The Missouri Department of Social Services Family Support Division now has more than $6.4 million in award money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It pays to have good customer service and a quick and accurate application and payment process. For each of those categories the Family support division got a monetary bonus.
"This is something that obviously the department is very proud of because it highlights the efficiency of our employees and also highlights that we’re accurate and that Missouri families during times of need are getting that help efficiently," said state department spokesman Brian Hauswirth.
The more than $6.4 million comes in the form of three bonuses. One bonus is for the best program access category totaling $2,506,980. The second bonus is for the best application processing timeliness rate category totaling $1,302,504 and a third bonus is for the best payment accuracy rate totaling $2,682,498.
"It is a lot of money obviously," Hauswirth said. "We’re talking about $6.4 million, a little bit more than that. We don’t have anything right now that I think has been planned I know there has been some talk about some of the things we’re going to do but it will clearly be put right back into programs to efficiencies."
Increasing participation, accuracy and timeliness in the state food assistance program is crucial to fighting hunger in the U.S., said The USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Nancy Montanez Johner, who presented the bonuses.
The Food Stamps program, now called SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , is administered by USDA. The Missouri DSS accepts applications and sends out the benefits on behalf of USDA.