BROOKLYN, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the historic government shutdown, February SNAP (food stamp) benefits were deposited in January, with no additional benefits scheduled until March in most states. According to Propel's data, over a third of February's benefits had been spent before the month even began. This means that many families who rely on SNAP will run out of benefits well before the next payment in March. At this time, 68% of Fresh EBT users have a balance under $10.
In recognition of this need, Propel partnered with Full Cart, an initiative of the 501c(3) nonprofit Feeding Children Everywhere. Propel raised money for Full Cart to send free food to families with low SNAP balance amounts, and who faced the largest gap in their SNAP benefits. Through generous gifts from foundations, Propel's investors, and individuals, enough money was raised in two weeks to provide more than 600,000 individual meals. Full Cart delivers a box of 50 shelf-stable meals, like Italian veggie pasta, macaroni and cheese, and red lentil jambalaya to families in need. The money raised by Propel will allow over 12,000 families to receive a supplemental box of food during an unusually challenging period.
Starting February 15, some Fresh EBT users with very low SNAP balances saw a promotion within the app to receive a free shipment of groceries. Families across the country have begun to receive shipments from Full Cart this week. In a note to Full Cart, K. Williams from Brooklyn wrote, "This program is truly amazing!!! Really appreciate what you are doing especially in these trying times."
"We are humbled by the outpouring of support from those who recognize this unique moment of need. At Propel, we're focused on building technology to serve low-income Americans - and we can't do that without working closely with the organizations and funders with a long history of leading the fight against poverty," said Jimmy Chen, founder and CEO of Propel. "I would also like to thank some of the key contributors to this effort, including Robin Hood Foundation, Omidyar Network, AARP Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, along with the many other individuals and organizations who made generous gifts."
"We are excited to work with Propel because millions of hard-working individuals and families around the county were impacted when their SNAP benefits were affected by the government shutdown. The Fresh EBT app gives us direct access to the Americans who need help the most," said Dave Green, CEO of Feeding Children Everywhere.
"Robin Hood attacks poverty wherever it lives, and we're seeing a crisis in how families with SNAP benefits will feed their families after this shortfall," said Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore. "We're proud to partner with Fresh EBT, which was incubated at Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood, to use their unique tech platform to impactfully and effectively meet this crisis."
Propel and Feeding Children Everywhere are doing their part to build awareness of hunger in America. They ask that those who want to join the fight against hunger in America should donate to Feeding Children Everywhere, contribute food, money, or volunteer hours to their local food pantry, and support legislation to bolster the SNAP program.
Propel's mission is to build a stronger social safety net to enable low-income Americans to improve their financial health. Their free app, Fresh EBT, is used by over two million Americans across the country each month. Propel is a for-profit company whose supporters include nonprofits, mission-oriented investors, and top-tier venture capitalists: Robin Hood Foundation, Omidyar Network, Andreessen Horowitz, Nyca Partners, and Kleiner Perkins. Propel is based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Feeding Children Everywhere believes in the vision of a hunger-free world in our lifetime. Since 2010, FCE has activated more than 750,000 volunteers to package and distribute over 115 million meals to children and families in need. Full Cart is FCE's innovative social program delivering groceries to those in need here in the United States. Learn more at FeedingChildrenEverywhere.com and FullCart.org. Feeding Children Everywhere is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization based in Orlando, Florida.