New Bedford is helping to lead the way for Age- and Dementia Friendly Community efforts in Massachusetts and will soon be benefiting from a partnership between the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and Health eVillages, a non-profit organization that provides free, state-of-the-art medical mobile technology to underserved areas.
This collaboration will help reduce food insecurity by enabling local volunteers in nine states to conduct home visits and outreach events using mobile tablets for SNAP eligibility assessments and applications.
Two hundred and twenty-five Android tablets have been donated by Health eVillages to NCOA and distributed to local partners in the following areas: Southern Alabama; Suburban Chicago; Ft. Pierce, FL; Hoboken, NJ; Lansing, MI; Miami, FL; New Bedford, MA; North Dakota; Seattle, WA; and Utah.
After training by Health eVillages and NCOA, 225 local peer volunteers will meet older adults in their own rural and urban communities. Many of these older residents have difficulty accessing benefits due to geographical, technological, social, or cultural barriers. Volunteers will screen thousands of older adults for eligibility in SNAP and assist each person with enrollment in the program, as appropriate. To conduct the screenings, volunteers will use NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp® (www.BenefitsCheckUp.org), the nation’s most comprehensive, free online tool to help older adults find and apply for benefits program to help them pay for daily expenses.
For more information on the partnership, see the NCOA announcement.