Monday, April 25, 2011

State Food Stamp Programs

All states make information about their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) available publicly. According to a review conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, there are significant variations among states’ SNAP (formerly called food stamps) web pages and on-line services. They found that some states only provide a basic description of the program on their agency’s website. Others offer applications, benefit calculators, pre-screening tools, detailed program operation instructions for caseworkers, and copies of program memoranda to eligibility workers that describe policy changes to the program. By making all of these materials readily accessible to the public, states can facilitate an improved understanding of SNAP.

In the report, Food Stamps On-Line: A Review of State Government Food Stamp Websites, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides links to every state’s SNAP web page and provides an overview of the types of information and services that states provide. For states that are interested in expanding the services provided on their state’s web page the report’s overview section could serve a s a helpful tool because it highlights the various features states offer, such as benefit calculators or office locators.

To learn the basics about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program visit, Policy Basics: Food Assistance.

For more tools and information on policies that promote family economic success, visit PolicyforResults.