Florida is getting a big bonus this year. The Federal Department of Agriculture is rewarding the state $7 million for being efficient and accurate when it comes to giving out food stamps to families.
At 0.81 percent error rate, the state ranks the second most accurate in the country. That means families don’t get more, or less, help than they qualify for.
The bonus won’t mean more money in the pockets of families, but it will help streamline the process for future need.
Sharon Washington says it’s an opportunity to improve how the program is run. She is the interim program director for ACCESS, which administers the food assistance program.
“What we’ve done a few times in the past is reinvested it into technology to enhance our phone systems or to enhance the systems that we work within,” she says, “which will enable our front line workers to do a better job and more efficient job.”
Administering the social safety net to the almost 3.5 million who get food stamps in Florida is not an easy feat. This is the state’s seventh year getting a bonus and extra money now totals $54 million. The state has yet to decide exactly how it will use this year’s bonus, which is the highest in the country.