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Maryland Receives $3.4 Million Performance Bonus for Improving Access to SNAP Program

State ranks 2nd in the nation for helping low-income citizens gain access to federal food supplement benefits


October 6, 2014 (BALTIMORE, MD)—Maryland earned a $3.4 million bonus incentive payment from the United States Department of Agriculture as the top performing state in the nation (and second only to the District of Columbia) for having the largest percentage of low income families participating in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USDA also recognized Maryland as having the third-most improved level of program access compared to 2012.

“Governor O’Malley has set a goal of ending childhood hunger in Maryland, and ensuring all eligible families receive SNAP benefits is a critical part of our state strategy,” said Department of Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas, whose agency administers the SNAP program in Maryland. “Ensuring reliable access to adequate nutrition helps strengthen families.”

This is the second consecutive year and third overall time Maryland has been recognized in this area. When combined with the $2.6 million bonus for program access in October 2013 and the $1.6 million bonus in June 2013 for food stamp accuracy, Maryland has received approximately $7.6 million in high performance bonuses from the USDA in the last two years. Maryland was also recognized for its improvement in the Program Access Index (PAI), the ratio of participants to the number of people below 125 percent of poverty that the USDA uses to measure program access. Maryland’s PAI performance increased from 95.12 percent in FY 2012 to 101.36 in FY 2013, a 6.24 percent point improvement.

”This high performance bonus grant is the result of the hard work of a strong network of community-based organizations across the state,” said Anne Sheridan, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children. “We thank them for their dedication and tireless efforts which have expanded our outreach and helped enroll eligible households all across Maryland in SNAP.”

Critical partners driving participation gains include: Share Our Strength, Maryland Hunger Solutions, the AARP Foundation,the Maryland and Capital Area Food Banks, Associated Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, SEEDCO, CASA, Inc., Community Development and Outreach, Inc., End Hunger in Calvert County, Family League of Baltimore, Lifestyles of Maryland Foundation, Humanim, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Inc., Paul’s Place, and the Training Source.

Overall SNAP enrollment in Maryland has increased 180% since 2007, and 177,000 additional eligible children are served by the program. In addition, since Maryland began tracking eligible seniors in 2011, FSP participation has increased 38%.The incentive bonus will be used to pay for SNAP-related expenses such as investments in technology, improvements in administration and distribution and actions to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

For more information about the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland visit www.nokidhungrymd.org. For more information about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program, or to apply online for assistance, visit DHR’s Website at www.dhr.maryland.gov.

Filed in: DHS News, In the Press

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