East Hawaii News

Ige Accepts $660K in Recognition of State’s SNAP Program

November 19, 2015, 3:40 PM HST
* Updated November 19, 3:44 PM
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A $660,422 award was presented to Governor David Ige on behalf of the State of Hawai’i Wednesday by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Jesus Mendoza, administrator of the Western Regional Office of the Food and Nutrition Service.

The award was given in recognition of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Department of Human Services’ Benefits, Employment, and Support Services Division.

Over the past four years, the division has improved the efficiency and effectiveness in determination of SNAP eligibility for Hawai’i residents.

BESSD achieved a 94.4 percent timeliness rate in 2014. The rate places Hawai’i sixth in the country for its rate of timeliness.

Governor Ige believes reaching a high timeliness rate is part of his administration’s promise to deliver efficient, effective, and open government.

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“This bonus award demonstrates that the State of Hawai‘i SNAP eligibility team is a leader in service and performance nationwide. The award is also a promise to reinvest in Hawai‘i’s future as the funds will further transform and improve the way the State of Hawai‘i serves its people,” said Governor Ige.

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Since July 2015, BESSD has scanned more than two million documents into its case system, which has improved efficiency and effectiveness of the staff.

As of June 2015, BESSD’s timeliness rating was 97.6 percent, ranking the division seventh in the country for providing access to SNAP benefits to all eligible individuals and households.

The money awarded by USDA will be reinvested into BESSD’s process and services, including the division’s goal of nurturing human potential by connecting Hawai’i residents to community resources.

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BESSD underwent changes in 2011 to the way benefit determination and administration takes place, as well as the implementation of new IT solutions, ePathos and enterprise content management.

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