Food and Nutrition
SNAP Application Processing Timeliness: This link provides FY 2012 state-by-state rates for SNAP application processing times.
SNAP Primer: The Congressional Research Service published a primer on benefits and eligibility for SNAP. It may be accessed here.
USDA Farm Bill Websites: USDA has launched a website that provides details on Farm Bill implementation in one convenient location and the Economic Research Service launched a website highlighting some of the economic implications of the new programs and provisions. Follow these links to the USDA Press Release and Farm Bill USDA site and ERS site.
SNAP Numbers Decline: The number of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients has dropped to 46.2 million, the lowest level since August 2011, and the pace at which recipients are moving out of the SNAP program is speeding up. The government has paid out $5.8 billion in SNAP benefits since February, the lowest level since 2010. This Wall Street Journal chart documenting the recession's meteoric rise in SNAP is worth the click.
SNAP Error Rates at All-Time Lows: USDA has released the FY 2013 error rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The percentage of SNAP benefit dollars issued to ineligible households or to eligible households in excessive amounts fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2013 to 2.61 percent -- the lowest national overpayment rate since USDA began the current system of measuring error rates in 1981. To see how your state performed, click here. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also prepared an issue brief which may be read here.
SNAP Heat & Eat: A posting on the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) website explains the 2014 Farm Bill change in coordination between SNAP and LIHEAP payments, reviews developments on state actions to protect SNAP benefit levels, cites comments from several governors, and provides links to relevant resources on "heat and eat," including USDA's March 5th and April 7th memoranda regarding Section 4006. Access the sources here.
States' Use of SNAP Categorical Eligibility: The USDA has recently published a state-by-state list of how broad-based categorical eligibility is used for eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It may be viewed here.