The following is a paper that was written in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master’s of Administration from Central Michigan University. First, you can view the Executive Summary below as text and then download the research from Scribd for further reading.
SOME ELIGIBLE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE TOO PROUD TO BEG:
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INCREASING FOOD STAMP PARTICIPATION OF ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS
The Food Stamp Program traces its earliest origins back to the Food Stamp Plan, which began in 1939 to help needy families in the Depression Era. The modern program began as a pilot project in 1961 and was authorized as a permanent program in 1964. Today, the federal Food Stamp Program exists within the State of Michigan in the form of the “Bridge Card” and is managed by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS), Even though there are 586,000 Food Assistance Program cases in Michigan with more than 1.2 million persons receiving benefits, this is far less than a 100% participation rate for those who are eligible.
Current pending State of Michigan legislation to split benefit disbursements into bi-monthly payouts is just one of numerous ways that Food Stamp participation is set up to be confusing, complicated, and almost not worth the time and effort necessary to gain the benefits. It was the goal of the researcher to discover commonalities within groups who chose not to participate, although eligible, in the Food Stamp Program.
The researcher analyzed six USDA pilot programs developed to address the issues of non-enrollment by eligible parties. The researcher synthesized three problematic elements from that research.
Those three elements were combined with the researcher’s own additional conclusions to form a set of six barriers to enrollment which can be overcome utilizing the following recommendations: simpler eligibility standards, application assistance, commodity packages, distribution of more information about the FSP, providing easier access to Food Stamps, and overcoming the lack of knowledge about the FSP.
The researcher concluded that the best approach to developing an all encompassing program plan was to address each and every element of the problem. Once the six proposed solutions are enacted, ultimately an increase in Food Stamp participation will logically follow.
Read an awesome article in the NY Times about :