Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

How do you know if a website is an official page of state government?  Must it end in .gov or .state.us?  Residents in Florida, while searching for a way to apply for food stamps online, are stumbling onto websites that may appear to be extensions of the food stamps program but instead engage in activites that include collecting credit card numbers and charging individuals for guides that instruct Floridians on how to game the program, sometimes illegally, to signing them up for various marketing email lists.

Over the past decade, governments at all levels have increased tracking results of government services—from the federal tracking of social benefits to states closely monitoring child protective services to cities filling potholes. No attempt has been made, however, to launch a comprehensive effort to compare state service outcomes in multiple services. This report provides data and analysis of outcome measures in the area of public assistance as part of the State Comparative Performance Measurement Project.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program.  SNAP benefits provide a significant boost to local economies.  Federal stimulus legislation increased these benefits.  The SNAP program is federally funded but administered at the state level.