August 28, 2006

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Food Stamp Accuracy Results in $4.3 Million Bonus for Alabama

Governor Bob Riley and DHR Commissioner Page Walley accepted a $4.3 million performance bonus from the federal government Tuesday, August 29th for improvements in the state's food stamp program. During a ceremony at the State Capitol, Roberto Salazar of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service delivered the $4.3 million check.

Alabama is being recognized as one of three states with the most improved payment accuracy of its food stamp program, and is one of only 10 states in the nation receiving a performance bonus.

"It's recognition that today Alabama has one of the best-run Food Assistance Programs in the nation," said Governor Riley, "and when you consider where this program was just five or six years ago, the transformation is nothing short of dramatic."

In 1999, 2000 and 2001, instead of receiving bonuses, Alabama was penalized by the federal government for its level of payment errors.

On hand for the announcement were several county-level DHR workers and supervisors who Governor Riley said made the improvements possible.

"Alabama has one of the lowest food stamp error rates in the entire nation, and it happened because many people at the state and local levels worked together to make the system better," Governor Riley said.

Commissioner Walley agreed: "Our food stamp workforce is responsible for this remarkable accomplishment. We will use this money to improve and expand our services for Alabamians with food needs."

The bonus will be put back into the program to make it even more effective and to help enroll Alabamians who are eligible but have not enrolled in the Food Assistance Program. 

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