As an intern, my project is to do community outreach. As I have mentioned in my previous blog post, SNAP Gardens works to raise awareness that SNAP benefits can be used to buy food-producing plants and seeds, and to help ensure that resources are leveraged to make gardening a practical choice for SNAP participants. So our goal is to make sure that as many people as possible take advantage of this amazing opportunity, especially those who are using EBT benefits/SNAP, for they are indeed our primary target.
However, in order for this information to be effectively delivered we must also conduct outreach on a state and national level. Thus, via phone calls and emails, my internship partner Rafael and I are reaching out to SNAP-Ed staff contacts around the country to make sure that they know that the SNAP-ED guidance for Fiscal Year 2013 has changed, and gotten better for gardening! We also let them know that the purchase of seeds, plants, and small gardening tools and supplies to assist in developing garden projects are, for the first time, allowable SNAP-Ed costs, as well as educational supplies, curricula, and staff salaries to teach gardening concepts.
We also do tabling at various farmers markets within the five boroughs of New York City. To ensure that the message is being delivered accurately and to keep count of data, we have a sign up list of people who’ve asked questions. Later on, we add that list onto a mailing list as a reminder of what they have been taught about Snap gardens and urge them to forward the message to people they know who have food stamps or who might be interested. We also ask to people who have had successful experience growing plants using their food stamps card to share it with us through blog or through the survey posted on the SNAPGardens’ website,
Ideas are always welcome 🙂