SNAP E&T Program Toolkit
The purpose of this Toolkit is to provide state agencies with guidance and resources to plan and implement Employment and Training (E&T) Programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program). In 1987, Congress established the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program to assist able-bodied food stamp recipients in obtaining employment. From its conception, the purpose of the E&T Program has been to help SNAP households gain skills, training, work, or experience that will increase self-sufficiency and help participants move into better jobs.
Since the publication of the previous version of the Toolkit, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 Farm Bill) and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill) made several significant improvements to E&T. Through these pieces of legislation, Congress tasked the Department and state agencies with reviewing and bolstering the quality and accountability of E&T programs for SNAP participants, while retaining state flexibility. Many state agencies are stepping up to provide targeted trainings and work supports to help SNAP participants gain the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing labor market.
All state agencies must implement an E&T program consisting of at least one E&T component and case management. In addition, E&T programs must be provided through the statewide workforce development system, and state agencies must consult with the state workforce development boards, or local employers or employer organizations, if that would be more effective or efficient, in the design of their E&T programs. As state agencies work to improve their E&T programs through partnership with the local workforce development system, the following chapters provide guidance on the following aspects of an E&T program:
- Chapter 1 - reviews the purpose and program design of E&T programs;
- Chapter 2 - reviews E&T eligibility and participation;
- Chapter 3 - reviews E&T funding; and
- Chapter 4 - reviews allowable costs.
Use of the Toolkit
This Toolkit is designed to build a foundation of the policy knowledge that state agencies may need as they sustain and grow their E&T programs. In addition to being a policy resource for state agencies, the Toolkit may also be helpful as a training resource for onboarding new staff, a primer for potential providers, or a go-to resource for existing staff. Some of the material in this Toolkit is tied directly to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the act) and SNAP regulations. Other material, such as state-specific examples and recommended best practices are not Federal requirements, but are meant to be resources that may help state agencies better meet the employment and training needs of low-income households. Links within the document lead to other sections of the document itself or helpful Internet resources.
As a living document, this Toolkit will be updated periodically to reflect new information on best practices, updated resources, and changes to federal legislation or regulations. If you have comments or questions on this Toolkit, you can contact your regional office for more information. The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) encourages state agencies to share tools that can be included in future updates to this Toolkit, such as desk guides, evaluation forms, or proposals that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of SNAP E&T programs.
The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.