Rollout of new food stamps schedule was uneventful

Idaho’s  transition to a 10-day schedule for the distribution of food stamps benefits was smooth, with minimal issues being reported  for the 180,000 citizens enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp recipients, grocery stores and food pantries proved to be informed and prepared for the change, which took place from July 1-10.

“Based on what has happened in other states, this had the potential to be an extremely difficult transition,” said Welfare Administrator Lori Wolff. “But there were very few issues, thanks to the collaboration and efforts of all of our partners in feeding Idahoans who need help to put food on their tables. Most of the calls we received were from people who knew but had forgotten about the change. We were able to help them get the information and resources they needed until their benefits were available.” Continue reading

Idaho Foodbank estimates an additional 6-8 truckloads of food will be needed for change in SNAP issuance

Lots of communication and extra food donations at community pantries and the Idaho Foodbank will be needed as Idaho transitions from issuing benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the first day of the month to issuing them over the first 10 days of the month.

Planning for the change continued this week as the multi-day transition work group met to determine how grocery stores and community organizations such as the Idaho Foodbank and other food pantries across the state would be affected, and what can be done to support them if SNAP recipients run out of food or are unaware that their benefits are not available before they shop.

“More than anything, we don’t want anyone to be surprised,” said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank. Continue reading

DHW begins planning for multi-day issuance of SNAP benefits

The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and its partners are preparing for a major change in how food stamp benefits are distributed. An initial meeting this week kicked off the planning process to implement the changes on July 1, 2016.

DHW is required by legislation passed in the 2015 session to issue benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the first 10 days of the month rather than only on the first day of the month. The change will begin on July 1, 2016, but an adjustment period is likely for grocers and participants. Grocers lobbied the Legislature to move to a 10-day distribution for benefits because of crowded stores, long lines and inventory challenges on the first of each month.  Continue reading