We’re grateful to AZ DES (Arizona Department of Economic Security) for highlighting the success of our SNAP CAN (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Career Advancement Network) partnership.
(Article courtesy of Arizona DES Office of Communications)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Career Advancement Network (SNAP CAN) is a federal, state and local partnership designed to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training (SNA E&T) participants overcome barriers and find employment.
Organizations — both public and nonprofit — which offer approved employment and training services to SNAP recipients are also eligible to become a SNAP CAN partner and receive access to federal reimbursement dollars for services they are already providing.
One SNAP CAN program that has had great success and seen exponential growth is United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM) (link is external). UMOM has been
UMOM team in front of the Employment Center. Daniel Davis in front, second from left. (Photo credit Daniel Davis)
a SNAP CAN partner for nearly four years. Not only does UMOM provide widely renowned blueberry muffins at its Helpings Café (link is external) — a place that helps fund programs and delivers employment experience in the food industry — it also assists people experiencing homelessness with living assistance and tools for the workforce.
Daniel Davis is the Workforce Development Manager at UMOM. He said that before UMOM partnered with SNAP CAN, its employment services were limited due to funding, so clients would have to choose which part of the program (like transportation, job readiness, job retention, education) in which to participate. Most of their decisions were based on scarcity and availability.
After becoming a SNAP CAN Partner, UMOM has expanded its reach to serve more individuals in need of employment assistance.
“Since joining SNA E&T as a partner, SNAP CAN has become the largest single source of funding for UMOM’s Workforce Department,” Davis said. “It has proven invaluable due to its flexibility; allowing our program to dictate how employment services should be administered.”
Per its latest projections, UMOM predicts SNAP CAN will fund 50% of the workforce program for fiscal year 2019-2020.
“Due to the breadth and continuity of supportive services offered to participants in SNAP CAN, UMOM can help participants in job readiness one month, then provide follow-up support for job retention the next month, and even pay supportive costs for participants to pursue their GED the following month,” said Davis.
According to data collected by DES SNAP CAN coordinator, Krystal Magata, UMOM’s outreach was able to connect with many additional people needing services: