How SNAP Helped this Alabama Mom Graduate College and Give her Daughter a Healthy Start

Jennifer Wells-Marshall was trying to make ends meet while in college and raising her young daughter. She worked every day, but it wasn’t enough to pay all the bills and put food on the table. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helped her cover the cost of food so her daughter wouldn’t be hungry.

“I worked every single day of the week, but it wasn’t enough.” – Jennifer Wells-Marshall

Jennifer tells her friend and colleague, Helen Jones, about the judgement she faced and how she persevered and went on to get her Ph.D. and have a successful career. Now 25 years old, Jennifer’s daughter has completed college and is in the process of finishing her master’s degree.

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This story was recorded and produced by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Originally posted on September 19, 2018.

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In Alabama, 17% of residents participate in SNAP.

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In Alabama, 24.1% of children are food insecure.


In Alabama, 17.7% of the overall population is food insecure.

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The percentage of residents participating in SNAP ranges from 6% in Wyoming to 23% in New Mexico.

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Priority Policy: SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping feed more than 40 million Americans each month.

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Child food insecurity rates range from 9.4% in North Dakota to 26.3% in Mississippi.

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