NH DHHS Awarded Bonus for Excellence in Improving Access To its Food Stamp Program

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Division of Family Assistance (DFA) is being recognized for

improving access to its Food Stamp Program (FSP). The US Department of

Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is awarding DFA with a high

performance bonus totaling $438,214.

“Over the past several years our Department has seen record numbers of

people applying for assistance,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas.

“This high performance bonus award recognizes the hard work our employees

do each and every day to ensure that children and families have the

nutritional assistance that they need during these most challenging times.”

New Hampshire is being recognized as among the states with the most

improved Program Access Index (PAI) for fiscal year 2010. This is the

second year in a row New Hampshire has been recognized in this area. The

PAI is the ratio of participants to the number of people below 125 percent

of poverty level based on US Census Bureau data. This customer service

measure supports the FNS goal to improve program access. New Hampshire’s

PAI for FY 2010 was 75.60%, a more than 14% improvement over its FY 2009

PAI of 61.40%.

"This award is a tribute to the character of our employees,” said DFA

Director Terry Smith. “For three years our eligibility workers, clerical

workers and employment counselors who work in our field offices have

absorbed record increases in the number of people needing assistance with

no additional staff to help. During these most difficult economic times,

we remain steadfast in our commitment to getting assistance to those who

need it most.”

The mission of the food stamp program is to serve as a nutritional safety

net for low-income people. Currently there are 54,739 households

participating in the Food Stamp Program in New Hampshire. All benefits are

federally funded and amount to $151,813,784 in assistance from October 2009

to September 2010. The maximum food stamp benefit is about $5.80 per

person per day.