WASHINGTON, DC: The US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is enlisting PR in its effort to improve diets.
WASHINGTON, DC: The US Department of Agriculture’s Food and
Nutrition Service (FNS) is enlisting PR in its effort to improve
An educational campaign is about to be launched by the department to
promote greater use of food stamps by those who are eligible. The FNS
has awarded the dollars 61,000 contract to Arlington, VA’s ZGS
Communications, which will endeavor to educate all potentially eligible
individuals and households about the food-stamp program.
Shirley Watkins, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer
Services, said that the group’s aim is to mobilize government
departments at the federal, state and local levels, as well as advocacy
groups and faith-based organizations. She emphasized that the campaign
will make clear food stamps are not welfare, and help ensure that people
with lower incomes receive proper nutrition.
While statistics from 1994 show 70% of eligible food stamp recipients
received their benefits, several groups - including the working poor and
households with immigrants - are considered to be less likely to
participate in the program. Only one-third of the eligible elderly, for
instance, received their benefits, while a mere 46% of households with
The FNS has suggested that many of the poor who could participate in the
food-stamp program fail to use their benefits because they may be
influenced by the perceived stigma of using food stamps. Also, people
who had been on welfare but are now working may be unaware of their
Posters and brochures in both Spanish and English will be used. Also,
the FNS’s statement of work requests that the brochures be downloadable
from the Web.