Food for Thought - Facing the Facts About Food Insecurity

Season #2

In the first episode in our second series "Food for Thought-Facing the Facts About Food Insecurity,” Michelle talks with Gina Plata-Nino, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Deputy Director, and Crystal FitzSimons, Director of School and Out-of-School Time Programs, at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). Gina works with the SNAP team to seek ways to improve SNAP’s reach and support for low-income households, including people and families working their way up the economic ladder. Crystal leads FRAC’s work on the child nutrition programs that serve school-age children, and she analyzes policy to advocate for legislative and regulatory improvements to increase low-income children’s access to the nutrition programs.

During this conversation, Gina shares the vital role SNAP plays in providing affordable and nutritious food for rural families. Crystal shares the impact of meal programs, designed to feed students while they are in school, so that hunger is not a hinderance to their learning.

Other areas covered include understanding the breadth of SNAP benefits, the need to strengthen program accessibility, as well as the roadblocks for accessing, applying for, or qualifying for food assistance programming. Finally, they discuss the impact we can all make on legislation and policy (including tips on who and how to contact) to strengthen SNAP and school meal programs so that rural families don’t just survive, but thrive.