Colorado receives $2 million in SNAP performance bonuses
Colorado has been awarded more than $2 million in performance bonuses by the federal government for its management of the state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. The bonuses represent Colorado’s efforts to make its food aid program one of the most efficient in the nation.
The money, which totaled $2,290,280, was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The federal agency provides incentive bonuses to the highest-achieving states in the areas of application processing timeliness, case and procedural error rates, payment error rates and program access.
In both 2016 and 2017, Colorado was among the nation’s top six states in application processing timeliness, earning bonuses of $796,094 and $717,037. In 2016, Colorado recorded the nation’s largest drop in case and procedural errors, resulting in a $777,149 bonus.
Colorado’s success represents a significant turnaround in recent years. In 2004, the state was sued by advocates for its lackluster performance in delivering food assistance. In 2008, Colorado ranked 52nd among the nation’s 53 states and territories receiving food aid funds, in terms of application processing timeliness.
The $2.2 million will be divided among Colorado counties based on a formula established by the Legislature in 2016. The state supervises the federally funded SNAP program, but it is administered at the county level. Summit County missed out on an estimated $3.2 million in federal SNAP benefits last year due to low enrollment. According to the nonprofit Hunger Free Colorado, only 944 out of 4,631 eligible Summit residents signed up for SNAP benefits in 2017.
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