In recent years, Texas has held the fourth highest rate of senior food insecurity in the nation, with 8.9% of our seniors at risk for hunger.
Hunger can have serious effects on a senior’s nutrition and overall health, and can cause more pronounced symptoms of age-related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
To address this issue, Feeding Texas recently partnered with Austin’s Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and Meals on Wheels and More to determine how senior-serving organizations across the state can better bridge the gap between seniors and the nutrition they need.
The resulting Senior SNAP Outreach Best Practices Toolkit is the first of its kind in Texas. This toolkit provides a very simple but thorough “How-To Guide” for outreach workers in various settings, with findings based on a year of survey research, best-practice gathering and message testing among Central Texas seniors.
Among its findings are insights into how seniors access information about SNAP, including Texas’ online benefits portal. Key takeaways from our survey included 90% of seniors who found the online benefits application too daunting to complete, and 80% who believed a visit to a state office was still required.
In addition to these findings, the toolkit explains how to address common myths about nutrition assistance, how to form efficient referral networks to make the most of limited outreach resources, and how to apply for benefit-maximizing medical deductions available only to seniors.
Feeding Texas will be offering a statewide webinar on this toolkit and other innovative strategies to reach seniors on Thursday, November 6th. Sign up here to participate!