A recent article in the Baltimore Banner brought to light the plight of many Marylanders who were receiving food stamps but who, through no fault of their own, lost eligibility through miscommunication issues during the annual redetermination process. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is evidently not functioning as it could as it has been sending out letters for phone interviews scheduled for dates prior to the arrival of the letter, or even reportedly booking dates but then never calling at the appointed hour.

Added to those issues is the increasing demands from the agency that customers apply and complete redeterminations on-line through their website (myMDTHINK Programs & Services Portal (maryland.gov)) . The process can be overwhelming and fraught with complications such as the need to have an email address just to set up an account.

However, there is help out there, and crucially it’s accessible to those of us who don’t have the means to get to an actual DHS office. That help comes in the form of SNAP Outreach Community Based Organizations. (Despite the rebranding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program remains better know as food stamps.) These agencies have been approved by the state to provide assistance with food stamp applications and redeterminations and are based throughout the state. That means that individuals with no means of transportation and no computer access can still apply for the benefits for which they are eligible whilst also having the assurance of a trained and experienced worker helping them navigate the application process.

If you need that kind of help here’s the list of agencies who have signed up, along with their contact information: SNAP Outreach Community Based Organizations – Maryland Department of Human Services