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Need to Apply for Food Stamps? There's an App for That.

August 10, 2014, 10:42 AM

What's the Latest?

The number of households applying for food stamps has tripled over the last decade in what is another sign of our balanced economy. And it is the poor who can least afford to navigate the complexities of a large bureaucracy such as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), the government agency that issues food stamps. Enter the new mobile app Easy Food Stamps. Created at the social impact incubator Significance Labs, the app is the TurboTax of the SNAP program, asking users application questions in a more familiar language than the legalese of official documents. 

What's the Big Idea?

Participating in the modern economy unquestionably means having access to the Internet. Surveys show that for the poor, the primary point of access to the Internet tends to be their mobile phones, while the more affluent have more comfortable options like laptop and desktop computers. Thus digital efforts to help the economically disadvantaged seem likely to have more success if they are created for mobile platforms. Jimmy Chen, who worked personally to develop the app, commented that:

"A lot of the social good created by technology is unevenly spread throughout the world. A lot of technology is built to scratch our own itches. Low-income Americans don't have nearly as much technology aimed to help their challenges than I might."

Read more at Fast Company

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