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New Orleans Ranked 2nd Among US Cities for Highest Rates of Food Insecurity

Sankofa Community Development Corporation Program Will Help Eligible Seniors and Families Sign Up for SNAP. Community Health Ambassadors available to help navigate tough forms and other barriers.

NEW ORLEANS – On Sept. 1, 2022, Sankofa Community Development Corporation will launch its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Enrollment Project. This project, funded by a grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, will help 100 eligible seniors and food insecure families in Greater New Orleans enroll in SNAP. Many that the project will help have been discouraged from applying — usually because the process is too complicated, or they lack Internet or transportation.

If someone believes they are eligible for SNAP, they can request a Healthy Community Ambassador’s help by calling (504) 872-9214.

“This grant will help us deploy Community Health Ambassadors to give personal assistance and walk people through enrollment,” said Rashida Ferdinand, founder and CEO of Sankofa Community Development Corporation. “Sankofa’s programs strive to combat systematic barriers that cause social and health disparities. We address the social determinants of health, particularly community health, food security and environmental stability. Our goal is to ensure that people who need it most in Greater New Orleans will have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food.”

The 2022 New Orleans Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) reported that New Orleans is ranked second among US cities for highest rates of food insecurity, and nearly one in four New Orleans residents live in poverty. Black households are nearly three times more likely to live in poverty.

Seniors and low-income families are statistically more likely than other demographic cohorts to have barriers to reliable wifi access, computer equipment, computer literacy and proficient reading skills. These assets are vital to access SNAP and the food security it helps provide. Through Sankofa’s SNAP Enrollment Project these barriers will be alleviated. The following are ways that Sankofa’s Snap Enrollment Program seeks to mitigate these barriers:

  • Provide Snap-eligible seniors and families targeted assistance to the SNAP application and follow-up process
  • Engage peer-led SNAP education programs from Community Health Ambassadors that live in the community
  • Resolve participants’ transportation barriers by providing program services at designated community sites on a rotating basis
  • Resolve participants’ literacy and technology barriers through the use of Community Health Ambassadors’ laptops and hotspots

“We are excited to partner with Sankofa to combat food insecurities in the Greater New Orleans area,” said Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross Foundation. “Ensuring that eligible seniors and families can access benefits helps those most vulnerable and creates a pathway to increased food access and improved overall community health.”

For more information about Sankofa’s SNAP Enrollment Project please call (504) 872-9214 or visit, https://sankofanola.org.

Sankofa Community Development Corporation: Sankofa CDC is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that was founded in 2008 by Rashida Ferdinand in alliance with community stakeholders in the Lower Ninth Ward following Hurricane Katrina to support health-centered community and economic development in the area. Building healthier communities for more generations to come. 5200 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, LA 70117 (504) 872-9214

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