Looking for SNAP Assistance? Just Google It.

by Emily Catalano Digital Specialist, Feeding America

How to make pancakes? What is dabbing? How to fix a leaky pipe? No matter what your question is, it is second nature to Google it when you’re looking for answers. As you can imagine with mobile devices, tablets and computers always at our finger tips, we are asking more questions than ever. Google processes approximately 40,000 search queries every second meaning they see over 3.5 billion searches per day worldwide.

So, what exactly is everyone looking for?

Google is a trusted resource for everything, including information about public benefits like SNAP. SNAP or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, helps millions of low-income Americans afford nutritious food. However, many often find that navigating the search engine results page after searching for SNAP to be confusing and overwhelming.

To improve navigation and increase access to quality SNAP resources on the search engine results page, Feeding America connects users searching for SNAP assistance with their local food bank’s SNAP Application Assistance program through Google ads. This online referral service initiative began in 2013 and now supports 47 food banks across 26 states. It has connected over 150,000 users looking for help applying for benefits through local food assistance programs.

How do the ads work?

Users searching for SNAP who click on Feeding America’s Google ads are directed to an online SNAP assistance page. The page allows them to enter a zip code, which directs them to their local food bank’s referral page. Through a confidential submission form, users enter their contact information, which in turn is sent directly to the SNAP Application Assistance team at their local food bank. This allows the food bank to contact them directly providing additional support when applying for SNAP, and connects them with supplementary local food resources. Feeding America food banks have helped over 40,000 individuals submit SNAP applications through this initiative, all starting from a simple Google search.

You may be asking yourself, “How can I use this tool?” No Googling necessary for this question. The online SNAP assistance page is now available as a resource for anyone looking to connect to local SNAP application assistance.

In today’s digital world, it is important that organizations like Feeding America fulfill its commitment to meet the needs of individuals and communities through accessible online referral services. Feeding America is committed to eliminating barriers to SNAP access by connecting people who need it most, predominately households with children, elderly and people living with disabilities with local food banks for SNAP Application Assistance, making it easier to access the nutrition assistance they need to promote overall better health.

Emily Catalano is the Digital Specialist at Feeding America.