Monday, October 2, 2017
Atlantic County has been awarded a $746,000 federal grant that will allow it to make technology improvements to enhance the efficiency of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for low-income individuals and families.
SNAP is the largest nutrition assistance program in the country and provides a domestic hunger safety net for millions of eligible citizens.
During the last 10 years, Atlantic County’s SNAP participation rate more than doubled with the addition of 23,000 individuals. The county processed approximately 8,000 more applications in 2016 than it had in 2011, largely attributed to the impact of the national recession and the closure of several casinos that left nearly 10,000 workers unemployed. The county is also responsible for processing an average of 1,450 SNAP re-certifications each month.
“This grant will enable our Department of Family and Community Development to modernize its operations to provide quality service with greater efficiency,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “And through the use of metrics we will be better able to identify and meet the needs of our customers.”
The grant funds will be used for upgrades to the county’s existing phone management system that will feature increased automation and self-service capabilities. This will permit staff more time for case management and expedite the processing of claims. The advanced phone system will also aid in capturing key metrics and help improve overall customer service and satisfaction.
“Our Division of Information Technologies will be helping to coordinate the technology improvements which will be implemented over a three-year period,” added Levinson.