Gov. Malloy: Federal Government Says Connecticut Is Among Best in Nation for Efficient Enrollment in Food Aid Program, Gives $2.4 Million in Bonus Awards to State
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded nearly $2.4 million in performance bonuses to the State of Connecticut for being among the top states for enrolling eligible households in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The federal bonus awards recognize Connecticut for timely processing of nearly 98 percent of applications in a service that requires complex eligibility screening, and for bringing food aid to over 92 percent of the eligible population.
“The Connecticut Department of Social Services continues to do excellent work with its nonprofit partners to enroll eligible families and individuals of all ages into the federally-funded SNAP program,” Governor Malloy said. “As the name indicates, this program supplements the ability of lower-income residents to afford the cost of food. It also brings in federal dollars to our food economy, helping supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets, along with supporting the jobs they provide.”
Federal officials recognized Connecticut for speedy processing of SNAP application based on strong timeliness benchmarks of 97.95 percent and 97.52 percent during the 2017 and 2016 federal fiscal years, respectively.
“Connecticut is among the six states with the highest percent of timely processed SNAP applications,” Brandon Lipps, USDA Acting Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, wrote in the award letter to Governor Malloy.
Bonus awards totaling $1,610,979 are going to Connecticut for outstanding processing timeliness. Connecticut was also recognized as a state with the “highest program access index” for 2017, signifying the number of SNAP participants enrolled from the estimated eligible population. The state’s access benchmark was 92.13 percent, garnering a bonus award of $767,331.
According to federal rules, the state’s combined performance bonuses of $2,378,310 will be reinvested in technology, improvements in administration and distribution, fraud prevention, or other eligible activities.
“We thank the USDA and its Food and Nutrition Service for recognizing the excellent progress we have made in the administration of Connecticut’s SNAP program,” Connecticut Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said. “In Connecticut and other states, the availability of SNAP can be a lifeline for our neighbors who need a hand in putting food on the table. This includes working adults with low income, children, persons with disabilities, and older adults struggling to make ends meet.”
Commissioner Bremby joined Governor Malloy in praising DSS staff for outstanding work and acknowledging SNAP outreach partners for getting the word out about food assistance and helping enroll eligible households.
State partners have included End Hunger Connecticut!, the Connecticut Association for Community Action, the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut, the Hispanic Health Council, and the Connecticut Association for Human Services.
Connecticut is in the top echelon nationally for additional SNAP performance metrics, Commissioner Bremby noted. “Once in the proverbial basement of national standings, we’re proud that our SNAP program now consistently ranks as a high performer,” he said. “Besides enrollment access and timeliness, we are performing very well in the accuracy of benefit amounts issued. This is positive news for eligible Connecticut households and for the program integrity standards our staff work hard to achieve.”