Source: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), 2014
In February 2014, Congress reauthorized the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as part of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill). This legislation included $200 million for the creation and evaluation of pilot projects to test innovative strategies designed to help SNAP participants gain skills, training, or experience that will improve their employment prospects and reduce their reliance on SNAP benefits. Ten states will be selected to receive funding under this opportunity.
These pilots, funded through the SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program, represent an important opportunity to improve programs aimed at helping SNAP participants get jobs and increase their earnings. Beyond assisting pilot participants, lawmakers and advocates will look to the pilots to inform future policymaking about SNAP work requirements and services at both the federal and state levels. The pilots also provide an opportunity to develop innovative partnerships between SNAP and workforce programs, and for stakeholders to learn about effective strategies that help eligible SNAP participants get jobs and increase their earnings.
CLASP has recently released several background briefs to provide information on this new opportunity and to assist states seeking funding under this pilot opportunity:
– SNAP E&T Overview describes the E&T program; the different types of funding it offers; the services it can support; and the ways it interacts with the SNAP work activity participation requirements and time limits on benefit receipt by childless adults who are not receiving disability benefits.
– SNAP E&T Pilots highlights the significance of SNAP E&T programs for SNAP recipients who work; the statutory requirements for the pilots; and the opportunities they represent. It includes recommendations to FNS and states on ways to maximize the effectiveness of the pilots.
– Washington BFET highlights the Washington Basic Food (SNAP) Employment and Training Program, one of the most robust SNAP E&T programs in the country. BFET is a public-private partnership wherein investments made by state and local government and philanthropy collaborate to leverage additional federal SNAP E&T funding to provide job search and training services to recipients of SNAP. This is the first in a series of briefs highlighting promising practices under SNAP E&T.