Vice President for Family Income Support Policy
A House Agriculture Committee hearing today emphasized the important role of SNAP (food stamps) in supporting families as they work to boost their income.
In particular, witnesses noted that case management — assistance to help low-income individuals set and achieve short- and long-term goals — can be effective, but it’s not feasible to provide such intensive services for everyone, nor do all families need it.
Case management focuses on connecting individuals and families to benefits and services that can help them meet their basic needs, identifying and helping to resolve barriers that keep people from reaching their potential, and helping them find jobs or enroll in education and training programs to gain the skills and credentials to earn more. States can use their SNAP employment and training dollars to provide this kind of support, but case management typically isn’t provided as a part of SNAP and the federal government doesn’t provide any funds explicitly for this purpose.
Here are five key takeaways from the hearing, which featured four case management providers:
The path out of poverty, particularly deep and persistent poverty, for many individuals and families is a long one. SNAP provides an important support while they’re on that path and helps to provide a foundation for long-term success for the next generation, likely reducing the need for costly future case management services.