MN DHS Leads with Text Messaging to Improve Citizen Engagement and Program Impact
Jake Koepp & Norman Owens
Many families with children in Minnesota faced food insecurity during the pandemic which prompted the creation of the Cares Act Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to provide food benefits. To mitigate low benefit usage due to closed school buildings, Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) created a P-EBT texting campaign in less than 10 days which alerted qualified Minnesotans that benefits had been issued. By the end of May 2021, approximately 1.3M residents received text messages and surveys indicated that 98% of benefit recipients preferred receiving their information via text. Join this showcase session to hear Minnesota DHS share their experience building a mass text communication program to improve citizen engagement and increase program impact.