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Butler University students work on application to help connect Hoosiers to SNAP benefits

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Posted at 6:30 AM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 06:32:31-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Are you struggling to put food on your table every day? If so, you may be eligible for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).

Students in Butler University's EPICS class are working in partnership with Indy Hunger Network on an application that will help you check your eligibility before you apply.

While working with the Indy Hunger Network, the students found that of the people who are eligible for SNAP benefits, only about 25% are applying. They hope their easy-to-use application will bring that number up.

"Not everybody that is eligible is signed up for SNAP benefits," Kabrila Waters, a Butler University student, said. He's working with his classmates on the website that helps people calculate their SNAP Benefit eligibility.

Their goal is to help people realize what benefits they can get.

"The goal of this for me and the people involved in this project is to bridge the gap between people who may not want to apply or don't think they are eligible and the actual process ... To make it more approachable," Ben Rempher said.

Through this project, the students have learned only about 25% of eligible SNAP users are actually getting benefits.

"We want to get that to 100% if we can," Waters said.

The calculator is relatively simple to use; you enter some basic information about your household, and it gives you your estimated snap benefit allowance. Under that, there's a link to the online snap application.

"There are a lot of people that could potentially be helped by this, and I want to help as many people as I can doing what I do," Waters said.

The students are working on adding Spanish to the website, so more people will be able to use it.

You can check out the website here.