USDA Opens Grants Application, Enhances SNAP Customer Service
New application requirements address racial equity and inclusion to improve program fairness
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2021 – The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced today that $5 million in competitive grants are being made available to improve access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and improve program quality and efficiency.
The SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants (PTIG) are awarded through a competitive application process that now requires applicants to include considerations of racial equity and inclusion in their project proposals as part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to fairness and equity.
“SNAP is one of the most far-reaching and powerful tools available to ensure all people have access to healthy, affordable food, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background,” said Stacy Dean, USDA’s deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. “These grants will support process and operational improvements that ensure SNAP is there to help people when they need it most.” Dean added that for far too long, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have faced discrimination – both overtly and through institutionalized practices – and the racial equity component of the application is part of USDA’s comprehensive commitment to reduce disparities in its programs and services.
In addition to improving equity in SNAP, the Process and Technology Improvement Grant applicants will be required to address at least one of the following priority areas:
- Increase the use of human-centered design in SNAP applications and notices;
- Improve preparedness for public health emergency and pandemic response by strengthening virtual and disaster response operations; and/or
- Improve SNAP customer service.
“These investments in SNAP are essential as we build a more resilient nutrition assistance system that works for everybody in both good and tough times,” said Dean.
The entities eligible to apply include:
- State and local agencies that administer SNAP
- State or local governments
- Agencies providing health or welfare services
- Public health or educational entities
- Private non-profit entities, such as community-based or faith-based organizations, food banks, or other emergency feeding organizations
FNS also welcomes applications from local, regional, and national anti-hunger and public health advocacy groups that work closely with the underserved populations that would benefit most from these grants.
The RFA opens today and all applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Eastern Standard Time (EST), June 22, 2021. The three-year grants will be announced no later than Sept. 30, 2021. For more information, please visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/grant/fy-2021-snap-process-and-technology-improvement-grants.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) leverages its 15 nutrition assistance programs to ensure that children, low-income individuals, and families have opportunities for a better future through equitable access to healthy and nutritious food, while building a more resilient food system. Under the leadership of Secretary Tom Vilsack, FNS is fighting to end food and nutrition insecurity for all through programs such as SNAP, school meals, and WIC. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To learn more, visit www.fns.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.