Packaging help for a government aid program: Feeding America’s digital tools to help people get help

People struggling with housing may feel empowered to try using the Digital Literacy Toolkit from Feeding America . The tools come to people through digital media professionals who are working together to empower struggling Americans.

Will people gain access to the tools needed to receive SNAP?

We want everyone in the country — regardless of whether or not they receive SNAP benefits — to experience the empowerment of being able to link their identity, employment, grocery and case-management information to the SNAP EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) portal and benefit card.

But we don’t think of the Digital Literacy Toolkit as a “Just Do It” project, nor would we suggest SNAP recipients try it all at once.

Our hope is to see how many people would move in this direction, whether it’s to get their SNAP benefits in digital format, apply for a job that includes EBT benefits, find a job that includes SNAP benefits, find the food bank near them that provides EBT benefits, or move from private to public EBT options.

How does having a digital wallet offer new opportunities to help people?

We hope that people who use the Digital Literacy Toolkit, and especially the Digital Pantry, will be inspired to organize to fight for more access to SNAP benefits, and advocate for those who cannot yet get them online.

What have we learned about the most significant challenges to digitizing the government assistance?

Getting SNAP benefits online has challenges, but we think the EBT EBT portal and its associated services offer a strong example of how we can unshackle public benefits from stovepipe systems and create cross-agency digital solutions. Our approach to digitizing SNAP benefits is based on lessons from the experiences of feeding organizations in the U.S. and internationally, which are behind digital-engagement tools such as the Digital Pantry.

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