The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $5 million of investments in customer service projects to improve and modernize application processing in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The USDA Process and Technology Improvement Grants (PTIG) awarded to the District of Columbia and state and county agencies in Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, New Mexico, and New York aim to:
Make the application process more convenient with customer-friendly access to basic information and shorter in-person wait times;
Enhance customer service for current participants through simpler submission of verification documents and tactics to help clients meet program deadlines; and
Streamline operations through technology with systems improvements to reporting and tracking.
“USDA is supportive of state efforts to streamline program administration and improve customer service” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps, who oversees USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “The projects selected to receive these SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants will help make determining eligibility more efficient, while maintaining the highest integrity, protecting the program and American taxpayers.”
Grants were awarded to:
- Alabama Department of Human Resources, $1,184,608
- District of Columbia Department of Human Services, $220,942
- Kansas Department for Children and Families, $1,475,303
- New Mexico Human Services Department, $525,701
- Broome County, New York, $39,000
- New York City Human Resources Administration, $1,237,950
- Pitt County, North Carolina, $316,496
For more information about the grantees and their projects, visit the FY2018 SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants webpage.
“FNS is committed to providing states and program operators with the resources and flexibility they need to operate federal nutrition assistance programs effectively and efficiently,” Lipps said, emphasizing that FNS continuously looks for ways to leverage innovative ideas, data-driven strategies, and new technology to improve customer service and program delivery.
SNAP agencies in the 50 states, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, as well as local governments and their community-based and faith-based partners, were eligible to compete for these grants. Grants are awarded for a three-year period and include comprehensive evaluation plans.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service aims to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people the nutrition they need in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. In addition to administering the federal nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the agency also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. For more information, visit fns.usda.gov.
Source: USDA Food and Nutrition Service