FNS Awards $850,000 to the OH Department of Job and Family Services to Enhance Efficiency and Access in SNAP
Process and Technology Improvement Grants support efforts by state agencies.
Chicago, IL, Sept. 29, 2023 — The Midwest Regional Office of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded Ohio Department of Job and Family Services $850,000 to enhance efficiency and access in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. The Process and Technology Improvement Grant, or PTIG, supports efforts by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to improve the experience of SNAP participants by enabling grantees to use technology to streamline operations and provide better customer service.
“USDA’s nutrition assistance programs – including SNAP – have a crucial role in addressing both food insecurity and nutrition insecurity,” said Midwest Regional Administrator, Dr. Vista Suarez Fletcher. “Through initiatives like this grant, FNS hopes to improve the customer experience of nutrition security programs by putting the needs of applicants and participants at the center of anything that is created.”
The PTIGs demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to championing fairness and equity in USDA’s service to program participants. Additionally, the grants build on FNS’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. Previous grantees have used PTIG funding to make SNAP improvements such as making mobile applications easier to use, implementing live call centers, and creating automated text messaging notifications to remind households of key actions required to maintain benefits. Once awarded, grantees have three years to spend the funds and complete their projects.
“SNAP recipients in Ohio will see the benefits of using this new system when they start their recertification process,” said Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Matt Damschroder. “This grant is utilizing technology to speed up the operation allowing us to better serve our customers more effectively.”
To streamline the recertification process, ODJFS will send a text message with a questionnaire 24 hours before the scheduled interview. It will prompt the applicant to update their information as needed. Pre-submitting the data will help the client prepare, understand interview expectations, and provide all necessary information, as well as decrease interview time and improve customer service.
The multi-year grants support efforts by state agencies and their community-based and faith-based partners to develop and implement projects that use technology to improve the quality and efficiency of SNAP application and eligibility determination systems.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit www.fns.usda.gov and follow @USDANutrition.
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