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REDF along with Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI),  Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), and Farestart are offering another round of SNAP E&T Cohorts to assess opportunity and prepare employment social enterprises (ESEs) in becoming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) third-party partners and/or enhancing existing SNAP E&T programs.

The SNAP E&T Cohort opportunity will offer customized training, technical assistance, peer learning, and mentoring designed to increase ESE working knowledge to assess alignment and feasibility to operate SNAP E&T programs throughout the country.

Browse the information below by clicking on the section arrows to learn more about SNAP E&T and ESE alignment.

Sign up for our three-part webinar series to learn more about the cohort opportunity here!

Employment social enterprises in many states are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) third party providers, which directly supports and expands their employment services to low-income clients. SNAP E&T funding can help social enterprises create a more diverse and sustainable funding base, expand capacity, and support clients more effectively through employment services defined by the social enterprise. In this resource, we will learn about:

    • SNAP E&T Basics

    • SNAP E&T Services and Participant Eligibility

    • SNAP E&T Funding
    • SNAP E&T Administration

 

 

Why Employment Social Enterprises?

Employment Social Enterprises can be a great fit as SNAP E&T providers due to their unique business and service model.

  • Already doing the work! SNAP E&T is flexible and allows ESEs to focus on aligned areas. Rather than create new programming, adjustments are made to the current service structure to meet program requirements. ESEs can start small and build capacity in subsequent years as program administration and reporting becomes familiar and comfortable.
  • Structure Match: The SNAP E&T 50/50 funding structure requires providers to use non-federal funds to support their employment programs initially, of which is at the core of Employment Social Enterprise models. More on funding below!
  • Flexibility to meet the evolving needs of our communities! SNAP E&T typically runs on a federal annual cycle October 1st – September 30th. This annual cycle allows providers to remove what did not work well, add to what did work well, and continue to meet the needs of our communities every year. Community needs are ever-evolving, the SNAP E&T program structure is adaptable to those changing needs.
  • Capacity Building! SNAP E&T is capacity building by nature because of the above mentioned annual cycle. These 50/50 funds are unlimited, meaning uncapped potential for reimbursement, growth, and program expansion.

SNAP E&T Background

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food assistance, is a federal program of the US Department of Agriculture that provides monthly benefits to help individuals with low incomes purchase the food they need.

The SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program helps participants gain skills and find work that moves them forward to economic mobility. Through SNAP E&T third-party partners, SNAP recipients have access to training and support services, like those provided by ESEs, to help them enter or advance in the workforce. These programs also help to reduce barriers to work by providing support services – such as transportation and childcare – as participants prepare for and obtain employment.

SNAP E&T Services

Examples of services that can be funded through SNAP E&T include:

 

SNAP E&T eligible services are referred to as components and often align with an ESE’s core program. SNAP E&T funds can support existing activities offered to SNAP recipients without the ESE “adding” anything to their model. SNAP E&T funding can reimburse social enterprises for costs associated with serving SNAP recipients enrolled in SNAP E&T.  Eligible costs can include supportive services that bolster participant success such as transportation, dependent care, textbooks, interview clothing, digital technology, emergency housing and dental care and more. Administrative and program costs such as staff salaries,  benefits, building costs, and classroom supplies are also reimbursable. The most recent service to SNAP E&T that is eligible for 50%  reimbursement is participant subsidized employment wages.

SNAP E&T Participant Eligibility

To be eligible for SNAP E&T, program participants must be enrolled in SNAP and not be receiving TANF cash benefits. They must also have a clear employment goal, and be willing to enter employment upon program completion.

Details regarding SNAP eligibility can be found here. As eligibility requirements can vary somewhat state to state, your state SNAP agency will have more information.

To find your state’s SNAP agency and/or SNAP E&T Program, refer to this directory here.

Uniquely, SNAP E&T is a reimbursement program that will reimburse social enterprises after costs are incurred and invoiced.

Most SNAP E&T funding available to social enterprises is in the form of “50% reimbursement funds,” in which social enterprises pay for all program costs using non-federal funds and receive a reimbursement for up to half of those eligible costs. For example, if a social enterprise spends $300,000 on allowable activities to serve SNAP E&T-clients, it may be eligible for a federal reimbursement of up to $150,000. These funds can be used in any way the ESE would like, including E&T program elements themselves such as expanding or enhancing supportive services, classroom supplies, or curriculum.

Examples of allowable non-federal funding sources include earned social enterprise revenue, philanthropic funds,  as well as some state, county and city funds.  Programs that are funded  with federal dollars (with the exception of Community Development Block Grants and Indian Tribal Government funds) cannot be used to seek reimbursement.

To understand and estimate what activities and associated costs will be reimbursed, an ESE first works with the local administering SNAP E&T agency to construct a budget of expenses associated with E&T components (services) that the ESE will offer that year. That budget is the total possible amount an ESE could be reimbursed. The actual amount reimbursed depends on incurred expenses within the budgeted items offered to SNAP recipients. These 50/50 E&T funds are uncapped at the federal level, meaning so long as the ESE is serving SNAP recipients and providing eligible E&T services, the reimbursement potential is more or less unlimited.  As with all federal funds, costs must be properly budgeted and documented, and are subject to federal compliance and audit requirements.

Each state has its own unique SNAP E&T program, which is typically overseen by human services agencies at either the county or state level. In county-administered states, each county within the state has a unique SNAP E&T program.  Decisions about the size and scope of a program, and whether to partner with outside organizations such as social enterprises, are made at these state or local levels. There is significant variation from state to state, and county to county.

Running a SNAP E&T program requires an investment of organizational time for planning, assessing alignment, and later administration, which may be partially funded by SNAP E&T once the ESE becomes a third-party provider in partnership with the administering agency.

SNAP E&T Cohort Opportunity!

If you’re interested in exploring more about SNAP E&T, or enhancing your existing program we have a cohort opportunity for you!

As stated above, REDF along with Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) and Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) and Farestart will be offering another round of SNAP E&T Cohorts to assess opportunity and prepare employment social enterprises (ESEs) in becoming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) third-party partners or enhancing an existing E&T program.

The SNAP E&T Cohort opportunity will offer customized training, technical assistance, peer learning, and mentoring designed to increase ESE and CBO working knowledge to assess alignment and feasibility to operate SNAP E&T programs throughout the country.

Sign up for our three-part webinar series to learn more about the cohort here!