The Florence County Library System, in partnership with The Benefit Bank of South Carolina, has had tremendous success over the past year in bringing benefits and work supports to the underserved populations of Florence County. The pilot project at the Lake City Library has been extremely sucessful and we are now expanding the project to the remaining five branches of the library system. In total, the applications submitted have an estimated annual value of $1,554,328 to the families served.
Of the 594 applications that were filed using The Benefit Bank, the Lake City Library handled 79%. This is largely in part thanks to a grant from Darla Moore in order to station a part-time Benefit Bank Counselor at the library. There were 186 SNAP and ESAP (food stamp) applications completed ($393,671), 206 health applications ($836,914), and 194 tax and FAFSA applications which were valued at $323,743. Using the calculations accepted by USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the $393,671 in SNAP amounts to $708,608 in benefits to the local economy. Health benefits generate $3.15 in economic activity for every Medicaid dollar spent totalling $2,636,279 in Florence County from The Benefit Bank of South Carolina. Those two categories add a potential economic boost of over $3.3 million to the Florence County economy.
Lake City has expanded its outreach efforts to the Lake City Hospital and the school district in the hope of assisting more people with collecting the benefits they qualify for. The Benefit Bank of South Carolina continues to expand their outreach as well. They are committed to find and enroll 6,000 children (0-19) in the children’s health insurance program and are commited to find and enroll seniors in the Low Income Subsidy (LIS) Prescription Help Program through a contract with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging. The Benefit Bank also recently received a CHIPRA Technology Grant in order to move the Department of Health and Human Services to electronic application submission.
For more information about The Benefit Bank of South Carolina, please visit www.thebenefitbank.com.
For more information about the Florence County Library System, please contact:
Ray McBride, Library Director
509 S. Dargan Street
Florence, South Carolina 29506