WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2022 – The USDA Food and Nutrition Service is providing nearly $3 million in grants to community colleges to expand the availability of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training programs, known as SNAP E&T, and nearly $3.5 million in additional funds to state agencies to strengthen E&T program data collection. These moves are part of a larger commitment to advance equity and improve access to SNAP E&T programs nationwide.
SNAP E&T helps connect SNAP participants who can work with the skills, training and work experience needed to obtain and maintain regular employment. Through SNAP E&T, participants have access to training and support services to help them enter or move up in the workforce. These programs also help reduce barriers to work by providing support services—such as transportation, childcare, and supplies—as participants prepare for and obtain employment.
“Through our partnerships with community colleges and enhancing state agency E&T data management capabilities, we are addressing barriers to our training program,” said Cindy Long, Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service. “A recent SNAP E&T pilot study found that community colleges are able to reach a diverse population and can help us improve access to underserved, remote and rural areas — a top priority for FNS.”
FNS is awarding approximately $1.5 million each in 2022 SNAP E&T National Partnership grants to the Association of Community College Trustees and Strada Collaborative, non-profit organizations with large networks of community colleges or community college associations with experience providing workforce development services to people with low incomes, including SNAP participants. Both grantees will use grant funds to support training and other technical assistance so more community colleges become third-party SNAP E&T providers.
The Association of Community College Trustees plans to increase the number of community colleges that are SNAP E&T providers by building capacity across four state systems and targeting up to ten rural institutions. Strada Collaborative’s efforts will prioritize community colleges with a high percentage of Latino students. Their efforts will assist colleges that are both existing and potential E&T providers.
Evaluation of a recent SNAP E&T pilot found that community colleges are a key partner for improving access to E&T programs, providing a range of E&T activities and services at a single location. Community colleges reach a diverse population, many of whom are SNAP eligible. They also serve many rural communities, where SNAP E&T services are often more limited.
The 2022 SNAP E&T Data and Technical Assistance grants will support improved, data-driven SNAP E&T programs in California, Virginia, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia. Grantees will receive between $650,000 and $1 million to strengthen program data collection. The state agencies will use data to better understand disparities in program participation in order to identify strategies for advancing equity in their E&T programs.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 15 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit www.fns.usda.gov and follow @USDANutrition.