FNS Awards $517,961 to the Colorado Department of Human Services to Make Technology-Centered Improvements in SNAP Customer Service
Denver, Colo. – Sept. 22, 2022 – USDA Food and Nutrition Service today awarded Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) a $517,961 grant to support their efforts to enhance efficiency and access in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Colorado.
The multi-year SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grant seeks to improve the experience of SNAP participants by enabling grantees to update inefficient or ineffective processes and use technology to streamline operations and provide better customer service.
“Process and technology improvements play an important role in making it easier for those who access nutrition assistance programs to get the healthy food they need,” said FNS Administrator Cindy Long. “Through these grants, we can make further progress in ensuring SNAP is working for the people who rely on its benefits to feed themselves and their families.”
With the funds, CDHS will build an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to handle recurring inquiries and provide personalized information and general frequently asked questions responses via call or text. The project will improve customer service by reducing long call-back and hold times and will provide the foundation for a single statewide contact center for all counties in Colorado.
“The process and technology improvement grant awarded to Colorado will help the state create efficiencies in its customer service that should result in an improved experience for SNAP recipients,” said Cheryl Kennedy, regional administrator for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.
Additional grants are being awarded to:
- Dakota County (MN) Department of Employment and Economic Assistance;
- Montana Department of Health and Human Services;
- New York City Human Resources Administration; and
- New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
Each awardee will use grant funds to make technological improvements such as making mobile and online applications easier to use, implementing live call centers with Interactive Voice Response, or improving accessibility for digitally underserved populations. The grantees will have three years to spend funds and complete their projects.
"CDHS is committed to continuous improvement and addressing health holistically,” said Karla Maraccini, division director of food and energy assistance. “We are focused on a person-first approach to everything we do, and we know hunger and food insecurity can affect anyone. This grant will help us better serve Coloradans through the SNAP program."
These grants build on the Administration’s commitment to modernizing programs, reducing administrative burdens, and piloting new online tools and technologies that can provide a simple, seamless, and secure customer experience.
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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