FNS Awards $740,000 to California to Improve Fraud Prevention, Detection in SNAP
SAN FRANCISCO, August 10, 2022 (Updated Aug. 16, 2022) – USDA Food and Nutrition Service today awarded California 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 California Department of Social Services will incorporate a SNAP automated fraud data analytics model into the state’s fraud investigations process. This model will allow investigators and data analytics staff to better concentrate efforts on investigating recipients who are revealed through data analysis, as likely to be engaging in SNAP fraud, including EBT trafficking.
“We are pleased to be able to provide this funding to the California Department of Social Services,” said Western Regional Administrator Jesus Mendoza, Jr. “These awards will support new projects that fall under any of the seven components of the SNAP Fraud Framework.”
Additional grants are being awarded to:
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- District of Columbia Department of Human Services
- Illinois Department of Human 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.
“The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) continues to work with local, state, and federal officials to combat theft and this grant from our partners at USDA will bolster our ability to prevent and detect fraudulent activities and safeguard benefits,” said CDSS Director Kim Johnson. “CDSS is working closely with California counties, who administer SNAP benefits in California, to reimburse victims of theft as quickly as possible. Anyone who suspects that their food or cash benefits may have been stolen should contact their local county office immediately to request reimbursement.”
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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