Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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August 15, 2006

South Dakota Department of Social Services’
Food Stamp Program Staff Recognized for High Performance

PIERRE, S.D. – For the 13th consecutive year, the South Dakota Department of Social Services’ Food Stamp Program has been recognized nationally for their quality in staff performance by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Division of Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). South Dakota will receive a $1,062,639 award for achieving payment accuracy in the Food Stamp Program. The award funds are reinvested in the department to support programs, such as child care services.

“I am proud of our staff for having earned this award. It reflects upon their dedication and commitment to helping the citizens of South Dakota,” stated Department of Social Services’ Secretary Deborah K. Bowman.  “The staff do a tremendous job of consistently administering the Food Stamp Program and are well-deserving of this award.”

South Dakota is among the four states with the lowest negative payment error rate during FY 2005, which stands at 0.27 percent. The national average negative error rate for FY 2005 is 6.91 percent. The error rate measures whether a State agency correctly determined a household’s eligibility in terms of the State’s compliance with Federal procedural requirements, according to FNCS.

Over the past 23 years, South Dakota has received $12,895,801 in performance money from FNCS for accuracy and timeliness in providing Food Stamp Benefits to state citizens. The measures of performance are directly related to program integrity and customer service.

The Department of Social Services administers the Food Stamp Program which helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence. Food Stamp Benefits are provided to supplement the recipient’s food budget. The amount of benefits a household receives is based on its size, income, and allowable expenses.

For more information about the South Dakota Food Stamp Program, call 605-773-3493 or visit SNAP.