Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska Department of Labor unveiled a new, major employment initiative for participants in Nebraska’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The first year of a joint pilot program has connected families who receive SNAP benefits with better-paying jobs. The program is a partnership between DHHS and DOL and utilizes the departments’ existing manpower and resources.
“I applaud DHHS and DOL for working together to find solutions to connect Nebraska families to better-paying jobs and greater financial independence,” said Governor Ricketts. “Partnerships like this in state government grow our state and help keep Nebraska the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family.”
The pilot program, which launched last year in Grand Island, has involved 27 families so far. Fourteen SNAP clients changed jobs, resulting in an average increased annual salary of $6,900. Because of higher salaries, eight receive fewer SNAP benefits, and six no longer receive SNAP funds. The agencies continue to work with the other thirteen families to so they too can continue to improve their lifestyle.
DHHS and DOL are expanding the program. It was launched this month in Hastings, and the program is scheduled to start in Columbus in September, and Norfolk in May 2018. In the Hastings program, clients will be served online who are unable to travel to Grand Island.