Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grants

 

The purpose of the SNAP Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grant program is to provide grants to State agencies to implement process improvements designed to detect, investigate, and prosecute individuals suspected of trafficking SNAP benefits. The goal of the SNAP Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grant Program is to improve outcomes for State agency activities devoted to recipient trafficking prevention, detection, and prosecution. The SNAP Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grant Program is targeting the following specific areas for consideration of grant funding: 1) Transition of any State that currently utilizes batch processing to upload and verify information with FNS’s electronic Disqualified Recipient System (eDRS) to using web services; resulting in more secure, timely, and accurate information. 2) Process improvements intended to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of State recipient fraud oversight operations, with a particular emphasis on the detection, investigation, and prosecution of trafficking. 3) Pilot innovative strategies to increase the number of SNAP recipient trafficking allegations that are investigated and administratively disqualified or prosecuted. 4) Pilot innovative strategies to identify and successfully investigate attempts to buy or sell SNAP benefits online using any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter) or ecommerce website (Craigslist, eBay).

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.598
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Seven awards were made:
FL $345,576
KY $1,189,890
MO $599,642
OH $15,000
OR $314,844
TN $1,484,618
WA $750,984. Fiscal Year 2015: two awards were made:
MI $ 176,656
NV $230,263. Fiscal Year 2016: None.
Authorization
Section 29(a) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2036), 7 U.S.C 2036.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
This grant opportunity is open to the 53 State agencies that administer SNAP. FNS will consider only one application per State agency or one application per County in a County Administered State. There is no State matching requirement for this grant program.
To date, nine awards have been made:7 in 2014 and 2 in 2015.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Agreements are established between State agencies and FNS. State agencies use funds to improve outcomes for activities devoted to recipient trafficking prevention, detection, and prosecution.
Credentials/Documentation
Specific instructions provided in Request for Application. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application package should be prepared in accordance with instructions in the Request for Application (RFA) and submitted to the Food and Nutrition Service by the deadline specified.
Award Procedure
All applications that meet the published deadline for submission will be screened for completeness and conformity to the requirements as announced in the RFA package. Grants are awarded by a competitive process via a technical review panel composed of Food and Nutrition Service staff which convenes to determine the technical merit of each grant application, provide a numerical score and make recommendations to selecting officials.
Deadlines
Aug 15, 2014
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days.
Appeals
Non-selected applicants may request a debriefing to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of submitted proposals.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The review panel will score and rank applications using Technical Review Criteria which includes: (1) Soundness or Merit of Project Design; (2) Implementation and Evaluation; (3) Budget Appropriateness and Economic Efficiency; (4) Staff Capability and Management.
How may assistance be used?
Funds for SNAP Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grant projects are to be used to improve outcomes for State agency activities devoted to recipient trafficking prevention, detection, and prosecution. Funds from this RFA are for new projects and shall not be used for the ongoing cost of carrying out an existing project. FNS does not intend for this grant program to fund compliance with existing statutory or regulatory program requirements, such as data matching. The SNAP Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grant program is not intended to fund new or improvements to systems, such as fraud detection or eligibility systems, improvements to data management and warehousing, or other large scale system or technology-based projects. Applications must comply with criteria listed in the Request for Application package. The SNAP Recipient Trafficking Prevention Grant program is not intended to fund new or improvements to systems, such as fraud detection or eligibility systems, improvements to data management and warehousing, or other large scale system or technology-based projects.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Program reports are not applicable. Cash reports are not applicable. Seven States will be submitting their 3rd quarterly reports and 2 States will be submitting their second quarterly reports. FNS will conduct an ongoing review of quarterly progress and financial reports to monitor the grantee’s project activities to ensure that the objectives, terms and conditions of the agreement are met. The State agency will submit quarterly financial status reports and progress reports. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Records
State agencies must maintain records as necessary to support the use of SNAP Grant funds in accordance with the Grant Agreement. Such records must be retained for a period of 3 years after the date of submission of the final report for the fiscal year to which the records pertain, except that if audit findings have not been resolved, the records shall be retained beyond the 3-year period as long as required for the resolution of the issues raised by the audit.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Funds should be expended within 24 months of identified start date. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
Jane C. Duffield 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 818, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Jane.Duffield@fns.usda.gov Phone: 703-605-4385
Website Address
http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-3505-0-1-605.
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 14 $4,700,554; FY 15 est $406,919; and FY 16 Estimate Not Available - Awards made in FY 2014 to seven states totaled $4,700,554
Awards made in FY 2015 to 2 states totaled $406,919.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range of Awards: $15,000 - $1,484,618
Average Award: $567,803.78.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR 272.1(g)(9)(iii); 7 CFR 272.1(g)(58); 7 CFR 272.4(e)(1-4); 7 CFR 272.4(g); 7 CFR 273.2(f)(11)(B)(1-2); 7 CFR 273.13; 7 CFR 273.15; 7 CFR 273.16; 7 CFR 273.18
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: See Obligation (section 122)
KY
DCBS is applying for funds to enhance efforts to uncover, investigate, disqualify, and prosecute individuals who engage in SNAP trafficking activities. This project will create innovative pilot strategies to combat SNAP trafficking in Kentucky by: increasing funding and coordination with local and state police agencies to uncover and prevent resale of goods purchased with SNAP benefits; increasing monitoring of, and response to individuals attempting to sell SNAP benefits on social media outlets, such as Facebook, craigslist, and eBay; training state and local law enforcement to better identify possible instances of SNAP trafficking; coordinating with court officials to create custom reports regarding SNAP disqualification cases; investing in legal consultation for DCBS to improve administrative disqualification hearing processes; training loss prevention personnel at retailers to spot possible SNAP trafficking activities occurring in or near their stores; and, increasing efforts to work closely with USDA OIG to coordinate simultaneous retailer and recipient investigations.

TY
The TDHS PIU will use BPR techniques to improve efforts to address SNAP recipient trafficking. The approach will consist of four phases: assessment, testing and implementation, sustainability and evaluation. During each phase, the TDHS SNAP Trafficking Project Team will perform specific tasks designed to bring consistency and efficiency to the PIU’s ability to detect, investigate, and prosecute SNAP recipient trafficking. In addition, each phase and each task entails detailed analysis, development, and evaluation to ensure the impact and sustainability of the program.

MO
Missouri will use the funding to: increase the number of investigations for person-to-person EBT/SNAP trafficking and solicitation in targeted Missouri locations; disqualify and/or prosecute more traffickers; develop an investigative framework that specifically addresses person-to-person trafficking that can be used for future investigative work; and, foster and support collaborations with key partners as a means to increase the success for reducing person to person trafficking.

Missouri SNAP investigators will identify at least 100 stores in a Missouri throughout the State that have the highest likelihood of person to person trafficking. Of these, they will select at least 40 stores willing to participate in the project. They will work with retailer associations and individual store management to establish an on-site presence at the store to detect persons in the act of soliciting to sale or to purchase EBT/SNAP benefits. At project conclusion, they will convene a forum of lessons learned to brief stakeholders on non-confidential aspects of the pilot project.


WA
Washington will hire two additional Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA) investigators to conduct investigations statewide. In addition, since OFA investigators in Washington are unarmed and cannot conduct undercover operations without the assistance of armed officers, funds will be used to provide reimbursement to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), assuring a reliable source of commissioned officers (WSP detectives) to support OFA investigators in undercover operations. The three OFA investigators (one current plus two funded by this project) will be located in different regions of the state to increase the geographic reach of SNAP trafficking investigations and prosecution. This team effort to combat SNAP trafficking is a similar model to efforts to combat drug trafficking: Multiple law enforcement agencies leverage resources to accomplish work that each cannot do on its own. Fiscal Year 2015: See Obligation (Section 122). Nevada-Grant funds will be used to create and coordinate Statewide SNAP Trafficking Prevention Team of state agencies to remove barriers to address SNAP trafficking. They will also go toward implementing an outreach program that will actively inform participants of how to properly utilize benefits and the consequences of trafficking. The SNAP Trafficking Prevention Team will be led by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) and a cooperative partnership of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Public Safety Investigation Division (DPSID), Parole and Probation Division (P&P), and the Nevada Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available

 


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