United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Nov 28, 2022
The Secretary shall develop and implement measures for evaluating, on an annual or more frequent basis, the effectiveness of the supplemental nutrition assistance program in achieving its stated objectives, including, but not limited to, the program’s impact upon the nutritional and economic status of participating households, the program’s impact upon all sectors of the agricultural economy, including farmers and ranchers, as well as retail food stores, and the program’s relative fairness to households of different income levels, different age composition, different size, and different regions of residence. Further, the Secretary shall, by way of making contracts with or grants to public or private organizations or agencies, implement pilot programs to test various means of measuring on a continuing basis the nutritional status of low income people, with special emphasis on people who are eligible for supplemental nutrition assistance, in order to develop minimum common criteria and methods for systematic nutrition monitoring that could be applied on a nationwide basis. The locations of the pilot programs shall be selected to provide a representative geographic and demographic cross-section of political subdivisions that reflect natural usage patterns of health and nutritional services and that contain high proportions of low income people. The Secretary shall report on the progress of these pilot programs on an annual basis commencing on
Subject to the other provisions of this subsection, a State may elect to carry out an employment initiatives program under this subsection.
A State shall be eligible to carry out an employment initiatives program under this subsection only if not less than 50 percent of the households in the State that received supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits during the summer of 1993 also received benefits under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) during the summer of 1993.
A State that has elected to carry out an employment initiatives program under paragraph (1) may use amounts equal to the allotments that would otherwise be issued to a household under the supplemental nutrition assistance program, but for the operation of this subsection, to provide cash benefits in lieu of the allotments to the household if the household is eligible under paragraph (3).
The Secretary shall pay to each State that has elected to carry out an employment initiatives program under paragraph (1) an amount equal to the value of the allotment that each household participating in the program in the State would be eligible to receive under this chapter but for the operation of this subsection.
A State that operates a program under this subsection for 2 years shall provide to the Secretary a written evaluation of the impact of cash assistance under this subsection. The State agency, with the concurrence of the Secretary, shall determine the content of the evaluation.
The Secretary shall conduct a study of the effects of reductions made in benefits provided under this chapter pursuant to part 1 of subtitle A of title I of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, the Food Stamp and Commodity Distribution Amendments of 1981, the Food Stamp Act Amendments of 1982, and any other laws enacted by the Ninety-seventh Congress which affect the supplemental nutrition assistance program. The study shall include a study of the effect of retrospective accounting and periodic reporting procedures established under such Acts, including the impact on benefit and administrative costs and on error rates and the degree to which eligible households are denied supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits for failure to file complete periodic reports. The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an interim report on the results of such study no later than
In order to encourage States to plan, design, develop, and implement a system for making supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits available through the use of intelligent benefit cards or other automated or electronic benefit delivery systems, the Secretary may conduct one or more pilot or experimental projects, subject to the restrictions imposed by subsection (b)(1) and section 2016(f)(2) of this title, designed to test whether the use of such cards or systems can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations while ensuring that individuals receive correct benefit amounts on a timely basis. Intelligent benefit cards developed under such a demonstration project shall contain information, encoded on a computer chip embedded in a credit card medium, including the eligibility of the individual and the amount of benefits to which such individual is entitled. Any other automated or electronic benefit delivery system developed under such a demonstration project shall be able to use a plastic card to access such information from a data file.
The Secretary shall conduct, under such terms and conditions as the Secretary shall prescribe, for a period not to exceed 4 years, projects to test allowing not more than 11,000 eligible households, in the aggregate, to accumulate resources up to $10,000 each (which shall be excluded from consideration as a resource) for later expenditure for a purpose directly related to improving the education, training, or employability (including self-employment) of household members, for the purchase of a home for the household, for a change of the household’s residence, or for making major repairs to the household’s home.
The Secretary shall use up to $4,000,000 of the funds provided in advance in appropriations Acts for projects authorized by this section to conduct demonstration projects in which State or local supplemental nutrition assistance program agencies test innovative ideas for working with State or local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute benefit trafficking.
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may enter into competitively awarded contracts or cooperative agreements with, or provide grants to, public or private organizations or agencies (as defined by the Secretary), for use in accordance with projects that meet the strategy goals of this subsection.
To be eligible to receive a contract, cooperative agreement, or grant under this paragraph, an organization shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
Funds provided under this paragraph shall not be used for any project that limits the use of benefits under this chapter.
The Secretary shall provide for an independent evaluation of projects selected under this subsection that measures the impact of the pilot program on health and nutrition as described in paragraph (1).
The independent evaluation under subclause (I) shall use rigorous methodologies, particularly random assignment or other methods that are capable of producing scientifically valid information regarding which activities are effective.
The Secretary may use funds provided to carry out this section to pay costs associated with monitoring and evaluating each pilot project.
In addition to the reporting requirements under subparagraph (B), evaluation results shall be shared broadly to inform policy makers, service providers, other partners, and the public in order to promote wide use of successful strategies.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Out of any funds made available under section 2027 of this title, on
Each State agency selected under paragraph (1) shall provide information to the Secretary necessary to conduct the evaluation under such paragraph.
Not later than 3 years after
Subject to paragraphs (3) through (5), a State agency may, on approval by the Secretary, establish a longitudinal database that contains information about households and members of households that receive benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program in the State.
Each longitudinal database established under paragraph (1) shall be used solely to conduct research on participation in and the operation of the supplemental nutrition assistance program, including duration of participation in the program.
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may provide grants to States that have been approved by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (5) out of funds made available under paragraph (9).
Grants awarded under this paragraph shall be made in such amounts and under such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection.
Not later than 4 years after the effective date of this subsection, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report on the feasibility of expanding implementation of longitudinal databases to every State.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent or limit the ability of State agencies to establish or continue operating databases used for purposes similar to the purposes outlined in this subsection.