Advocate training to increase food stamp participation in older adults
Badger, Lauren Elise
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Older adults have historically low food stamp program (also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) participation rates compared to other age groups. Several USDA-led application assistance demonstration research projects have successfully improved food stamp application among samples of older adults. Older Georgians have a high burden of poverty and food insecurity. This study developed, implemented, and evaluated food stamp advocate training materials to improve older adult food stamp participation in Athens-Clarke County, GA. Eighteen advocates (86%) completed the training. After the training, the advocates reported a significantly increased knowledge (mean±SD, 1.8±1.9 vs. 5.0±1.3 on a scale of 0-6) and confidence (mean±SD, 15.9±6.0 vs. 25.1±5.8 on a scale of 6-30) about the food stamp application assistance, respectively. This pilot program will serve as a model for the development and implementation of the food stamp advocate training across Georgia and the U.S.