FNS Awards Nearly $709K to District of Columbia to Improve Fraud Prevention, Detection in SNAP
WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2022 (Updated Aug. 16, 2022) – USDA Food and Nutrition Service today awarded the District of Columbia a SNAP Fraud Framework Implementation Grant. This investment will help the state improve its recipient fraud prevention, detection, and investigation efforts by implementing principles from the SNAP Fraud Framework, a toolkit designed to help states prevent and detect fraud and sharpen their investigative techniques.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, has zero tolerance for fraud and continues to work with its state partners to implement measures to improve program integrity. While most recipients are eligible and use their benefits as intended, there are some who violate program rules.
“USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are committed to program integrity in SNAP,” said Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long. “These awards are critical in providing states with the tools they need to combat fraud in the delivery of nutrition assistance benefits.”
The district’s Department of Human Services will receive $708,849 to improve the administration of SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards by addressing card security and data reporting, improving data analysis and investigations with enhanced technology, and hiring a data analytics manager. Additionally, the department will develop educational materials to help prevent fraudulent SNAP activity.
“USDA is committed to expanding and improving our efforts to combat fraud in the delivery of these critical nutrition assistance benefits and build upon the SNAP Fraud Framework to help provide the district with the tools they need,” said FNS Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Dr. Patty Bennett. “We are proud to recognize DC’s Department of Human Services as a recipient of this grant. This award will help DHS’ on-going projects to detect, investigate, and prevent SNAP fraud in the district.”
Additional grants are being awarded to:
- California Department of Social Services
- Illinois Department of Human Services
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Wyoming Department of Family Services
Each state will use grant funds to support new fraud prevention projects that fall under any of the seven components of the SNAP Fraud Framework: organizational management, performance measurement, recipient integrity education, fraud detection, investigations and dispositions, analytics and data management, and learning and development.
“On behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser, we thank President Biden and the USDA for awarding this grant to the district,” said D.C.’s DHS Director Laura Green Zeilinger. “We want every district resident participating in SNAP to have the best information, tools and resources available to protect their benefits from fraud. This grant will enhance our ability to do that."
Past grantees have used their funds in a variety of ways. For example, states have educated recipients about program rules and the penalties of violating those rules, developed training materials for fraud prevention and detection, and offered professional development opportunities for staff to learn about new and emerging trends in fraud.
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 safe, 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 and follow @USDANutrition.
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