FNS Awards $1,006,468 to the SC Department of Social Services to Enhance Efficiency and Access in SNAP
Process and Technology Improvement Grants support efforts by state agencies.
Atlanta, GA, Sept. 29, 2023 — The Southeast Regional Office of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SC DSS) $1,006,468 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 SC DSS to improve the experience of SNAP participants by enabling grantees to use technology to streamline operations and provide better customer service.
“FNS is committed to helping state agencies leverage their available data and resources to reach underserved populations,” said Southeast Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor, USDA Food and Nutrition Service. “The PTIG Award is a result of exploring new ideas and listening to feedback to design experiences that meet South Carolinians’ customer needs.”
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.
“DSS is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve how we serve our clients and the people of South Carolina,” said DSS State Director Michael Leach. “Through this grant from the USDA, these funds will support key aspects of our SNAP application process by developing back-end solutions that streamline identity verification and enable the agency to provide electronic updates on the status of an application for assistance. These changes will increase transparency, customer satisfaction and accountability throughout the application process.”
The South Carolina Department of Social Services will use the funding to create a system for real-time Social Security Number validation to reduce manual validation and improve internal workflows for caseworkers and will provide real-time electronic SNAP case notifications for clients to enhance 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. For more information visit Process and Technology Improvement Grants Program.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.