Recent data show a decline in several key benchmarks of state administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. USDA is concerned about the negative impact this is having on SNAP program integrity and, most importantly, on families in need.
On Feb. 8, 2024, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a letter to U.S. governors. The letter calls for immediate action, with steps states can take to improve program efficiency, and actions FNS is taking to support states.
USDA and states share common goals to provide nutrition assistance, enhance customer service, and increase support for individuals with low-income who rely on the SNAP program. FNS will continue working with states to improve their SNAP operations as quickly and efficiently as possible. For example, FNS is:
- Engaging directly with states through onsite visits, virtual trainings, and office hours;
- Providing updated guidance and tools on effective practices and innovative strategies;
- Requiring states that fall short of certain benchmarks to implement corrective action plans;
- Awarding $5 million in grants per year to select state agencies to develop and implement projects that use technology to improve the quality and efficiency of SNAP application and eligibility determination systems; and
- Contracting with national payroll data providers to help states improve income verification for SNAP applicants and recipients, which is expected to reduce payment errors and improve the timely processing of applications and recertifications.