USDA Pilots to Improve Nutrition, Child Welfare

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Nutrition Service (FNS) names 10 states that won grants under a $200 million program to improve training efforts for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) participants.

Last year’s Farm Bill provided for pilots under the SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program. While at least one person is employed in over half of all SNAP households with a working-age, non-disabled adult, these pilots will test whether SNAP E&T could more effectively connect unemployed and underemployed recipients to work. The goal is to help participants develop the skills they need to secure good jobs that provide economic security and reduce participation in SNAP.

The selected pilots include a mix of mandatory and voluntary E&T programs, many of which also include career pathway models. The winners are: California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

In California, the Fresno Department of Social Services will use its pilot funding to expand the Fresno Bridge Academy, a workforce development program of Reading and Beyond that helps unemployed and underemployed adults obtain jobs or become job ready.

Through the pilot, the Fresno Bridge Academy will strengthen their existing services, in providing education, job training, support services, subsidized and unsubsidized employment, retention services, ongoing case management, and financial incentives for SNAP E&T participants. The program is unique for its multi-generational approach, which helps parents obtain jobs skills and employment while providing services that help their children excel in school and access community resources.

The SNAP E&T pilots will be evaluated by MDRC and Mathematica, which will measure the impact of each initiative and decide the path of future grant making.

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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