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USDA Helps States Improve Technology to Combat Trafficking of SNAP Benefits

Press Release
Release No.
FNS 0009.15
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, DC, October 8, 2015 – Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today announced an award of over $9 million in technology grants to help selected state agencies combat benefit abuse and trafficking by participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Projects in Alaska, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada and New Jersey were selected.

“USDA remains committed to ensuring the integrity of SNAP, and the grants announced today will help equip our state partners with the most modern technology to track and root out benefit abuse by participants,” Concannon said. “USDA recognizes that program fraud, even though infrequent, undermines public confidence in government and can jeopardize a vital program that helps millions of people put food on the table.”

SNAP law and regulations require state agencies administering the program to maintain fraud prevention efforts and investigate program violations by SNAP participants. The competitive grant awards announced today are designed to help states deploy new technology, or modernize existing technology, that monitors and tracks investigation outcomes of individuals suspected of intentional program violations - with an emphasis on trafficking, the illegal sale of benefits for cash, or other ineligible items.

“Americans support helping struggling families put food on the table but they want to know that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely,” Concannon said. “USDA is actively working on behalf of American taxpayers to make sure that benefits are used as intended.”

Agencies administering SNAP in the 50 states, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia were eligible to apply for the grants, which are not to exceed three years. For further information, please visit the SNAP Program Improvement website.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs. In addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, these programs include Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, the National School Lunch Program, and the Summer Food Service Program which together comprise America's nutrition safety net.

Page updated: February 03, 2023