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02/17/11

Obsoletes Policy Memorandum dated 07/16/09.

Summary:

  • Effective 03/01/11, the Federal Demonstration project, Express Stamps, that operated in 10 food pantries in Cook, Dupage, Lake and Will counties ends.
  • Persons visiting the participating pantries will no longer be able to apply for one or two months of SNAP benefits using the Express Stamps web-based application.
  • System changes to end the application data transmitted to Caseworker Tools (CWT) is effective 02/28/11.
  • The last day local office staff need to check for Express Stamps applications in CWT to issue PIN packets is 02/28/11.

Effective 03/01/11, Express Stamps an innovative SNAP demonstration project authorized by the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service ends operation in the ten participating food pantries in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.

Persons visiting the participating pantries will no longer be able to apply for one or two months of SNAP benefits using the Express Stamps web-based application.

System Changes

System changes to end the application data transmitted to Caseworker Tools (CWT)is effective 02/28/11. The last day local office staff need to check for Express Stamps applications in CWT to issue PIN packets is 02/28/11.

About the Express Stamps Project

The Express Stamps project was implemented on 10/23/06, as a collaborative effort with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Northern Illinois Food Bank, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Feeding America and DHS. As the majority of people visiting the food pantries report that they do not receive SNAP benefits, this outreach project sought to determine if participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could be increased by offering persons in need of emergency food the opportunity to apply for one or two months of SNAP benefits while at the pantry and if they would then be encouraged to apply for regular SNAP benefits at their local FCRC.

An evaluation of the project's success was required by Food and Nutrition Services that was finalized in October 2010. Since the project inception over 4,000 cases were approved for Express Stamps benefits. While the results of the evaluation showed some impact on the participation rate, the results also revealed a greater potential for error and fraud than the regular SNAP.

As a result, the agency has decided not to continue the Express Stamps project, but to focus on enhancing the Web application, which was not available at the time Express Stamps was implemented. The Web application is available 24 hours a day wherever applicants have access to the internet and is a direct link to the regular SNAP where customers can be approved for benefits for a longer period of time and are more likely to continue participation in the program.

[signed copy on file]

Michelle R.B. Saddler

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services