CLASP Provides Model Comments on SNAP E&T Reporting Measures
By Anna Cielinski and Elizabeth Lower-Basch
Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training program (SNAP E&T), states can operate employment and training programs to serve individuals receiving SNAP nutrition assistance. Some of these programs are voluntary; others are mandatory, meaning individuals who fail to participate may lose their SNAP benefits. It has been historically difficult to assess the programs’ outcomes due to lack of data. However, under the 2014 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) now requires states to collect and report on participant outcomes from SNAP E&T.
On March 24, 2016, FNS issued an interim final rule regarding the SNAP E&T reporting measures. Although this rule was issued on an interim final basis, meaning it was effective immediately, FNS is accepting comments on the regulations until May 23, 2016.
In general, this is a welcome step toward better understanding SNAP E&T, its components, and the employment outcomes of its participants. However, FNS should improve the rule by capturing data to better reflect the full outcomes of the program, including the impact of mandatory participation requirements and sanctions as well as individual components within E&T programs. Further these measurements should be more closely aligned with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). CLASP’s comments on the regulations are available on our website.
Feedback from workforce development practitioners and advocates, who have considerable experience with reporting outcomes, would benefit FNS. CLASP is providing model comments that organizations or individuals may use in submitting their own comments. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has also developed comments focused on the urgency of adding information on the effects of mandatory participation. We encourage you to use the model comments to make your voice heard.