The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/formerly food stamps) addresses the nutritional needs of low-income families and is one of the nation’s most important defenses against hunger. Through the SNAP Outreach program, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada helps people to get connected with these vital benefits. Our SNAP Outreach staff assists clients with the application process and conduct the in-person interview required to qualify for benefits.
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada recognizes that hunger is a symptom of a bigger problem—poverty. Access to emergency food pantries and SNAP benefits are vital resources to end today’s hunger. However, they are not the answer to solving chronic food insecurity. Bridges to a Thriving Nevada is a bold step forward on the path to a more sustainable future for our community, and the initiative is gaining significant ground in northern Nevada. Using the Bridges Out of Poverty framework and community collaboration, Bridges to a Thriving Nevada is aimed at helping individuals move out of poverty while creating systemic change in the community to support such movement. This is accomplished using a three-pronged approach:
Ready to get involved? Consider taking Days 1 and 2 of the Bridges training, offered on a quarterly basis. Supporters can also implement Bridges concepts into their businesses as an employee retention tool, support a Getting Ahead participant by underwriting the cost of his/her tuition ($350), or become an ally offering regular support and friendship to an individual working to exit poverty.
Bridges Out of Poverty is a thorough and intensive two-day workshop based on the framework set in Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities.
Day 1: Workshop participants explore a wide-range of issues around poverty like the following key points: Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms not always understood across class and the people most affected by poverty must be included in the creation of an accurate model of poverty.
Day 2: Workshop participants learn how to implement Bridges’ constructs and tools in their workplaces and in the community.
Bridges to Health and Healthcare: This training emerges out of the Bridges out of Poverty work begun by Dr. Ruby Payne, as a specific resource for those engaged in healthcare at the individual, institutional, community and policy level. The focus of this work is the relationship between the individual and the health care community; addressing the disparities in health outcomes that are evident by poverty and race. This session will review the research on healthcare across a continuum that includes access, availability, cost, quality, efficacy and communication as well as the challenges’ facing our under-resourced patients and families. Using Bridges constructs, we look at mental models of economic class and the hidden rules that become barriers for our most vulnerable patients/clients to overcome. We will consider the institutional and community resources and relationships necessary for collective efficacy, taking steps to create a healthy community that engages all economic classes at the decision-making table.
Bridges to Workplace Stability: Bridges to Workplace Stability takes the core concepts of Bridges out of Poverty to create a workshop designed for employers, community and workforce developers and social services that employ or work with under-resourced individuals in entry-level or lower-wage jobs. By looking at how a person’s environment and resources determine the level of stability they experience we can consider how instability leads to absenteeism, retention issues and human resource conflicts. Using data, case studies, mental models and facilitated exercises we examine how well our work place or agencies operates to mitigate these factors.
As a cornerstone to Bridges to a Thriving Nevada we work to make our trainings accessible to the community by charging a nominal fee of $35 to cover the costs of a light breakfast, lunch and books and materials for the all-day event.
If you would like to learn more about the Bridges to a Thriving Nevada Initiative, contact Jenny Yeager, Director of Programs & Community Engagement at (775) 331-3663, for more details.