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Statement to the Community on Protecting SNAP

Dear Residents and Partners:

Two weeks ago, DHS sponsored a local advertising campaign aimed at protecting the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – also known as Food Stamps). The advertisements were intended to raise awareness of the program and help ensure that these crucial resources go directly to meeting the nutritional needs of District households. This campaign was 100% funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service for the explicit purpose of educating residents on ways to ensure the program can meet its goal of addressing food insecurity.

We have received feedback that the campaign was not perceived in the way it was intended. The advertisement missed the mark, and DHS apologizes for sharing a message that is not a reflection of our values.

In response to community concerns (and our own), DHS is removing the ads and taking steps to ensure future advertisements express our belief that SNAP is a critical and effective program. Moving forward, we will work with food insecurity stakeholders and our federal partners to identify more appropriate strategies to educate residents on ways to prevent fraudulent behaviors and protect and support this important program.