September 25, 2008

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Federal Grant to Benefit State’s Food Assistance Applicants Awarded to DHR

A cooperative effort between state agencies has landed a $600,000 grant to help streamline the state’s food assistance application process and improve service. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Department of Human Resources (DHR), is part of a larger initiative designed to modernize the state’s health and human services system and make it more customer focused.

"Agencies across state government are working together to make it easier for families to access the services they need," said Governor Bob Riley. "This coordinated effort is better for our citizens and a more cost-efficient way to operate government."

Specifically, the grant will fund development and implementation of a statewide web-based application for potential food assistance recipients. The changes will simplify the application process and increase access to the food assistance program by allowing families needing food assistance to apply and enter basic interview information from a web-based portal anywhere internet access is available, including their homes or locations set up in conjunction with DHR partner agencies.

"This grant will support key initiatives in our efforts to provide easier access to the state’s food assistance program and improve services to potential recipients," said DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner.

The grant was captured through a cooperative effort between DHR, the Department of Senior Services, the state Finance Department’s Information Services Division and the Center for Government at Auburn Montgomery. The Center for Government writes grant applications on behalf of the Information Services Division to support high tech initiatives in state agencies.

"Our charge is to promote innovation in government," said Dr. Matthew Duke, senior director of the Center for Government. "By writing these grant applications and gathering these federal funds for the benefit of the citizens of Alabama, I believe we’re doing just that."

This is the first major grant captured through the partnership. These particular grant monies will be managed by DHR and disbursed in annual allotments over a three year period. The majority of the work under the grant will be executed by DHR.

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