFI served 36,614 households through the program.
“Recent USDA data reveals that 1.8 million Pennsylvanians receive food stamps, while more than 41 million receive the benefit nationwide, many of them struggling against underemployment and stagnant wages,” says HFI President and CEO Sister Linda Yankoski. “The program may be even more important to rural neighborhoods than urban. Organizations such as Holy Family must always advocate for SNAP, as it maintains a strong domestic hunger safety net that is particularly crucial for the wellbeing and development of children.”
Yankoski notes that Holy Family is monitoring the current House and the Senate farm bills regarding various SNAP changes. Both have very different approaches. She expressed hope for positive outcomes related to recipients, states administering the programs, and retailers.
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to income-eligible individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. The safety net helps people purchase food at participating supermarkets, grocers, and farmers markets. With the exception of prepared foods, any food may be purchased, including seeds and plants used to grow food at home. If individuals are unable to cook, they can use SNAP benefits at participating restaurants. Some Meals on Wheels kitchens also accept the benefit card.
SNAP benefits are provided after assessment through a deduction checklist that includes information on a person’s household, income, resources, and household costs. The benefits are provided by an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card – a plastic swipe card that looks and is used like a credit or debit card. SNAP benefits are deposited monthly to EBT cards. Individuals are recertified for these benefits every 12 months and must report any household changes every six months. Food emergency situations also can be addressed.
“Holy Family Institute is proud to be a recipient of funding from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation via Catholic Charities USA again this year. It is through this grant award that we can specifically target households in rural areas of Beaver County, ” says Susan Motycki, director of Universal Services at HFI. “Our staff go to homes in remote areas not served with accessible public transportation. We help the hardest-to-reach population with basic needs such as utility applications, budgets, health/wellness review, and appropriate referrals to other community-based organizations. Plus, with the help of community partners, we provide basic, essential hygiene packages – items not covered by SNAP. By helping the most isolated with hunger relief and basic needs, businesses are serving as a lifeline, and we thank them.”
HFI associates supporting SNAP enrollment are available to answer questions and help with the online application interested individuals should call 412/361-2583. Visit http://www.hfi-pgh.org/what-we
About Holy Family Institute: Holy Family Institute’s mission to empower children and families to lead responsible lives and develop healthy and meaningful relationships built on faith, hope, and love, drives the organization to help everyone who comes to its door. Founded in 1900 as an orphanage for children, Holy Family has evolved as a devoted social services provider for the Pittsburgh region, helping individuals and families receive services or access resources that will assist them in meeting immediate and long-term needs for a better, sustainable future. More than 20 programs include mental health, behavioral health, early intervention, specialized learning, community-based family support services, substance abuse and addiction counseling, safe child visits, and energy assistance, as well as other services. The Institute serves individuals and families in homes, schools, and nine neighborhood centers in Allegheny, Indiana, Beaver, Armstrong, and Butler counties. Visit www.hfi-pgh.org for more information.