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June 29, 2010

South Dakota’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recognized for Exceptional Administration

PIERRE, S.D. – For the 18th consecutive year, the South Dakota Department of Social Services’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, has been recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for quality in administration.

“I am proud of the staffers who work with the SNAP program for having earned this award for the department. It reflects upon their dedication and commitment to helping the residents of South Dakota,” stated Department of Social Services’ Secretary Deb Bowman. “Our staff does a tremendous job of consistently administering this program, and our department is well-deserving of the recognition.”

South Dakota will receive a total of $550,198 in funding for being second in the nation for both the lowest payment error rate and the lowest negative error rate in federal fiscal year 2009. The national average payment error rate during FFY 2009 was 4.36 percent; South Dakota’s rate was 0.94 percent. The national average negative payment error rate during FFY 2009 was 9.41 percent; South Dakota’s rate was 0.70 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, and it also assures that only eligible households receive the monthly benefit.

Over the past 28 years, South Dakota has received over $15 million in performance money from the USDA for accuracy and timeliness in providing SNAP benefits to state residents. The measures of performance are directly related to program integrity and customer service.

About SNAP: The Department of Social Services administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence. SNAP 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 SNAP program, call 605-773-3493 or visit http://dss.sd.gov/snap/index.asp.

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