Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners Works To Bridge The Digital Divide

Since 1966, Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) has been fighting poverty by educating and empowering low-income individuals and families in Spokane County. SNAP’s vision is a strong community where all people have the opportunity to strive toward their full potential.

In this post, we’re highlighting SNAP’s leadership in combatting the Digital Divide. The Digital Divide refers to the gap between people of different racial and socioeconomic statuses and their ability to access and successfully utilize Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). ICTs can range from computers, to the internet or wireless networks, cell phones, video-conferencing, social networking, and other media applications and services that enable the user to access, retrieve, store, transmit, and manipulate information in a digital form. Digital Equity is when people have the access to any and all information technology needed to participate fully in our society, our democracy, and the economy. SNAP believes that digital equity is required for one’s full civic and cultural participation, for one’s employment, for lifelong learning, and for access to essential services. For this reason, SNAP has made digital equity/opportunity technology one of four main priorities in their 2019-23 strategic plan.

To generate data critical to closing the gap, SNAP conducted a survey to illustrate the gaps within Spokane County for access to digital resources. SNAP is currently aggregating and assess this data, and plans to use this information to evolve their services and programs to build digital access and equity for low-income community members in Spokane County. According to 4 News Now, 16% of US households don’t have access to the internet.

Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners serves over 40,000 clients annually. During the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP utilized $182,000 of their Community Services Block Grant dollars to build a technology infrastructure to effectively shift 78% of their own staff members to remote work within days. Like all CAAs, SNAP provides programs and services based on their triannual community needs assessment but SNAP is unique in the way they advertise their services – categorizing them between services that help you: live, learn and thrive. You can visit this link to learn more about the services offered at SNAP.

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SNAP Bridging the digital divide