Reaching the Hard to Reach: Lessons Learned from a Statewide Outreach Initiative
Date of Original Version
Despite high levels of need, many federal assistance programs are underutilized, with differential participation rates among demographic subpopulations. Outreach efforts seek to address challenges facing potentially eligible program recipients. This article examines a statewide initiative to address barriers to participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), focusing on the elderly and people with disabilities, eligible immigrants, and low-income working households. We describe a dynamic approach that relies on community partnerships and utilizes media messaging, information dissemination, and direct client assistance to reach our target populations. The data illustrate how continuous evaluation allows for systematic adaptation of strategies, highlighting lessons learned for future outreach efforts. 11The name of the Food Stamp Program was officially changed as a result of the 2008 Farm Bill to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Work reported on here began with the Food Stamp Program and transitioned to SNAP. For purposes of consistency, the program will be referred to as SNAP. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Journal of Community Practice
Gorman, Kathleen S., Allison M. Smith, Maria E. Cimini, Katherine M. Halloran, and Anna G. Lubiner. "Reaching the Hard to Reach: Lessons Learned from a Statewide Outreach Initiative." Journal of Community Practice 21, 1-2 (2013): 105-123. doi:10.1080/10705422.2013.788369.