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USDA and 1,500 Partners Discuss Moving SNAP Participants Forward

Washington, DC, October 15, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today wrapped up USDA’s first-ever Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) National Work Forum. The three-day virtual, interactive conference connected over 1,500 partners from across the country and multiple sectors to share and learn best practices for promoting and increasing employment among SNAP households through state E&T programs.

“Our goal is really inspiring all of our partners across the country to believe in the dignity of work and hope. We want to make the life of our constituents and our customers, each day, better than the day before. Let’s go… and deliver that hope, in that first job, to enable them to move forward,” said Secretary Perdue.

This forum concluded just a week after Secretary Perdue announced $10 million in grants for SNAP E&T partners to strengthen their programs to move SNAP participants toward and into employment.

SNAP participants have exclusive access to training and support services to help them enter or move up in the workforce through SNAP E&T. These programs help equip participants with the skills, training, and work experience needed to be competitive in today’s workforce. They also help to reduce barriers to work by providing support services – such as transportation and childcare – as participants prepare for and obtain employment.

“Secretary Perdue and I have focused on ways we can support and encourage those that can take proactive steps to moving forward and towards employment,” said Deputy Under Secretary Stephen Censky. “For many of those we serve, it has not always been an easy road. But they come out on the other side taking pride in what they’ve accomplished, armed with the tools to succeed.”

This week, USDA guided a conversation about the importance of human-centered E&T programs, those that meet people where they are, invest in their future and inspire hope.

Throughout the conference, USDA and its leading partners provided attendees with guidance, tools, and connections to bolster E&T programs across the country to move more SNAP participants forward. USDA and its partners, together, have the opportunity to help more individuals experience the transformational power of work, an outcome that provides hope, dignity, and a better future for workers, their children, and our nation.

Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps challenged forum attendees to join USDA in its mission to move SNAP participants forward. The best practices shared during the three-day forum will go a long way toward helping connect SNAP participants with job opportunities and pathways to economic stability.

Deputy Under Secretary Lipps encouraged attendees to "build and strengthen partnerships to make SNAP E&T, both on its own and combined with other employment services, more effective for those we serve, more responsive to the needs of employers, and more supportive of SNAP participants as they seek to experience the lasting transformation of work.”

The SNAP E&T National Work Forum is the latest action in USDA’s ongoing commitment to expanding SNAP E&T. Each year, USDA provides over $100 million to states to operate SNAP E&T programs. USDA also matches states’ E&T investments dollar for dollar, without limit. In addition, USDA operates the SNAP to Skills project – providing intensive technical support and coaching to participating states and their partners on building robust E&T programs – and has previously hosted several training opportunities, such as the SNAP E&T Learning Academies and the State Institutes, to develop E&T expertise across the country from the ground-up.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage America’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. Follow us on Twitter at @USDANutrition.

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Page updated: October 23, 2020