This guide to food stamp assistance was created in response to the clear gap between the level of Idahoans eligible for food stamps and the number who are receiving them. Many people do participate in the Food Stamp Program—over 1 in 7 Idaho residents are receiving food stamps each month. Still, only about 70% of those who qualify for the program were participating.
Concerned about why 30% of eligible Idahoans were not participating, the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force conducted focus groups across Idaho with recipients or potential recipients of food stamps. They found that the two most overarching barriers to participation were misinformation about eligibility and application, and the perceived stigma of receiving public benefits.
Thus, the Train the Trainer program was developed to ensure that advocates and leaders can access important information about the Food Stamp Program in order to, in turn, increase awareness in communities throughout the state. The guide aims to break through misinformation, foster leadership, and ultimately, alleviate hunger by increasing participation in the Food Stamp Program by low-income Idaho residents.