FNS Release No. 0004.11
Contact: USDA Office of Communications
USDA Recognizes States for Efforts to Provide Timely Nutrition
for Americans in Need
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2011 - USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today
commended select states and the District of Columbia for making program
improvements to ensure Americans eligible for the Supplement Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) received benefits in a timely manner, in
addition to improved program efficiency and integrity.
“USDA is working every day to spend less but invest wisely and to make
sure that our programs are operating efficiently as we bring assistance
to Americans in need,” said Concannon. “USDA and our state agency
partners continue to make improvements that strengthen the nutrition
safety net while helping hard-working individuals and families
transition to self-sufficiency.”
USDA provides monetary incentives to the eight states with the best and
most improved program access index. The program access index is the
ratio of participants to the number of persons below 125 percent of
poverty and reflects State performance in reaching those eligible for
nutrition benefits. USDA also provides monetary incentives to the six
states with the highest rate of timely processed applications, an
important indicator of customer service in administering the Program.
Working in collaboration with USDA, state agencies continue to enhance
SNAP program integrity even as demand has increased in response to
national economic conditions. This year, USDA is investing in process
improvement efforts that examine local office processes and identify and
implement efficiencies. The department is also interested in funding
projects that use technology to achieve procedural changes, such as
document imaging, telephone interviews or web-based access to case
status information. Today's announcement proves that states’ efforts to
ensure program integrity and improve their process for administering
SNAP are working.
“Improving access and customer service in SNAP is critically important
for the millions of individuals, children and families who rely on these
benefits to put healthy food on the table each month,” noted Concannon.
“Today’s announcement underscores that state efforts to improve the
process to administer SNAP are working.”
States recognized for their exemplary and timely customer service in
Fiscal Year 2010 are:
|Best Program Access
Most Improved Program Access Index:
||see ‘best’ above
||see ‘best’ above
Best Application Processing Timeliness:
The District of Columbia earned a timeliness bonus for the fourth time
and third consecutive year. West Virginia has earned a timeliness bonus
seven times. This is the first time Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, and
Oregon have earned a timeliness bonus.
FNS oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs.
These programs serve one in four Americans over the course of a year and
work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. SNAP is
the largest of these programs. Visit
for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.