The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that up to $200 million is currently available for state SNAP agencies to design and conduct employment and training (E&T) pilot projects to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants find jobs and increase their earnings.
“Many SNAP participants are struggling to find work, and a large percentage already have a job but are getting paid so little that they still need assistance to put food on the table,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement. “When provided the opportunity to obtain additional skills many SNAP recipients are able to obtain a good job and transition out of the program. The grants announced today will allow us to test innovative approaches to give folks the opportunity to get training, get a good job and build stronger futures for their families.”
Authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill, the grants will fund up to 10 pilot projects to test a variety of methods designed to enhance employability, increase the earnings of SNAP work registrants, and help people transition from the program. USDA said it intends to test a wide array of approaches, including those focused on education and training, rehabilitative services for individuals with barriers to employment, rapid attachment to work and other strategies. The department said it is particularly interested in pilots that target hard-to-serve populations, and test job-driven training strategies that include work-based learning or career pathway approaches or utilize strong public-private partnerships.
USDA said it is looking for states to submit proposals that target populations indicated by the Farm Bill, including individuals with low skills, able-bodied adults without dependents, and recipients who are working in very low-wage or part-time jobs. Grants will be distributed across a range of geographic areas, including rural and urban parts of the country, the department said.
All 53 state agencies currently administering SNAP are eligible to apply (including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands).
Applications for projects of up to three years in length are due Nov. 24, 2014. Awards will be announced in February 2015. To learn more or to apply, visit www.grants.gov and search CFDA# 10.596 or go to the FNS website at www.fns.usda.gov/2014-snap-e-t-pilots.