(BEDFORD) - Volunteers are being trained for The Benefit Bank, a program that will soon be offered at both the Bedford and Mitchell Public Library.
The program is a web-based service designed to secure funds and services for individuals and families working to overcome poverty and build financial stability.
The service is free and aimed at connecting people to needed resources. Counselors will take appointments at both libraries to help people find benefits, offered through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, sign up for student financial aid, register to vote and fill out state and federal tax returns and other programs.
But first volunteers had to be trained to find the resources. That training started last week and will continue until Feb. 1.
Once training is complete the libraries hope to begin taking appointments.
$1.1 billion is unclaimed benefits each year, and in Lawrence County, a $9.3 million goes unclaimed with $5.4 million of that lost through SNAP, or what was formerly known as food stamps.
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