CHICAGO, Ill. (March 13, 2020) — Earlier this week the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced an innovative partnership with private philanthropy and the National Able Network that will expand the number of organizations who can provide work and training resources for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients in Illinois.
The SNAP to Success program is part of IDHS’ SNAP Employment & Training resources, and it leverages federal funding to partner with community providers who help SNAP participants find employment or advance in their careers. The SNAP to Success program provides these services at little to no cost to the State of Illinois with 50% of the program resources provided through the federal government and the remaining 50% provided by the community agency.
“SNAP to Success focuses on sustainable results for our customers. These programs give our customers the tools they need to not only find jobs, but build long-lasting careers,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “At little to no cost to the state, this program will expand over time, and participating community agencies can grow their programs by reinvesting the federal reimbursement they receive into future services.”
In partnership with the Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance, IDHS has expanded the SNAP to Success program to launch a new pilot in Chicago to better engage and support small- and medium-based providers to participate in the SNAP to Success program. National Able Network will serve as the intermediary and centralize provider selection, monitoring, reporting, and fiscal/program accountability requirements for the SNAP to Success program in Chicago. This will significantly expand the number of agencies who typically are unable to partner with the state.
The pilot launches soon after federal changes were enacted that will require certain SNAP recipients, called Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs), to meet 80 hours of work requirements a month to continue to receive SNAP benefits.
The expansion of SNAP to Success through this pilot represents both a short- and long-term strategy to help alleviate the ABAWD crisis by immediately providing more meaningful opportunities in the community for skills training and to meet the ABAWD work requirement.