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Growing and Strengthening SNAP E&T Programs

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, requires that every state operate a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) program, which is defined as case management and one or more SNAP E&T components.1 However, there is much more to operating an effective SNAP E&T program. For example, changes made by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill were meant to strengthen E&T programs and improve SNAP participants’ ability to gain and retain employment. It also tasked state agencies with reviewing and bolstering the quality of E&T programs for SNAP participants.2

You, as a state agency, should be designing a SNAP E&T program that meets the needs of participants and is responsive to the communities in which it operates. Designing an E&T program is not a one-time effort. You need to continually review and assess evolving community factors—including current labor market needs, provider availability, and service quality—and your target population’s interests and needs. When there is not alignment, you may need to redesign parts of your program.

To help you think about this process, FNS has developed the Growing and Strengthening series, a set of tools that, together, will help you determine if your SNAP E&T program is meeting your goals of operating an effective program. You can think about the process in four interconnected parts. For more information, please visit each of the pages below.

 

  1. Understanding your program. First, you need to understand what your program is currently offering and to whom. Ask yourself if this aligns with where the labor market is moving and who you would like to be serving. If you find a gap between them, you should consider making program or process changes.
  2. Designing your program. The second part is focused on how to better align your program’s operation sand reach with its mission. This could include making small tweaks to better target underserved populations or major changes to the overall delivery of services.
  3. Selecting providers to meet your program’s needs. Once you know what you want your program to do, it is important to find the “right” providers to make your program successful. This third part is focused on selecting providers that meet your program’s needs and being intentional about finding providers that have the capacity and ability to serve SNAP participants.
  4. Monitoring programs and using data. Finally, the last part is to use the program data you collect to monitor your program’s effectiveness and assess if more exploration and redesign are needed.

You should think of these four steps as being an ongoing effort to assess your program, identify gaps, and make continuous improvements to better serve your E&T participants and the communities in which your program operates.


1 Public Law 88–525; enacted Aug. 31, 1964; 78 Stat. 703; as amended through PL 117–286, Enacted Dec. 27, 2022.
2 The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (PL 115- 334). Final rule published March 17, 2020.

Page updated: January 09, 2024