Project Bread SNAP Trainer:
A Resource for Massachusett's Agencies
A curriculum for connecting low income families with healthy food
1: Introducing the SNAP Trainer
1.1 What is the SNAP Trainer?Open
Project Bread’s self-paced SNAP Trainer teaches you how to connect your clients in Massachusetts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This vital program helps to reduce hunger and enables low-income households to put healthy food on the table.
The SNAP Trainer teaches you who is eligible and how they can access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You will also learn how to help special populations: the elderly, non-citizens, and the disabled.
You can move through the trainer at your own pace, watching the videos, reading the text, and downloading supplemental materials at a speed and timeline that is comfortable for you.
1.2 What will my agency and I learn here?Open
This Trainer explores the issue of food insecurity and teaches you how to help your clients access SNAP benefits to address it. Click on the little green "Open" link to the right of this headline to see specific goals and outcomes for this trainer.
When you complete the SNAP Trainer, you will understand:
- The basic concept of food insecurity
- The benefits of SNAP, including that SNAP is a tool for addressing food insecurity
- SNAP regulations and how they help your clients afford healthy food
- Who can use SNAP and what this means for your clients
- How to prescreen your clients for SNAP benefits
- How to help your clients apply for SNAP benefits
- How to help your clients continue to receive SNAP benefits
For your agency...
In addition, your agency can use the SNAP Trainer to:
- Develop more staff who are knowledgeable about hunger and food insecurity
- Train more staff to effectively provide SNAP application assistance to clients
For your clients...
And of course, the real outcome of this training is that:
- More eligible people in Massachusetts will receive the SNAP benefits they qualify for, particularly among the underserved populations of elders and non-citizens.
1.3 How do I use the SNAP Trainer?Open
The SNAP Trainer is straightforward to use and works in any current web browser on your laptop or desktop computer. Click the little green "Open" link at the right side of this paragraph to learn more about how to use the trainer.
Getting to a lesson
The titles of the seven SNAP Trainer lessons appear in the menu bar at the top of the web page. The lessons include:
- Introduction (which you are reading right now)
- About SNAP
Click on the title of the lesson you want to use. (Yes, it is that easy!)
After you select a lesson, it appears in the browser.
Watching the video
Each lesson includes a short informational video featuring one of the experienced Project Bread staff. The videos enhance the written text by providing additional examples that explain the program. If you do not have access to speakers, you can skip the videos and still get all of the information you need to assist your clients through the SNAP application process.
By themselves, the videos will not provide all of the information needed to understand SNAP. You will need to read all of the written text to become proficient in each lesson.
To play the video, click on the triangle play button at the bottom left of the video window.
Reading the lesson
Look below the video. You will find a number of informational sections for each lesson. The name of the section is in gold. It is followed by a short sentence that highlights the contents of the section. For example, the section you are reading right now is entitled "1.3 How do I use the SNAP Trainer".
To read more about the topic, click on the little green "Open" link at the right side of the page, just across from the title. The section "expands" to show more information, and the Open link becomes a "Close" link.
When you are done with the section, click on the little green "Close" link that appears at the right side of the page, just across from the title. The section you have opened will collapse.
Using resource materials
Sometimes you'll be pointed to additional materials. These include downloadable worksheets, forms, or checklists, as well as more detailed and specific web-based references.
Whenever you see this symbol within a blue “More Resources” box: you'll know it is a pointer to additional material.
Click on the link you find within each “More Resources" box and you'll go to that document or web location.
For example, here's what the “More Resources” box looks like, and this is a sample link.
Seeing the definitions
Sometimes a word or concept has an underlying definition. When you see a word highlighted in green, like this word ( example ) you'll know there's an underlying definition to it.
Move your mouse over the green word and you'll see a little popup box with the definition. Try it now by putting your mouse on this example. Move your mouse away, and the box will disappear.
This is an example of a popup box definition.
Paying attention to important information
Whenever you see this symbol within an orange “Attention” box: it indicates information that is especially important to remember.
Reading the examples
Sometimes it is easier to understand the regulations by reading an example of how they apply to individual clients. Whenever you see this symbol in a green “Story” box, you will read a short mini-story about people who are applying for SNAP.
1.4 Who is Project Bread?Open
Project Bread is Massachusetts’ leading antihunger organization. It is committed to alleviating, preventing, and ending hunger in this state. Open this section to learn more about Project Bread.
Project Bread's mission statement reads:
We believe in long-term, systemic solutions to end hunger. Prevention is key.
As part of our core mission, we promote federal nutrition programs, like SNAP, because they focus on prevention. SNAP is an essential long-term resource that allows households to afford healthier food and is effective in protecting low-income families and individuals from hunger.
Project Bread produced this SNAP Trainer to share best practices that help us all prevent hunger in Massachusetts.