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Delaware to pilot app that combats food insecurity

White House Senior Advisor to the President and Director of Public Engagement Steve Benjamin joins Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long to unveil SNAP Smart Shopper app
Macayla Cook
/
Delaware Public Media
White House Senior Advisor to the President and Director of Public Engagement Steve Benjamin joins Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long to unveil SNAP Smart Shopper app

Delaware is the first state to pilot the SNAP Smart Shopper app.

The app, designed by r4 Technologies, is part of the federal Smart Food Program to address food insecurity. It provides users access to digital coupons for specific SNAP-approved foods, along with nutrition information, dietary recommendations, and recipes.

r4 Technologies founder and CEO Paul Breitenbach, calls the app a “completely American” way of solving the problem of hunger.

“The really big idea is to use our resources that we already have to match, to do more with the same budget,” Breitenbach said. “So, you know, to fight food inflation, to really just provide for families because there’s strain on budgets in every direction.”

The latest USDA data for Delaware from 2022 indicates that 13% of Delawareans or about 120,000 residents receive SNAP benefits, and around 35,000 children statewide face food insecurity.

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long says Delaware was the perfect place to pilot the app.

“Not only is Delaware small and nimble, but we are the state that is the demography of America,” Hall-Long said. “You know, my office oversaw the census for Delaware. We represent America with our rural and our urban population, and having led some national organizations, I recognize we were the perfect hub.”

The Smart Shopper app is expected to be introduced in Hawaii next with a goal of taking it nationwide.

“I am a nurse, and the governor, Josh Green, of Hawaii is a physician, and we know that food is medicine,” Hall-Long said. “We recognize that this is a unique opportunity, so we’re going to have the first and the fiftieth state, so transcontinental. This will change the face of America.”