I know the employees at the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) work really hard to serve Idahoans. But I love it when that hard work is recognized on a national level.
Idaho’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps low-income families buy the food they need to stay healthy. More than 122,400 Idahoans received benefits in October. The federal program is run in Idaho by the Division of Welfare / Self Reliance, which is part of DHW.
I’m very pleased to announce that our program continues to be a leader in the nation for timeliness and accuracy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published a report that identifies and measures potential risks states may face as they transition to post-pandemic operations. The states were compared to each other and to national targets.
By all the measures, Idaho comes out in the top.
The report considered several different categories during the years of 2019, 2020, and 2021. The categories were customer service level, payment error rate level, SNAP participation trend level, waiver usage level (some states received COVID-19 SNAP waivers to help their programs during pandemic), and combined support level, which signals how unprepared a state might be for the end of the public health emergency.
Idaho was among the 14 states and territories out of 53 that would require no additional support to provide a high level of service for Idaho families when the public health emergency ends. For comparison, 25 out of 53 will require moderate support, and 14 out of 53 will require significant support when it ends.
This is wonderful recognition of the consistently excellent work employees in the Division of Welfare / Self Reliance do to process SNAP applications quickly and efficiently for Idaho families.
We don’t yet know when the federal public health emergency will end, but this means that struggling Idahoans will continue to get their benefits in a timely fashion. The national benchmark for processing SNAP applications is 30 days. In Idaho, hungry families typically receive their benefits within four days of applying.
If you are in need of food assistance, please visit https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/food-assistance/apply-snap or call 877-456-1233.
I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend!
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
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