NORTH DAKOTANS ON SNAP
Each year more than 54,000 North Dakotans received and greatly relied on benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read the stories below of how the benefits have created a critical resource for seniors, veterans, families and single mothers throughout the state.
A longtime school teacher, Loree has experienced the toll felt by many struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With prices for useful grocery store items much higher than they were a year ago, she needs to be even more cautions with her benefits from the SNAP program. While also caring for her 97-year-old mother, she finds unique ways to make it to the end of each month.
Dianne summarizes the difference benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) make in her life very simply: “Without SNAP, I wouldn’t be able to eat,” she says. With medical issues, she has also moved in with her mother in an effort to save expenses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read her full story here.
Dawn has dietary restrictions that make it difficult to purchase what she needs while living on a fixed income. Even while receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), she struggles to fill her nutritional needs. Read here about all that she needs to do to live as healthy of a life as she can.
Tammy Benjamin has spent the majority of her life purchasing groceries on a tight budget and today, now with 10 grandchildren, is no different. Unable to work, she receives disability payments and benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On a fixed income, the SNAP program allows her the means to make it to the end of each month.
Sonny has a list of medical conditions few people would envy. Her disabilities allow her $45 a month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. But despite the benefits and visiting local food pantries, she finds it difficult to pay all her bills at the end of each month and lives in constant fear that one day her electricity will be shut off. A little additional help through SNAP would make a big difference.
With underlying health conditions, Malka Fazlic is at high-risk should she be exposed to COVID-19. When she needs to visit the grocery store, she arrives prepared and limits her visits to 15 minutes at a time. She is unable to work due to the pandemic and benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) help her get by turning difficult times.
Kristyna Feyh is soon expecting the birth of her first child and will then soon become a single mother. With limited support, many would be nervous about there being enough food available in the home. But thanks to WIC benefits and assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Kristyna knows there will enough food available for her and her baby.
Jode and Roger Beuchene were living comfortably and enjoying their marriage. Then COVID-19 struck the region and they were “tossed like a salad,” Jodee said. Losing the majority of income from her karaoke business, the couple quickly began to struggle to put food on the table. See how a Great Plains Food Bank distribution of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program quickly made a difference in their lives.
A U.S. Army veteran, 57-year-old Roberta Milford relies on SNAP benefits along with veteran disability assistance to sustain her way of life. Her grocery budget is just $60 and the $11 she receives each month through the SNAP program allows her two gallons of milk and a loaf of bread. Despite the benefits and being on a fixed income, she still struggles to make it to the end of each month.
Mary Rader is on her own following the death of her husband and now that her six children are grown. A Social Security check each month helps to pay some of her bills, but Mary counts on benefits from the SNAP program to supplement her grocery bill each month. If it weren’t for SNAP, Mary is uncertain what she would do.
Shirley Reese remembers the difficult times she and her family faced when they struggled expecting their sixth child and how vital their SNAP benefits became. Now the manager of a grocery store in Hazelton, Reese understands the difficult situation facing many of her customers on SNAP.
Now the director of Ending Hunger 2.0 for the Great Plains Food Bank, Melissa Sobolik received SNAP benefits during her time in college. Today she fights the stigma many have with receiving benefits. “We’ve made you less than a person if you need help. We need to change that. You’re not a failure if you need help; you’re setting yourself up for success,” she said.