Hunger-Free Minnesota announced today that it is awarding a $200,000 grant to Hunger Solutions Minnesota to reach seniors and others who are eligible for participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with an awareness campaign. The grant is made possible by a contribution from the General Mills Foundation.
As part of the grant award, the awareness campaign will leverage additional SNAP outreach reimbursement dollars from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), estimated at almost $200,000. The USDA appropriates money nationally to reimburse approved statewide SNAP outreach plans.
Hunger-Free Minnesota also announced that the grant will fund an unprecedented statewide advertising and marketing campaign to increase awareness of the county-administered SNAP program. The SNAP program helps Minnesotans with low incomes get the food they need for sound nutrition and well-balanced meals. Research conducted for Hunger-Free Minnesota shows that seniors and those who are newly unemployed often are unaware that they qualify for nutrition support. Research further shows that seniors, in particular, are reluctant to seek help and may not admit they are skipping meals when they can’t afford to buy enough food. The marketing campaign is intended to increase awareness of SNAP while also addressing the potential stigma that may be associated with using assistance programs.
Campaign Created by Support from Business Community
The new SNAP eligibility awareness campaign is the creation of a variety of business entities. General Mills’ Good Works group, comprising General Mills employees from a variety of disciplines, conducted consumer-insight research, directed creative execution and crafted a marketing plan for the multimedia campaign. Other contributors include Ultra Creative (campaign design), Campbell Mithun (media planning) and CompassPoint Media (media buying). The campaign will use radio, transit advertising, materials at senior centers and areas of congregate dining, and online advertising on job search websites, among other media, to reach its target audiences.
“The grant to Hunger Solutions Minnesota is the first of Hunger-Free Minnesota’s campaign to close the missing meal gap,” said Ellie Lucas, chief campaign officer, Hunger-Free Minnesota. “The SNAP campaign, which raises awareness about eligibility requirements for supplemental food, can show qualified but nonparticipating residents how to take the first steps toward missing fewer meals.”
Hunger-Free Minnesota is coalition of community leaders and citizens, nonprofit agencies, food banks, food shelves and corporate partners including General Mills, Cargill, Hormel Foods, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Land O’Lakes and others. Hunger-Free Minnesota already has obtained $3.5 million in private funding to implement its strategic action plan comprising statewide initiatives aimed at closing the missing meal gap in Minnesota. Initiatives include system-wide changes, new partnerships, education, policy changes, direct grants and other support for local participating organizations. The coalition encourages individuals and organizations to “Fight Hunger Where You Live.” For more information, visit http://www.hungerfreemn.org.