FNS Awards Thousands to the County of Monterey Department of Social Services in CA to Enhance Efficiency and Access in SNAP
Process and Technology Improvement Grants support efforts by state agencies.
San Francisco, Sept. 29, 2023 – The Western Regional Office of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded the County of Monterey Department of Social Services in California $858,348 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 state agencies to improve the experience of SNAP participants by enabling grantees to use technology to streamline operations and provide better customer service.
“This monetary award is one example of our commitment of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases — while reducing related health disparities,” says Jesus Mendoza Jr., Food and Nutrition Service, western regional administrator.
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.
The County of Monterey Department of Social Services in California will launch a mobile office to improve SNAP access for underserved and hard-to-reach populations, including migrant farmworkers, victims of natural disasters, individuals without a fixed address, and individuals who live in remote areas. This project will 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.
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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