DHS Receives Federal Grant Award for SNAP Employment and Training

The V.I. Department of Human Services (DHS) recently received notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDOA) – Food and Nutrition Service that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, is the recipient of an additional grant award in the amount of $425,000. The federal grant is in response to the department’s successful application for the 100 percent additional funding from the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDOA.
Commissioner Ebbesen-Fludd said, “We are well aware of the standards that are established by the federal government for states and territories as it pertains to SNAP. We also understand how these established measures drive our intended outcomes towards self- sufficiency for clients.”
Over the years, the department relaxed its approach regarding employment and training initiatives, hence it received significantly fewer federal funds. “These are the signs that we’ve awaited in our determination to expand services by stirring this pot to ensure that SNAP participants are given a hand up, not a hand out,” the commissioner said.
The Virgin Islands receives federal waivers for ‘able bodied adults’ as a result of its unemployment rates. “As the local economy strengthens, however, our agenda will be tailored towards meeting the demands of the workforce. We will be reenergized to surpass standards and simultaneously enhance the employment and training component to ensure our participants are truly job ready,” said Ebbesen-Fludd.
The department’s request highlights the expansion of services to over 800 participants. More than one half the amount of the grant award will be used for contractual services with community partners, and the remainder will be equally divided between systems improvement and marketing.

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